Thu. Feb 27th, 2020

the Nobel seeks his redemption

A sexual scandal, the greatest in its history, that threatened to undermine the – in appearance – the solid foundations of the centennial institution of the Nobels took the last year the failure of the Nobel Prize for Literature. The house has had an entire year to purify itself and wash its image after the accusations of sexual harassment about Jean-Claude Arnault, husband of the writer and academic Katerina Frostenson, is currently in prison. Make tabula rasa. Blur and new account. Today there have been two awards that have failed, the one corresponding to 2018 and that of this edition. Hence the announcement of Mats Malm, permanent secretary of the institution, was surrounded this year, if possible, with greater expectation. To increase it, the statements made from within the institution itself in which it was decided to open the range of winners and put the weight on the females were black on white. “There are many women who are truly exceptional,” said academic Anders Olsson days ago. The house is in full reconversion of internal rules to prevent any type of leaks, in addition to approving a code of conduct that avoids undue behavior, a reform that seems necessary and the events were shouting after more than twenty years without suffering modifications.

Of course it was to think, then, that the 2019 Nobel were going to be feminine. Nobody in the world comes to mind that the Academy was not going to reward a woman in this double call. Or even maybe two. The sexual harassment scandal seemed to demand it. In addition, in times of vindication of the female role in the arts, the Nobel continues to present an overwhelming list of male authors. 102 men have won it against 14 women. The last was Svetlana Aleksiévich in 2015 and these have been the other 13: Selma Lagerlöf (1909) was the first distinguished woman with a Nobel Prize for Literature, Grazia Deledda (1926), Sigrid Undset (1928), Pearl S. Buck (1938 ), Gabriela Mistral (1945), Nelly Sachs (1966), Nadine Gordimer (1991), Toni Morrison (1993), Wislawa Szymborska (1996), Elfriede Jelinek (2004), Doris Lessing (2007), Herta Müller (2009) and Alice Munro (2013).

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