The Swedish panel that awards the Nobel Prize in Literature said on Friday that it would take the extraordinary step of not naming a laureate this year - not because of a shortage of deserving writers, but because of the infighting and public outrage that have engulfed the group over a sexual abuse scandal.
The academy says it will now announce the 2018 victor along with the 2019 victor next year. USA author William Faulkner received his award in 1950, one of five occasions when the prize was awarded at the same time as the following year's prize.
Dorotea Bromberg, of Swedish publishing house Brombergs, which has published four Nobel laureates, including JM Coetzee, said the academy's postponement "was a pity", but understood the reasoning.
Heldin says the academy's decision underscores the seriousness of the situation and will help safeguard the long-term reputation of the Nobel Prize.
"They'll have a chance to restore (the academy) this year and fill the empty seats, and come back with a strong academy that can award the prize", Dagens Nyheter's literature critic Maria Schottenius told Agence France-Presse.
According to multiple allegations, Arnault assaulted women on Academy properties for more than 20 years. After Katarina Frostenson, Arnault's wife, was removed from the institution's committee in response to the allegations, a number of other members vowed to give up their active memberships, even though they are not allowed to resign. Some members also quit over Frostenson staying on board, per the Times.
In a statement on its website, the academy said: "The present decision was arrived at in view of the now diminished Academy and the reduced public confidence in the Academy".
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Peter Englund, a member of the academy, wrote in an email: "I think this was a wise decision, considering both the inner turmoil of the Academy and the subsequent bloodletting of people and competence, and the general standing of the prize".
The prize has been postponed or cancelled only a handful of times, for instance during World War Two.
The foundation manages the assets endowed by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who created the literature prize and other awards in science and peace.
3 members of the 18-person jury had after the accusation resigned, protesting the decision not to expel Frostenson from the jury.
Last November, French photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, who ran a cultural project with funding from the Swedish Academy, was accused of sexual assault by 18 women.
Arnault also has been suspected of violating century-old Nobel rules by leaking names of winners of the prestigious award - allegedly seven times, starting in 1996.
There will be no Nobel Prize in Literature awarded this year. On five occasions a prize for one year has been awarded at the same time as the following year's prize. American playwright Eugene O'Neill was awarded the 1936 prize a year later, in 1937, at the same time as that year's victor received his prize.
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