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The Literary Lottery

Ottobre 2018
Per uno scandalo sessuale inadeguato a un'istituzione così venerabile, quest'anno l'Accademia svedese non assegnerà il Premio Nobel per la Letteratura. Ma in realtà questi riconoscimenti sono spesso polemici.

di Conor Gleeson

File audio:

Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
Alfred Nobel
Alfred Nobel

Speaker: Alex Warner (British accent)

For the first time since 1949, there will be no Nobel Prize in Literature this year. The Swedish Academy, which awards the prize, is the centre of stories of rape and sexual assault. There are also accusations of leaks about previous winners. Authors do not need to worry, however. The global market for literary prizes is enormous.

FEW PRIZES AROUND

In the last 50 years, however, there has been an avalanche of awards, especially in English. There are also humorous awards, such as a ‘Bad Sex in Fiction Award’, or a contest for intentionally bad sentences!

SOURCE OF CONTROVERSY

Literary prizes are famous for provoking controversy, sometimes because of the secrecy of the process, other times because of the choice of winner. AL Kennedy, a judge on the Man Booker Prize in 1996, later called the award “nonsense”, with the winner determined by “who knows who, who’s sleeping with who, who’s selling drugs to who, who’s married to who.”

ATTRACTIVE MONEY

The money that comes with the most important prizes can be very attractive. The Nobel Prize for Literature gives each winner almost $1.1 million. What is also important is the incredible publicity generated by the awards. Some critics, however, think that the enormous number of prizes is affecting the prestige of the winners. The Swedish Academy does not agree. They did not award a Nobel Prize this year, but next year they plan to give two prizes!  


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