Roger L. Simon

The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight

The Nobel Prize for Literature will be announced Thursday. This is the award, you will recall, that often makes the Peace Prize look sensible.

…members of the prestigious institution traded blows over last year’s winner, Austrian feminist writer Elfriede Jelinek.

Academy member Knut Ahnlund launched a rare and scathing attack on Jelinek’s writing on Tuesday, saying giving her the prize caused irreparable damage to the award’s reputation.

Ahnlund, 82, who has not actively participated in the academy’s work since 1996, said he would now quit his lifetime appointment to the panel.

“Last year’s Nobel prize has not only done irreparable damage to all progressive forces, it has also confused the general view of literature as an art,” Ahnlund wrote in the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. “After this, I cannot even formally remain in the Swedish Academy. As of now, I consider myself an outsider.”

That makes two of us.