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Two external advisors are separated from the Nobel Committee of Literature

December 2, 2019

STOCKHOLM, Dec. 2 (Reuters / EP) –

Two external advisors of the committee that awards the Nobel Prize for Literature every year have announced their resignation on Monday after criticizing the Swedish Academy, affected by a scandal that forced even to postpone the award of the award corresponding to 2018.

The inclusion of external members was, in fact, one of the reforms impelled in this institution to be sanitized after the accusations of harassment poured against the husband of one of the members and the doubts about the leaks of previous Nobel winners.

“I leave my position on the Nobel Committee because I have neither the patience nor the time to wait for the result of the work started to change,” said writer Kristoffer Leandoer in an article published in 'Svenska Dagbladet'. “The Academy and I have a different perspective on time, a year is too long in my life and too short in the life of the Academy,” he said.

Leandoer has clarified that his resignation is not related to the decision to reward the controversial Austrian writer Peter Handke in 2019, for which the Academy has been criticized both within the Nordic country and internationally.

However, another of the advisers, Gun-Britt Sundström, who has also announced his departure, has assured in a statement published in 'Dagens Nyheter' that Handke's election had been interpreted as if literature were above politics and That she didn't share that vision.

Handke has been criticized for his portrayal of Serbia as a victim during the Balkan wars and for attending the funeral of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic. Milosevic died in 2006 in The Hague, where he was about to be tried for war crimes.

The Academy confirmed in a statement that Leandoer and Gun-Britt Sundström had left the Nobel committee, which until Monday was composed of four members of the Swedish Academy and five external members.

“We are grateful for the significant effort they made during the year and we are now reviewing how the work of the Nobel Committee for the 2020 Literature Prize will be organized,” said the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, Mats Malm, in a statement .