The Sweedish Academy, which is the body responsible for the Nobel Prize for Literature, recently reported that it had reached an agreement with the Katarina Frostenson. This suggests that the Academy is ready to finally move on from the scandals that have rocked it in recent times.
Last year, the Swedish Academy was engulfed by allegations of conflict of interest rules as well as a messy sex scandal involving Katarina Frostenson’s husband Jean-Claude Arnault. While he denied the charges, Arnault was sentenced to a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence due to two counts of rape. There were several allegations that Frostenson leaked information about Nobel laureates to Arnault. These allegations were vehemently rebuked. The Academy then reported that it was not going to pursue a judicial review of the allegations.
Frostenson has been a member of the Swedish Academy since 1992, and, according to the legal report commissioned by the Academy, was going to be paid 12,875 kronor (the equivalent of $1,430) as well as a subsidy for her rented apartment from the Academy. These payments were meant to reflect the “valuable contributions” she had made to the academy over the last 25 years.
While the row was ongoing, the Swedish Academy decided that there would not be a Nobel Prize for Literature in 2018, postponing the announcement of the year’s laureate in 2019.
Katarina agreeing to leave the Academy sort of contradicts the statue stating that Academy members serve for life once elected. But last year’s crises made it necessary for the statutes from 1786 to be revised. This result is that henceforth elected members will be allowed to leave. This has since been approved by the King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf.
While Katarina Frostenson is leaving, two members who had left April last year, Kjell Espmark and Peter Englund, have since returned to service at the academy.