“The Nobel Prize”

Sture Allén, Ingmar Karlsson
and Per Olov Enquist in conversation

Though not quite the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Swedish Academy has burned with controversy since the first award of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1901.

“One a year the Swedish Academy is faced with the task of capturing the essence of a writer’s work in two lines” in a press release that honours the winner, but angers, or at best puzzles, the literary world.

Alfred Nobel’s will stipulated that the prize for literature should be awarded to the person who had produced “the most outstanding work in an ideal direction”. In essence, the history of the literature prize has been a series of attempts “to interpret an imprecisely worded will.”

Not one of the Swedish Academy’s select few, the distinguished author Per Olov Enquist is currently not sworn to secrecy.