Austrian writer Peter Handke says he is happy to have been named this year’s Nobel Literature Laureate because the accolade serves as a spotlight.
“It’s as if the work that one has created is now exposed to light,” he told Austrian press agency APA from his home near Paris.
Handke said he planned to attend the award ceremony in Stockholm on Dec. 10, and to deliver a speech there.
After getting the call from the Swedish academy, the writer went for a four-hour walk in the woods, Handke said,
He added that he might spend Thursday night having dinner in a small local restaurant with his wife.
“I haven’t eaten or drunk anything today,” he said.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the Swedish Academy, which organises the Nobel Prize in Literature, announced in 2018 that it would not award the 2018 honor due to sex abuse allegations that had raised turmoil among the academy members and cast critical light upon the prestigious annual award.
In 2018, the academy’s press release said, “The present decision was arrived at in view of the currently diminished academy and the reduced public confidence in the Academy.”
The group’s permanent secretary, Anders Olsson also said at the time that “We find it necessary to commit time to recovering public confidence in the academy before the next laureate can be announced.”
He added that the cultural institution also made the decision to delay the 2018 award “out of respect for previous and future literature laureates, the Nobel Foundation and the general public”.
The academy then said that it intended to bestow the 2018 literature award in 2019.
The Nobel Prize Foundation was created in 1900 to administer the will of investor Alfred Nobel, which funds the prizes in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace. The institution’s rules allow a prize to be postponed for a year. (NAN)
Edited by Halima Sheji/Emmanuel Yashim