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'Nobel prize leaks could be given the boot'

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'Nobel prize leaks could be given the boot'
Writer Patrick Modiano won the Nobel literature prize in 2014. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT
07:00 CET+01:00
Leaking names of writers shortlisted for Sweden's Nobel literature prize may disqualify them from the prestigious award, the head of the jury has warned.

"There are nominators who like trumpeting in public which person they nominated," Peter Englund, who is also the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, wrote on his blog.

"This is a flagrant breach of the rules. We actually have the possibility of disqualifying the candidates in question and it is not impossible that this will happen with one proposal or another in the future."

Englund suggested that certain interests may lie behind leaks, but he did not give any concrete examples.

"Sometimes one suspects the intention is to be able to forever grant particular authors the 'Nobel prize nominated...' epithet," he wrote.

As with the Nobel Peace Prize, a wide range of people have the right to propose names for the literature prize, including former laureates, members of the Swedish Academy, heads of national literary societies and literature academics from around the world.

For the 2015 prize, to be awarded in October, Englund said that 198 names are currently on the list, including 36 new names.

As in previous years the number will be reduced to between 20 and 25 in April and cut down to just five in May.

Certain authors –  such as US novelists Joyce Carol Oates and Philip Roth as well as Japanese write Haruki Murakami – are regularly rumoured to be on the shortlist, though it is unclear how much of that speculation is based on leaks.

The list of candidates nominated for the prize is kept secret for 50 years.

And if you are tired of being passed over for the prestigious Nobel award, you have the chance to snap one up for yourself, as the prize awarded to economist Simon Kuznets in 1971 is set to go under the hammer later this month.

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