Sara Danius's defiant statement was sent to TT on Friday afternoon. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT
“I accepted the post of Permanent Secretary because I felt support for an ambition to gently but deliberately modernize the Academy,” she wrote in a statement sent to Sweden's TT news agency and published by the Expressen newspaper.
Her comments, framed as a vision of what the Academy should be, contained a veiled attack against the group of male Academicians who had forced her out.
“The Swedish Academy should be a force which clearly works against anachronistic power relations or statements which degrade women,” she wrote.
“Ethics must be placed on the highest pedestal, and strict rules for decision making, conflicts and confidentiality must be observed and followed. Crimes and cheating must be prosecuted and reported to the law enforcement authorities.”
She suggested that her enemies within the Academy had appealed to the institution's traditions to prevent change and deny accountability.
“To protect what you've inherited should not become arrogance and distance from the wider society,” she wrote. “The tendency to cliquishness has no place in today's world.”
“Not all traditions are worth preserving.”