Sweden creates harmony in the name of literature

  Imitation of the French Academy of Literature The talented King Gustav III in
  Swedish history dreamed of establishing an institution similar to the French Academy in northern Sweden. The word “academy” comes from ancient Greece. It was originally a garden on the outskirts of Athens. Plato and his students studied in that garden. Europe inherited this famous tradition. In the mid-1730s, the French Named “academy” for the first time, founded the French Academy with 40 academicians.
  King Gustav III of Sweden inherited his interests in theatre, music and literature from his mother from an early age. His mother, Queen Louisa, once turned the old Swedish court into the Nordic center of the European Renaissance. During his tenure, Gustav III devoted himself to the promotion of culture, both for his own interests and for political needs, because he knew that governing a country could take advantage of cultural life, strengthen national feelings, spread political ideas, and whitewash peace. In 1772, Gustav III peacefully removed from Sweden’s aristocracy and has since assumed power.
  He often travels to Paris, and is full of praise for the National French Academy. At that time, the French Academy held a meeting every Monday, where writers gave speeches enthusiastically, on a variety of topics, on science, on love, on the modification of language… There were writers testing their own and others’ literary products, and began to Write a French dictionary.
  During his trip to Paris, Gustave III had a hunch that the discontented anger of the French lower classes would destroy France. His observation really came true. The French Revolution broke out a few years later, in full swing, shaking Europe.
  In order to save Sweden from a similar catastrophe, Gustav III began to make serious plans to imitate the organizational form of the French Academy of Letters and create a national Swedish Academy to control radical factors through cultural activities.
  On April 5, 1786, the Swedish Academy was officially announced. In the old town of Stockholm, the capital, Gustav III announced the list of 13 academicians elected by him (later changed to 18 tenured academicians), introduced the purpose of the Swedish Academy, and he also delivered a famous speech, He said that in the era of war, Sweden used force to win glory to the country, but now that the era of peace is coming, the only thing that can bring glory to the country should be literature and art. He encouraged writers to strive to create, to write for the harmony of society and the happiness of the people.
  A glorious period
  in the first academicians of the Swedish Academy of Literature, there are literary gentlemen from noble backgrounds and prominent positions, as well as scholars from common people. The two men were equal in the liberal arts, a rare system of equality in 18th-century European hierarchies. Gustav III wanted the Swedish Academy to be financially independent, and he gave the Academy a number of sources of income, the most important of which was the right to publish a newspaper. This financial source has laid the necessary foundation for the independent work of the Swedish Academy in the future.
  The main job of the Faculty of Letters is to make Swedish a pure, elegant and powerful language. A grand wish of Gustav III was to make Swedish a tasteful one of European cultural languages. In the 18th century, when French fashion was popular, Swedes were proud to speak French in their daily life and were accustomed to writing in French. The efforts of Gustav III were effective, and the Swedish language grew and flourished during this period and was gradually standardized. After the establishment of the Faculty of Letters, it immediately started to compile a Swedish dictionary, and each academician was assigned the task of compiling according to the Swedish alphabet. By 1870, this Swedish dictionary was printed and published, and the academicians of the Swedish Academy began to avoid using it. French borrowed words, written in pure Swedish, to give people an example of writing skills.
  Another task of the Faculty of Letters is to organize honorary contests such as speeches, poems, plays, and others, for which the King awards two gold medals and two silver medals. Academicians are naturally expected to write in Swedish. Gustav III himself participated in the competition, and he gave a speech “in memory of Lannate Torstenson”. Because the selection is conducted by secret ballot, the king’s award is considered to be well deserved. In the early stage of the speech contest, the subject matter was prescribed by the Academy of Letters, and the speeches written by the essayists were generally eulogizing famous figures in Swedish history to awaken the glorious memory of the country. The Faculty of Letters stipulates that every December 20, the birthday of Gustav III, will hold a commemorative speech.
  Although this speech was only a form of oral literature, it was significant that there was no freedom of the press at the time. This literary expression has a respectable audience, and its content is quoted in the media. Many years later, the Swedish Academy published the speeches and award-winning poems as the “Records of the Swedish Academy”.
  Poets compete to write tragedies, and their competition takes place on the theatre stage. A playwright who succeeds in the competition can get a position, equivalent to today’s editor-in-chief. At that time, the French writer Voltaire was a role model for Swedish writers, and Rousseau, who was as famous as Voltaire, also nourished Swedish music and comedy with his works.
  This is a glorious period in the history of Swedish culture. Gustav III founded the magnificent Royal Opera House. He personally planned and staged large-scale tragedies. Even civil and military officials dressed in gorgeous silk and brocade costumes and played at the opera house. thing.
  Yet why did literature lead to revolution in France but avoid catastrophe in Sweden? This comparison is extremely complicated and needs to be seen from the social hierarchy and economic situation in Europe at that time. As far as culture itself is concerned, a group of intellectual giants, such as Rousseau, etc. appeared in France at that time, while the kings and aristocrats were decadent, arrogant and extravagant. Radical literati dominated the trend; while Sweden did not have such a powerful cultural giant at the time (Strindberg would not appear until a hundred years later), Gustav III himself was talented enough to control the Swedish Academy, thereby influencing Cultural trends in this small and remote country.
  After the death of Gustav III in 1792, the golden age of the Swedish Academy was over, and its lofty status declined for a time. In 1795, the Faculty of Letters was even ordered to suspend operations because of an academician’s remarks. It was not until 1796, when Gustav IV Adolf took the throne, that the Swedish Academy resumed its activities.
  The Controversy of Accepting the Nobel Prize Assignment
  At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the Swedish Academy, with great hesitation and hesitation, accepted an unprecedented assignment: to award the Nobel Prize for Literature. This task is obviously not in line with the original intention of Gustav III to found the Academy of Letters, and there was a fierce debate within the Swedish Academy of Letters at that time.
  In 1897, as the Swedish Academy began planning for its spring work, Academician Wilson reported that he had been visited by an engineer named Nagnar Sollerman. Solerman was the executor of Nobel’s will, a great inventor who died not long ago. He came to discuss with Wilson about the execution of his will. He hoped to confirm that the “Stockholm Academy” in Nobel’s will refers to the “Swedish Academy of Letters”. “.
  The Swedish Academy began to discuss whether to accept the task of awarding the Nobel Prize for Literature, and to organize a “Nobel Committee”. At the meeting in May, two academicians, Carl Gostaf Malstrom and Hans Fosse, both gave lengthy speeches against accepting the task. Carl Gostaf questioned the Swedish Academy’s ability, including its ability to examine and judge the multitude of literary products produced every year around the world, asking if the Swedish Academy was to allow itself to immerse itself in all the pressure, resentment and slander , all of which will undoubtedly go hand in hand. He believes that this task will take away a lot of energy resources from the project entrusted by the king back then, so that a Swedish literary academy will become a worldwide literary court.
  ”It will be a temptation, because of the magic of money, to make the Faculty of Letters a world court, so that every year with great nervousness the literary masters of all mankind listen to the results,” Fosse said. He reminded people not to forget that the task of awarding the Nobel Prize for Literature was inconsistent with the work assigned to the Faculty of Letters by Gustav III. If the Swedish Academy accepts this task, one will soon discover that high status comes with responsibility, obligation, and unfamiliar ways of working. The annual award of the 100,000 kroner Nobel Prize in Literature will arouse the attention and scrutiny of the international public opinion, and the Swedish Academy will suffer a lot of criticism, which is much more troublesome than awarding only 6 kroner to its writers every year.
  In the Faculty of Letters, it is mainly Academician Wilson who actively advocates accepting this task. In the face of the accusations of Malstrom and others, Wilson warned that if the Academy of Letters said “no” to Nobel, then the entire literary prize plan would be in vain, “this is to deprive writers of all continents of hope. – They look forward to being recognized and to enjoy the benefits given by Nobel. Therefore, a storm will come against the Swedish Academy. There is no doubt that the responsibility of the Swedish Academy is enormous, and if it shies away from this task, it will Suffered a lot of blame.” This kind of accusation will even come from several generations of academicians, and people will say that because the liberal arts college wants to relax, it has lost a position that can influence world literature.
  Wilson also responded to the claim that the work was unfamiliar to the Swedish Academy, pointing out that the task of awarding the literary prize still comes from the nature of literature, and the international nature of the prize is not a problem. If the Faculty of Letters does not recognize the characteristics of outstanding foreign literature, it is also incapable of judging the merits of native literature. Wilson also said: For some specific difficulties, it should not be too exaggerated. The Faculty of Arts can elect a Nobel Committee composed of capable academicians internally, and contact some experts to make special reports. While the results of the awards may be blamed, liberal arts schools should do their job with equanimity and be as good as possible.
  Two weeks later, a vote was held at the meeting of the Faculty of Letters: 12 of the 17 academicians voted in favor of Wilson’s proposal, and a majority reached a resolution to issue a public statement to the society: The Swedish Academy of Letters accepted the task of awarding the Nobel Prize. From then on, a literary academy that originally served the monarchs of small countries has moved to the big stage of world literature. The function of the Swedish Academy is gradually tilted towards literature. As the focus of the work in the past is on the Swedish language, traditionally, academicians are mostly linguists and historians, while writers and writers are only a few. After accepting the task of awarding the Nobel Prize, more and more writers and writers have been by-election as academicians, and in recent years, more than half of this category of academicians. As a “faculty of literature”, it finally lives up to its name.
  In the 21st century, the Swedish Academy has become a multi-functional academic institution, which not only inherits and protects the traditional heritage of Sweden, but also pays attention to the global trend of the times. In its more than 200 years of history, the Swedish Academy of Arts has experienced changes in its fortunes. It has both bright times and gloomy times. It has won many respects and praises, and it has also received many criticisms and accusations.

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