Swedish Academy

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Swedish Academy

The Swedish Academy in Stockholm
Formation 1786
Headquarters Stockholm
Website [Svenska-Akademien.jpg Svenska-Akademien.jpg]

The Swedish Academy (Swedish: Svenska Akademien) was started in 1786 by the Swedish King Gustav III. It was copied from the Académie française, the first Academy ever. The Swedish Academy has 18 members. The motto of the Academy is "Talent and Taste" ("Snille och Smak" in Swedish).

Since 1901 the Academy has decided who will win the Nobel Prize in Literature The prize is given in memory of Alfred Nobel. The other thing the Academy does is to help to keep the Swedish language clean. They work for the "purity, strength, and greatness of the Swedish language" ("Svenska Språkets renhet, styrka och höghet")[1]. To help do this, the Academy publishes two dictionaries.

The first is a dictionary in only one big book, called Svenska Akademiens ordlista (or SAOL). In 2005, it was up to its 13th edition. The second dictionary has many volumes. It is called Svenska Akademiens ordbok (or SAOB). The content it is so big that it needs many books, like the Oxford English Dictionary. The first book in the set was printed in 1898 and in 2005 work had got as far as words beginning with the letter "T".

The Academy uses a building now known as the Stockholm Stock Exchange Building. The bottom floor was used as a trading exchange (which became the stock exchange) and the upper floor was used for dances, New Years Eve parties, etc. In 1786, the ballroom was the biggest room in Stockholm that could be heated and be used in the winter. The king asked if he could use it. The Academy has met there every year since. In 1914 the Academy gained the right to use the upper floor as their own forever. This is where they meet and, amongst other business, choose the Nobel Prize winners. Because of this, the Academy is one of the most important literary groups in the world. The Swedish Academy is one of the Royal Academies of Sweden.

Current members[change | change source]

Dag Hammarskjöld's farm in Backåkra, now used by members of the Academy.

The current members of the Swedish Academy listed by seat number :

Seat Member of the Academy Born Elect. Notes
1. Lotta Lotass 1964 2009
2. Bo Ralph 1945 1999
3. Sture Allén 1928 1980 Permanent secretary 1986-1999
4. Anders Olsson 1949 2008
5. Göran Malmqvist 1924 1985
6. Birgitta Trotzig 1929 1993
7. Knut Ahnlund 1923 1983 Inactive
8. Jesper Svenbro 1944 2006
9. Torgny Lindgren 1938 1991
10. Peter Englund 1957 2002 Permanent secretary 2009-
11. Ulf Linde 1929 1977
12. Per Wästberg 1933 1997
13. Gunnel Vallquist 1918 1982
14. Kristina Lugn 1948 2006
15. Kerstin Ekman 1933 1978 Inactive
16. Kjell Espmark 1930 1981
17. Horace Engdahl 1948 1997 Permanent secretary 1999-2009
18. Katarina Frostenson 1953 1992


Permanent secretaries[change | change source]

Order Seat Permanent Secretary of the Academy Born Years Notes
1. 11. Nils von Rosenstein 1752 1786-1824
2. 13. Frans Michael Franzén 1772 1824-1834
3. 12. Bernhard von Beskow 1828 1834-1868
4. 5. Johan Erik Rydqvist 1800 1868-1869 pro temporare
5. 15. Ludvig Manderström 1806 1869-1872
6. 12. Carl Gustaf Strandberg 1825 1872-1874 pro temporare
7. 9. Henning Hamilton 1814 1874-1881
8. 11. Bror Emil Hildebrand 1806 1881-1883 pro temporare
9. 8. Carl David af Wirsén 1842 1883-1912 pro temporare in 1883-84
10. 6. Hans Hildebrand 1842 1912 pro temporare
11. 11. Erik Axel Karlfeldt 1864 1913-1931
12. 14. Per Hallström 1866 1931-1941
13. 13. Anders Österling 1884 1941-1964
14. 7. Karl Ragnar Gierow 1904 1964-1977
15. 14. Lars Gyllensten 1921 1977-1986
16. 16. Sture Allén 1928 1986-1999
17. 17. Horace Engdahl 1948 1999-2009
18. 10. Peter Englund 1957 2009-

References[change | change source]

  1. Walshe, Maurice O'Connell (1965). Introduction to the Scandinavian Languages. Andre Deutsch Ltd. pp. 57.

Other websites[change | change source]

Coordinates: 59°19′31″N 18°4′14″E / 59.32528°N 18.07056°E / 59.32528; 18.07056