>15 The Nobel Academy
     For the last 82 years, Sweden's Nobel Academy has decided who will receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, thereby determining who will be elevated from the great and the near great to the immortal. But today the Academy is coming under heavy criticism both from the without and from within. Critics contend that the selection of the winners often has less to do with true writing ability than with the peculiar internal politics of the Academy and of Sweden itself. According to Ingmar Bjorksten, the cultural editor for one of the country's two major newspapers, the prize continues to represent "what people call a very Swedish exercise: reflecting Swedish tastes." The Academy has defended itself against such charges of provincialism in its selection by asserting that its physical distance from the great literary capitals of the world actually serves to protect the Academy from outside influences. This may well be true, but critics respond that this very distance may also be responsible for the Academy's inability to perceive accurately authentic trends in the literary world.Regardless of concerns over the selection process, however, it seems that the prize will continue to survive both as an indicator of the literature that we most highly praise, and as an elusive goal that writers seek. If for no other reason, the prize will continue to be desirable for the financial rewards that accompany it; not only is the cash prize itself considerable, but it also dramatically increases sales of an author's books.

     过去的 82 年里,瑞典的诺贝尔委员会决定了谁将获得诺贝尔文学奖,因此也就决定了 谁将从伟大或近乎伟大荣升为不朽。 但在今天,该委员会却遭到了评选委员会内外的猛烈 批评。 批评者们争论说:"评选获奖者时,起作用更大的不是真实的写作能力,而是该委员 会以及瑞典特有的内部政治。 按照瑞典两家主要报纸之一的文化版编辑 Ingmar Bjorksten 的说法,该文学奖仍然是"人们所说的一种非常瑞典式的做为:反映瑞典口味"。对于其评选 过程中目光短浅的指责,该委员会辩护说,该委员会与世界几大文学之都相距遥远,实际上 使该委员会免受外来的干扰。 这也许是对的,但批评者们反驳说,也正因为相距如此遥远, 该委员会才不能准确地把握文学界的真正趋势。尽管对评选程序存在着关注,该文学奖将继 续作为世人最为推崇的文学的标志而存在,并将继续是作家们难以达到却又会不断追逐的目 标。 如果不考虑其他因素,而仅仅考虑与之俱来的经济利益,该奖也将继续为人所渴求: 这不仅因为该奖本身就是一笔可观的现金收入,而且该奖还将极大地增加一个作家的著作的 销量。