Knut Ahnlund
Knut Emil Ahnlund is a Swedish literary historian, writer, and member of the Swedish Academy
Swedish Academy
The Swedish Academy , founded in 1786 by King Gustav III, is one of the Royal Academies of Sweden.-History:The Swedish Academy was founded in 1786 by King Gustav III. Modelled after the Académie française, it has 18 members. The motto of the Academy is "Talent and Taste"...


Ahnlund is an expert on 19th and 20th century Nordic, especially Danish, literature. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Henrik Pontoppidan
Henrik Pontoppidan
Henrik Pontoppidan was a realist writer who shared with Karl Gjellerup the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1917 for "his authentic descriptions of present-day life in Denmark." Pontoppidan's novels and short stories — informed with a desire for social progress but despairing, later in his...

, and has later written on Gustav Wied
Gustav Wied
Gustav Johannes Wied was a Danish writer.The fifth of the eleven children of Carl August Wied and Catha Wied, Wied was born in Branderslev near Nakskov....

 and Sven Lidman
Sven Lidman (writer)
Carl Hindrik Sven Rudolphsson Lidman —military officer, poet, writer, and preacher, grandson of the priest Sven Lidman—was born in Karlskrona, became a sublieutenant in the Swedish royal army reserve in 1903, and studied law at Uppsala University...

, among others. He is also a novelist and has published translations of various writers such as Julio Cortázar
Julio Cortázar
Julio Cortázar, born Jules Florencio Cortázar, was an Argentine writer. Cortázar, known as one of the founders of the Latin American Boom, influenced an entire generation of Spanish speaking readers and writers in the Americas and Europe.-Early life:Cortázar's parents, Julio José Cortázar and...

. He received his doctorate from Stockholm University
Stockholm University
Stockholm University is a state university in Stockholm, Sweden. It has over 28,000 students at four faculties, making it one of the largest universities in Scandinavia. The institution is also frequently regarded as one of the top 100 universities in the world...

, and has been professor of Nordic Literary History at the University of Aarhus
University of Aarhus
Aarhus University , located in the city of Aarhus, Denmark, is Denmark's second oldest and second largest university...

. He was elected a member of the Swedish Academy in 1983.

Due to conflicts with the former permanent secretary of the Academy, Sture Allén
Sture Allén
Sture Allén is a Swedish retired professor of computational linguistics at the University of Gothenburg, who was the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy between 1986 and 1999. He was elected to chair 3 of the Swedish Academy in 1980. He is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and...

, and his successor, Horace Engdahl
Horace Engdahl
Horace Oscar Axel Engdahl is a Swedish literary historian and critic, and has been a member of the Swedish Academy since 1997. He was the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, i.e. its spokesman, from 1999 to June 2009, when he was succeeded by historian Peter Englund.-Biography:Engdahl was...

, Ahnlund has only participated minimally in the work of the Academy since 1996. On 11 October 2005, just a few days before the announcement of the 2005 Nobel laureate for literature, he declared in a piece in Svenska Dagbladet
Svenska Dagbladet
Svenska Dagbladet is a daily newspaper in Sweden. The first issue appeared on 18 December 1884. Svenska Dagbladet is published in Stockholm and provides coverage of national and international news as well as local coverage of the Greater Stockholm region...

 that he would leave the Academy in protest against the choice of recipient of the prize the previous year, Elfriede Jelinek
Elfriede Jelinek
Elfriede Jelinek is an Austrian playwright and novelist. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2004 for her "musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that, with extraordinary linguistic zeal, reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power."-...

; he characterized Jelinek's work as chaotic and pornographic
Pornography or porn is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction.Pornography may use any of a variety of media, ranging from books, magazines, postcards, photos, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video,...

. As membership of the Academy is for life, Ahnlund cannot formally leave the Academy, but he will not participate in its work and his chair will be left empty until his death.


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