Swedish Academy Loses Court Case Against Neo-Nazis Over Classic Poetry


While the Swedish Academy claimed that classic poems and other literary works published by the National-Socialist Nordic Resistance Movement were put in an “alien and offensive context”, the Patent and Market Court found that such an “extensive” interpretation could have had “consequences for freedom of speech and the press”.

The Swedish Academy, which is best known to the outside world for picking the Nobel Prize winner in literaure, has lost its case to bar Nordfront, a neo-Nazi website, from publishing classic Swedish poems, national broadcaster SVT reported.

The case concerned several classic Swedish poems and other literary works published by a website run by the Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR), a pan-Scandinavian movement self-described as National Socialist and banned in Finland as “revolutionary and militant”.

The works in question included poems by renowned national romanticists Esaias Tegner (1782-1846), Viktor Rydberg (1828-1895), and Verner von Heidenstam (1859-1940), as well as texts dating back to the Viking age.

According to SVT, quotes from their work could be seen next to a video filmed by the perpetrator behind the Christchurch the terrorist attack, pictures of swastikas and an article congratulating Adolf Hitler on his 124th birthday.

The Swedish Academy, which publishes dictionaries and is an authoritative voice on Swedish language issues, had argued that the works could not be published alongside “potentially criminal”…

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