What Is a ‘World Academy’?

Franz Kemény and the Early Nobel Prize’s Infrastructures

In: Journal of World Literature
Max Richter Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich Munich Germany

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This article discusses one of the first books nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, Franz Kemény’s Entwurf einer internationalen Gesammt-Academie: Welt-Academie (1901), and how it relates to questions about institutions and infrastructures of world literature. It demonstrates the thematic relationship between Kemény’s draft and early discussions on how to organize the selection process of the Nobel Prize and shows that the connection between text and prize consists of more layers than merely the formal nomination. Kemény’s book, as this article shows, addresses the prize founder as well as the executing institution in its paratextual framing, rates the Nobel Institute’s possible impact and gives further insight into how global infrastructures of literature were imagined at the time of the Nobel Prize’s establishment.

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