Thanked Jean-Paul Sartre rejected the Nobel Prize in Literature before the Swedish Academy had taken its decision in 1964? No, the French writer’s letter came too late. The decision was basically taken when Sartre’s letter arrived in Stockholm, writes Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, when the 50-year secrecy has now been lifted.
Ever since Jean-Paul Sartre was awarded the Literature Prize rumor has been that he would have sent a polite but clear refusal letter to the Swedish Academy. The letter exists, but is dispatched on October 14 and, therefore, influenced not in the decision. The Academy’s newly-appointed secretary Karl Ragnar Gierow subsequently sent a reply letter to Sartre, in which he urged the author to reconsider its position.
It did not affect Jean-Paul Sartre, the only literature laureate who has voluntarily waived the award.