Serbian media reported Thursday that one of their own countrymen, writer Dobrica Cosic
, had won the Nobel Prize for Literature. However, he hadn't. Soon after, the Swedish Academy announced the real winner: Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer
The Serbian media reported Cosic as the winner because they had all received an email, seeming to come from the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences, announcing Cosic as the winner. The email linked to a website, nobelprizeliterature.org
, that seemed to confirm Cosic as the winner. However, both the email and the site were fakes. (link
Apparently Cosic is a strong Serbian nationalist. The Economist
describes him as, "the intellectual godfather of the Serbian nationalism which played such a decisive role, not just in the destruction of Yugoslavia but in the military drive to create a greater Serbia from its ashes." According to the Montreal Gazette
, Cosic writes, "lengthy tomes about the suffering of the Serbs through the ages." The hoax was perpetrated by some people who don't like him. Its basic purpose was to annoy him. The group, describing themselves as a "non-profit, self-organized group of web activists," have now posted this explanation on the site:
The purpose of our activity is to bring to the attention of the Serbian public dangerous influence of the writer Dobrica Cosic, who has been, again this year, proclaimed by some as a serious contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Dobrica Cosic, author and public political figure, active for decades, always close to the highest political power and those who exercise it, from the Communist Party of former SFRY, inspirators of their manifest of Serbian nationalism, infamous Memorandum of the Serbian Academy of sciences, former president of the Milosevic's wartime SR Yugoslavia, to present alliance with reactionary and most dangerous Serbian pseudo-democratic circles in the new era.
We have registered the domain of this obviously hoax site on the 5th October 2011, as a symbolic reminder of that day eleven years ago, when Serbia missed a historic opportunity to create a different and better world. Today again, Serbia turns to war, terror and deadly kitsch of the nineties, violence towards diversity, nationalist conservatism and dishonest orthodoxy. We believe the political activity of Dobrica Cosic is still deeply intertwined with this hazardous value system, which does not cease to threaten us all.
Terrible consequences of decades of Mr. Cosic's political, literary and public activity are felt to this day, both by his own country and throughout the region.
Dobrica Cosic is not a recipient of the Nobel Prize, although the general public in Serbia, and he himself, believed he is for 15 full minutes.
We find some solace in that fact.