The row took off after a Chinese translation of a poem written by last year's literature prize winner.
Chinese writer Li Li's version of a Tomas Tranströmer poem replaced the word "chanterelle", a popular mushroom in Sweden, with the word "caramel".
After Swedish academy member Göran Malmqvist, 88, criticized the translation, Li published a poem on his blog which Malmqvist became convinced was a personal attack.
The poem, addressed to a young woman married to a much older man, likens the wife to a whore and the husband to a toad.
"What discipline it must require to each day subject your tender skin to the toad's bite," the poem reads.
Malmqvist, whose wife is 43 years younger than he is, was not too pleased.
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