The Corner

Jelinek

Here’s some more on Jelinek. She’s not what you’d call a cozy read.

A writer’s politics, whatever they might be, or might have been, should not, of course, intrude into the decision whether or not to award him or her the Nobel Prize, but do we think – even for a moment – that Jelinek would have been awarded that prize if she had been a member of a fascist party between 1974-91?

The Guardian has yet more details. We learn that Jelinek’s latest play, Bambiland “is a full-throated attack on the US-led invasion of Iraq,” a fact that will have played no part, of course, in the decision to award her the prize. Her publisher meanwhile describes Jelinek as ‘a dissident figure’, an unfortunate description, perhaps, of someone who was a communist in the Brezhnev/Andropov era, and hardly an accurate way of talking about a writer who seems to subscribe to the crackpot orthodoxies of many a minor European university. “Boringly conventional”, would, I feel, be a more appropriate label.

But perhaps that’s already implied by the Nobel.

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