Handke’s Characters: Never Black, Never White — New York Times

The essay today in the New York Times about Peter Handke and his work and the Nobel Prize and the controversy surrounding it is more thorough and thoughtful than most recent responses. The headline is atrocious, and it’s too bad that the controversy takes away from the remarkable body of work for which the prize was awarded. But the fact that the piece includes assessments from novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard and Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelineck, not to mention Handke’s biographer Malte Herwig, Zarko Radakovic, and myself, makes this worth a read.

“I can’t think of a more obvious Nobel laureate than him,” the Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard said in an email, adding that Handke had written masterpieces in every decade of his career.

“The great poet Handke has earned the Nobel Prize 10 times,” Elfriede Jelinek, an Austrian author who received the 2004 Nobel Prize in Literature, said in a statement.


hande press conference

Image from the New York Times


About Scott Abbott

I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
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2 Responses to Handke’s Characters: Never Black, Never White — New York Times

  1. alex caldiero says:



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