Author Archives: Scott Abbott

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

it can fool me but once

My mother, Janice Hilton Abbott, died on December 3, just four weeks before her 91st birthday. I’ve been looking at photos, reading things she wrote, remembering. Sunday morning, just four days ago, I sat next to the bed where she … Continue reading

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The Perils of Self-Righteousness

On Thanksgiving Day, a man whose anger is approaching rabidity posted a piece that claims that Peter Handke is a genocide denier or worse because he stayed for a night in a hotel outside of Višegrad used during the war for rapes. … Continue reading

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Peter Handke: The Višegrad Killings

Since he published his Summer Addendum to a Wintry Journey in 1996, critics have claimed that he denied the atrocities committed by Serbs as they ethnically cleansed Višegrad. I’ll cite a couple of paragraphs from the text that offer a reader a … Continue reading

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The Makavejev Case or Trial in a Movie Theater, a film by Goran Radovanovic

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Dear Goran, I finally watched your film last night. And I loved it. A tape recorder as chief protagonist. A tape recorder as chief protagonist! What a brilliant choice. The purity required by ideology. Bureaucrats vs. artists. Voices from 1971. … Continue reading

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Handke as Nationalist: The Dictionary

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The last time I was in Belgrade with Zarko Radakovic and Peter Handke, Handke was carrying a dictionary published since the civil wars that looked like this: He had altered the title to make clear that the slavic language in … Continue reading

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Is Peter Handke a Serbian Nationalist?

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Protests after the awarding of the Nobel Prize focus on claims that Handke is a Serbian nationalist. In 2014, after the awarding of the Ibsen Prize, protestors claimed he is a Serbian nationalist. [ Karl Ove Knausgaard responded to the … Continue reading

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Protesting the Protest against Peter Handke

Peter Handke und der Literatur-Nobelpreis Erklärung deutschsprachiger AutorInnen, LiteraturwissenschaftlerInnen, PublizistInnen, ÜbersetzerInnen u.a. Wien / Graz (OTS) – Die Kritik an Peter Handke hat längst den Boden vertretbarer Auseinandersetzungen unter den Füßen verloren, sie besteht fast nur noch aus Hass, Missgunst, … Continue reading

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Suhrkamp Verlag’s Detailed Response to the Nobel Prize Controversy

Suhrkamp Verlag’s response to the protests of Peter Handke’s Nobel Prize

Clarifications, materials and further sources related to an ongoing debate


As of: 31 October 2019 

Preliminary Note 

The debate surrounding the awarding of the Nobel Prize to Peter Handke has, in the meantime, grown international. Below, some of the major topics publicly discussed in that debate have been collected and juxtaposed with texts and personal statements of Handke’s, as well as research on his publications.  Continue reading

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Peter Handke’s “That beautiful ‘And so on'” — Part V

V   The Play of the Film of the War 1:30 a.m., 1 June 1998 I’m sitting in my room in the Hotel Višegrad, looking out onto the Drina and the Turkish bridge, still lit by floodlamps. The bridge’s eleven arches … Continue reading

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Peter Handke’s “That beautiful ‘And so on'” — Parts III and IV

III A Summer’s Addendum to a Wintry Journey 29 May 1998, Višegrad, Republika Srpska Was denkt in dir? Peter asks. What? I ask, unable to hear him over the noise of Milka and her band. What is thinking in you? … Continue reading

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