Elfriede Jelinek (1946 – )
Elfriede Jelinek is the younger counterpart
of Austrian playwright Thomas
Bernhard. As Bernhard she is at the same time a highly
acclaimed writer (especially abroad) and proverbial Beelzebub
abused for her critical views (especially in Austria). Her
prose and plays are controversial, to put it nicely.
Prevalent topics in her prose and dramatic work are
female sexuality, its abuse and the war of sexes in generall.
Texts like 'wir sind lockvögel, baby' (we are decoy,
baby), 'Die Liebhaberinnen' (lovers) or 'Die Klavierspielerin'
(The Pianist) illustrate her point nicely and shock the readers
with the unemotional description of brutality and power play
in human relations. According to Jelinek, power and aggression
are the driving forces of relationships.
Her plays are taciturn, yet lavish productions with an emphasis on choreography like 'Sportstück' which explores the issue of violence and fascism in sports.
Jelinek's novel 'Die Klavierspielerin' was turned into an acclaimed movie by Austrian director Michael Haneke with Isabelle Huppert playing the repressed pianist.
In October 2004 Elfriede Jelinek has won the Nobel price for literature. The price was awarded "for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power". She is the first Austrian writer to be honoured with a Nobel price for literature!