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Elfriede Jelinek

  • American playwright
  • Born October 20, 1946

Elfriede Jelinek (German: [ɛlˈfʁiːdə ˈjɛlinɛk]; born 20 October 1946) is an Austrian playwright and novelist. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2004 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".


I do not want to have the feeling of writing 'for eternity', so to speak.




I do not fight against men, but against the system that is sexist.

I do not fight against men, but against the system that is sexist.




I have the feeling it will influence my future writing to the extent that without any material worries I could develop a greater ease, even lightheartedness, in my writing.




The government has once again made the right socially acceptable.




As is said about most writers: on the one hand all I ever did from when I was a child was read, and I was a loner, which was furthered by my parents and my upbringing.




My plays are made up of long monologues, which is similar to prose working with the language.




It could draw from a greater reservoir of freedom. The irony could develop an even greater ease.




I think isolation is one of the greatest problems, an ever-growing obstacle to political solidarity.




My training in music and composition then led me to a kind of musical language process in which, for example, the sound of the words I play with has to expose their true meaning against their will so to speak.




I would gladly do it but I am suffering from social phobia. I cannot manage being in a crowd of people.




Eroding solidarity paradoxically makes a society more susceptible to the construction of substitute collectives and fascisms of all kinds.




Literature that keeps employing new linguistic and formal modes of expression to draft a panorama of society as a whole while at the same time exposing it, tearing the masks from its face - for me that would be deserving of an award.




The problem is that it is difficult to translate.




I cannot stand public attention, I just can't. Of course, if I may I might write something instead.



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