The Guardian reports that Slavoj Žižek and Miha Mazzini are among those writers less than impressed with Peter Handke winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, due to his support for Slobodan Milošević during the Balkan War, joining names such as Salman Rushdie and Hari Kunzru in their condemnation of the Austrian author, who has Slovenian roots on his maternal side.
Žižek, the “rock star philosopher” and most famous Slovenian cultural figure on the international scene told the British publication:
In 2014, Handke called for the Nobel to be abolished, saying it was a ‘false canonisation’ of literature. The fact that he got it now proves that he was right. This is Sweden today: an apologist of war crimes gets a Nobel prize while the country fully participated in the character assassination of the true hero of our times, Julian Assange. Our reaction should be: not the literature Nobel prize for Handke but the Nobel peace prize for Assange.
The story also quotes the Slovenian author Miha Mazzini as follows:
Some artists sold their human souls for ideologies (Hamsun and Nazism), some for hate (Celine and his rabid antisemitism), some for money and power (Kusturica) but the one that offended me the most was Handke with his naivety for the Milošević regime. And it’s personal. I will never forget the cold winter when Yugoslavia was falling apart and there was nothing on the shelves of the stores. We were a young family and my daughter was a toddler and it was bitterly cold. I’d spent the whole day in the queue for the heating oil and in the evening, almost frozen, I started reading Handke’s essay about Yugoslavia. He wrote of how he envied me: while those Austrians and Germans, those westerners, had fallen for consumerism, we, Yugoslavs, had to queue and fight for everything. Oh, how close to the nature we were! How less materialistic and more spiritualised we were! Even at the time, I found him cruel and totally self-absorbed in his naivety.
You can read the complete article here.
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