Congratulations, Nobel Committee, You Just Gave the Literature Prize to a Genocide Apologist

Peter Maass in The Intercept:

I honestly don’t know where to begin with this whole thing. But let me start by making clear what I am not saying. I am not saying that we should not read Handke’s literary work. My objection is not a version of the age-old question of whether we should listen to Richard Wagner. Go ahead and listen to Wagner. Go ahead and read Handke. My point is this: It is one thing to read him — it is quite another to bestow upon him a prize that delivers a great amount of legitimacy to his entire body of work, not just the novels and plays that are most impeccable and nonpolitical.

Handke’s most famous political offense was attending the funeral of Serbian strongman Slobodan Miloševic, who died in prison awaiting a trial for genocide and war crimes. Handke had visited Miloševic during his detention in The Hague and made a short eulogy during his funeral in Požarevac, Serbia, in 2006. This followed many years of Handke writing about how the Serbs were misunderstood and were unfairly given the lion’s share of blame for the bloodshed that occurred during the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

More here.