The Peter Handke Controversy

Ruth Franklin at The New Yorker:

On December 10, 2019, the Austrian writer Peter Handke received the Nobel Prize in Literature. If he felt pride or triumph, he didn’t show it. His bow tie askance above an ill-fitting white dress shirt, his eyes unsmiling behind his trademark round glasses, Handke looked resigned and stoical, as if he were submitting to a bothersome medical procedure. As he accepted his award, some of the onlookers—not all of whom joined in the applause—appeared equally grim.

Handke embarked on his career, in the nineteen-sixties, as a provocateur, with absurdist theatrical works that eschewed action, character, and dialogue for, in the words of one critic, “anonymous, threatening rants.” One of his early plays, titled “Offending the Audience,” ends with the actors hurling insults at the spectators.

more here.