Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Noble Handke, Karadžić and the Leuchter Report

Reading what I posted last year on December 10th, I thought it's worth to get re-posted.

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How cometh, tonight I remember an episode of October 10th? Anyway, I do, as well as I know one ought not to disturb my friend while he is busy with proof-reading his 1669 pages short opus magnum "Pre-Assyrian Philately in a Nutshell".

I, entering his sanctuary.

He, without looking up: You would not dare to ask for my opinion about the Nobel Comitee's decision?

– Now you ask.

– Inconsequent.

– Inconsequent?

– Quite. Consequent would have been, had they split the Prize: 430,000 Euro for Handke, and 430,000 for the great poet Radovan Karadžić.

– You are kidding, Tetrapilotomos. Don't like Peter Handke, eh?

– An overrated egomaniac.

– It's easy to criticise. Did you read anything of him, perhaps, The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick?

- This and enough to see that, from the beginning, when Offending the Audience, he was an overrated bore. And now he's but an old fart.

- He will be able to live with that.

- Unfortunately, yes.

– May I ask if you read A Journey to the Rivers: Justice for Serbia?

– You may.

– And? Did you?

– Yes. 1996. In the Süddeutsche Zeitung. In the same year I also read "The Poet's Anxiety at the Reality"*, in which 16 journalists and authors had answered to the Handke Report, amongst them Marcel Ophuls, Dževad Karahasan, Bora Ćosić and Günter Kunert.

– Handke Report?

– Yes, Would have been the right title for what obviously is his opus magnum; showing his character in a nutshell.

– You would not mean, Handke Report analogue to a certain Leuchter Report, would you?

– Now you surprise me, Sean.

– You mean, he made his winterly journey allegedly to prove Serbian atrocities only to find out: Fake news?

– Well, fake news make presidents. Why not Nobel Prize Winners? In other words: Why should very young external advisors of the Nobel-Prize-Comitee be not as stupid as simple voters?

– Is it as simple as that?

– Well, perhaps one day they find time to read "The Little Red Chairs" and come to the conclusion that, amongst a few others, Edna O'Brien would have been the better choice.

* Die Angst des Dichters vor der Wirklichkeit, © Steidl Verlag, 1996

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