The Nobel Committee Strikes Again

Playwright Harold Pinter has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. I could be wrong–I’m not much of a theater critic–but I think it’s been decades since Pinter wrote anything of consequence. His main interest now seems to be politics, as his web site reflects. Pinter is not our kind of guy; his site headlines this quote:

There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.

A lot of leftists subscribe to this theory of epistemology. As a trial lawyer, I wouldn’t try to sell Pinter’s theory to a jury.

Michelle Malkin has more, with lots of links. I just want to add this question: is this year’s Nobel Prize winner better or worse than last year’s? I can’t resist reproducing part of the post I did on last year’s winner, Elfriede Jelinek, an Austrian Communist:

The balance presumably tipped in Jelinek’s favor with the publication of her most recent work, Bambiland, a play that denounces the war in Iraq. Horace Engdahl, secretary-general of the Academy, said Bambiland depicts how “the patriotic enthusiasm turns into insanity.” And, he added, “she’s completely right about that.”

Here is how Jelinek is regarded in Austria:

She is unpopular in her native Austria, where she was shunned by some political leaders, in part because of her vehement opposition to the rise of the right wing Freedom Party led by Joerg Haider, which became part of the ruling coalition in 2000 on a platform that critics called anti-Semitic and anti-foreigner. [Ed.–Actually, I think it was because of her membership in the Austrian Communist Party, which, as the Standard notes, was “little more than a KGB network.”]

In recent years, Jelinek’s plays have received an icy reception in Austria, where screenings have been marred in the past by booing, shouting matches and patrons abruptly leaving the theatre.

I think I can understand why theater patrons boo and walk out of Jelinek’s plays. Here is an excerpt from a recent review of her play Das Werk in Die Welt:

As has always been the case in Elfriede Jelinek’s theatre pieces in recent years there is no dramatic structure: no trace of action, psychology, or dialogue. Only angry sentences, corny jokes, and crypto-citations; only hatred of the ugly and scorn for the supposedly, the violated, noble.

And that reviewer liked the play.

The Nobel prizes, at least outside the scientific realm, have become a bad joke.

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