Nobel Literature Prize Goes to Communist

The Weekly Standard comments on the Swedish Academy’s award of this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature to 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


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