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A Nobel prize for a author some name an apologist for genocide

IT SEEMS HARD to imagine that the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel prize in literature, didn’t know that it could be fanning the flames of Europe’s tradition wars. On October 10th Olga Tokarczuk, a dreadlocked vegetarian feminist, gained the prize for 2018. On the similar time the 2019 award was given to Peter Handke (pictured), an Austrian whom many see as an apologist for genocide.

Final 12 months the academy didn’t award its prize as a result of it was engulfed in a intercourse scandal. This 12 months the 2 awards induced controversy which had nothing to do with the literary deserves of both. One in all Mr Handke’s most infamous books is his 1996 “Journey to the Rivers: Justice for Serbia”, which he revealed as a part of his defence of Slobodan Milosevic and the wartime leaders of the Serbs. The award has despatched shock waves by means of the previous Yugoslavia and past.

Mr Handke has been a prolific and experimental author because the 1960s. The Swedish Academy hailed him as “one of the influential writers in Europe after the second world battle”. However few needed to debate his literary deserves within the wake of the award. Edi Rama, the prime minister of Albania, tweeted a vomit emoji earlier than penning a full-scale denunciation of a person he stated offered “an implicit amnesty and apology” for Milosevic’s “genocidal endeavour”.

In 2006 Mr Handke gave an oration at Milosevic’s funeral. Throughout the wars he had repeated a Serbian propaganda line that Bosnian Muslims had killed their very own individuals to elicit Western assist. He additionally minimised what two worldwide tribunals discovered to be genocide: the 1995 homicide by Bosnian Serbs of some 8,000 Muslim males and boys at Srebrenica. Aleksandar Hemon, a Bosnian-American author, referred to as him “the Bob Dylan of genocide apologists”.

The opposite laureate, Ms Tokarczuk, upsets a special group of individuals. A staunch opponent of Poland’s nationalist ruling Legislation and Justice (PiS) get together, she has been denounced as a traitor for supporting homosexual rights and suggesting that Poles ought to withstand disagreeable elements of their historical past, together with the suppression of minorities and homicide of Jews. Nonetheless, PiS ministers largely managed to swallow their distaste. The minister of finance even stated he was prepared to waive the earnings tax due on her prize.

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