Georg Buchner Prize-1991 ; Franz Kafka Award-2004; Nobel Prize
Born: 20/10/1946 in Murzzuschlag, Styria,
Austrian novelist and playwright whose father was a
Czech Jew and was a chemist by profession and mother was
Romanian-German catholic. Over restrictive education in a Roman
Catholic School had a stressful impact on her personality and this
resulted in an anxiety disorder( known as Agora phobia and social
phobia) which she suffered from. Her difficult relationship with her
mother further compounded the problem. She mostly stayed at home and
even could not visit a movie hall or board a bus. Even she could not
attend the Nobel Function and a video message was posted by her.
She mostly grew up in Vienna and
studied art history and graduated in organist Diploma. Alongside, she
also learned to play violin, guitar, piano and other musical
instruments. Her literary talent blossomed at an early age. Her first
publication was Lisas Schatten(1967). Her most notable
work is The Piano Teacher. In the beginning, her theme was
feminism,& female sexuality. According to her, power and aggression
mostly drove relationships. Her novel Lust so vividly narrated
sexuality and abuse that many criticized the book as a pornographic
one. She later shifted to social criticism. Jelenik was mostly known
to German speaking readers and to the outside world, she was a
stranger till she got the Nobel Prize.
Even the selection was marred in
controversy. Swedish Academy member, Knut Ahnlund resigned from his
membership in protest against selection of Jelenik for the award.describing
Jelinek's work as "whining, unenjoyable public pornography", as well
as "a mass of text shovelled together without artistic structure"
She had leftist leanings and was a member of Austrian Communist party
Marriage: She married Gottfried Hungsberg in June, 1974. Gottfried was
from Munich and she had to shuttle between Munich & Vienna which was
like a tale of two cities as she jokingly once remarked. The
couple have no children.
Influences: Austrian writers Ingeborg Bachmann,
Robert Musil and Peter Handke.
Notable Works: Die
Ausgespervten-Wonderful,Wonderful Times(1990) ; Die
klavierspielerin-The Piano Teacher(1988),Lust(1989); Die
kivder der Tote-The Children of the Dead(1995) ;Greed(2000)
; Lisas Schatten(1967)
Order Elfriede Jelinek's Books below