Nobel Awarded Elfriede Jelinek Writes Next Novel Online

Ever wanted to look across the shoulder of a real Nobel laureate as she (or he) writes? Austrian Elfriede Jelinek (Nobel Laureate in 2004) decided to post her forthcoming novel “Neid” (“Envy”) online, chapter by chapter.

The text starts with this sentence: “Kleine Lebenswelten stürzen nach außen, die dazupassenden kleinen Lebensweisheiten nach innen. In der Mitte treffen sie einander.” (Which translates, word by word, as follows: “Small living worlds crash to the outside, while the fitting small truths of life (dive) inward. They meet in the middle.”)

But if you consider this an act of public writing, you’re dead wrong. Elfriede defines her new book as a “private novel”. Two chapters are already available, with a lot more to come.

The writer who always walked the fine line between public fame and private retreat has been an avert reader of international writing (provided it has the kick of, for example, Thomas Pynchon – whose “Gravity’s Rainbow” she translated into German) when hardly anyone outside the German speaking audiences had ever heard of her.

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