Peter Handke, the Nobel Prize winner for Literature in 2019, said that he was “astonished” to receive the award. The Austrian author was given the prize “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.” Handke, a famous but controversial figure for his denial of the Serbian massacre at Srebrenica, told reporters"
“I never thought they would choose me”. The novelist and playwright further said, “It was very courageous by the Swedish Academy, this kind of decision. These are good people.”
Handke, in a telephonic interview for the Nobel Prize website, said that everything is created to be annihilated, it was periphery for a long time. “There was no ideology of the periphery, but I felt it my place," he added.
Peter Handke, born in the Kärnten region in southern Austria in 1942, dropped out of college after his first book Die Hornissen (1966), an experimental “double fiction”, got published. Handke has contributed extensively in the field of novels, essays, dramatic works and screenplays.
“More than fifty years later, having produced a great number of works in different genres, 2019 Literature Laureate Peter Handke has established himself as one of the most influential writers in Europe after the Second World War,” tweeted the Nobel Prize official account.
The decision of the Swedish Academy has been criticised by several politicians of Balkan countries. Albania Prime Minister Edi Rama said that he “never thought would feel to vomit because of a Nobel Prize”. The Acting Foreign Minister of Albania Gent Cakaj said that he was appalled by the decision to award Nobel Prize in the literature to a “genocide denier”. The President of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi tweeted:
I remember in 1990s Václav Havel, Susan Sontag and many others knew that evil in Europe must be stopped. That genocide in Bosnia and Kosovo had a perpetrator. #Handke chose to support and defend perpetrators. The decision of @NobelPrize brought immense pain to countless victims.— Hashim Thaçi (@HashimThaciRKS) October 10, 2019
(With AP Inputs)