Elfriede Jelinek


Elfriede Jelinek (Mürzzuschlag, Austria, 1946) is sometimes called the enfant terrible of Austrian literature: her work is controversial and often provocative. With her phenomenal use of language, she fiercely criticises modern consumer society, revealing its underlying power structures. She was awarded the Nobel prize for Literature for ‘her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society’s clichés and their subjugating power.’ Or, as Jelinek herself says: ‘I tap on language to hear the hidden ideologies, like a doctor taps on a patient’s chest.’