Culture 12:58 11/10/2019 World

Peter Handke: Critics hit out at Nobel Prize award

Critics have hit out at the decision to give Peter Handke a Nobel Prize for Literature, BBC News reports.

The Austrian playwright, novelist and poet was awarded the 2019 prize on Thursday.

He is a highly controversial figure for his support for the Serbs during the 1990s Yugoslav war.

The Swedish Academy which oversees the prestigious award said in a statement that Handke had been recognised for "an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience".

He will receive nine million Swedish kronor (£740,000), as well as a medal and a diploma.

However, many have hit out against the academy's decision to hand the prize to a man who was considered close to former Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic.

Mr Handke spoke at his funeral in 2006.

He once denied the Serbian massacre at Srebrenica and compared Serbia's fate to that of Jews during the Holocaust - although he later apologised for what he called a "slip of the tongue".

"Never thought [I] would feel to vomit because of a Nobel Prize," Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama wrote on Twitter.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci tweeted: "The decision of Nobel Prize brought immense pain to countless victims."

Emir Suljagic, a survivor of the massacre of more than 8,000 Muslim men from Srebrenica, said: "A Milosevic fan and notorious genocide-denier gets Nobel prize in literature ... What a time to be alive."

Bosnian Presidency member Safik Dzaferovic said awarding Handke the prize was "scandalous and shameful", while Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek called the writer "an apologist of war crimes".

Sir Salman Rushdie, who once condemned Handke as "Moron of the Year" for his backing of Slobodan Milosevic, was also unimpressed with the choice.



Source Panorama.am
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