Dimension2: Contemporary German-Language Literature

JELINEK, Elfriede
Elfriede Jelinek, major Austrian writer and recipient of the 2004 Nobel Prize for Literature, was born in Mürzzuschlag (the exact region in which her novel Die Kinder der Toten is set) in 1946. She studied theater, art history and music in Vienna. Her literary debut was in 1970 with wir sind lockvögel baby! (we're bait baby!), and she is probably best known for the novel Die Klavierspielerin (The Piano Player, 1983) Her works often play with literary traditions including those of pop culture; for example, her controversial short novel Lust (1989) uses elements of pornography with the goal of creating an antipornographic effect. Jelinek also uses pop cultural elements in Die Kinder der Toten, for which the "Prologue" and the "Epilogue" provide a frame. While the prologue and epilogue parady the literary tradition of regionalism and create an eerie and forboding atmosphere of death, the major pop motive of vampirism is developed only in the main section of the novel.

Die Kinder der Toten: Prolog und Epilog (The Children of the Dead: Prologue and Epilogue) from Die Kinder der Toten (Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1995): Vol. 5, No. 3

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