Elfriede Jelinek on Sport, Nationalism and War

Production of Jelinek's Sports Play now touring England and Wales
Elfriede Jelinek
Nobel Prize-winning Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek talks to The Stage (link via Superfluities Redux): 'It would seem absurd to be disappointed about something as global as the enthusiasm for sport. What disappoints me is rather the disdain for intellectual achievements in comparison to sports achievements. But who am I to complain about this? What I fear — and this is perhaps a kind of obsession — is the way the masses get charged up by sports events, something that at some stage gets out of control. [In Sports Play] I associate the metaphor of sport with war. The unrest in the former Yugoslavia, after all, started with a football match that then became charged in nationalist ways and ended in violence. This was the game on May 13, 1990, between the Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb and the Serbian side Red Star Belgrade at Maksimir Stadium [in the Croatian capital].' [Read More]

Sports Play is currently touring England and Wales with a production by the Just a Must theatre company.