Thursday, October 08, 2009

Müller wins Nobel

In a surprise decision, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to the German-language Romanian novelist Herta Müller. I must admit that I was almost completely wrong in my prediction of the winner. (The only thing I got right is that a woman won.)

Müller may or may not belong to the international literary Left; from the available English-language sources, it is difficult to tell. And that is the point. (The other point I got wrong.) The most striking detail about her politics is her anti-Communism. She is famous in her native Romania for opposing the brutal dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, at great personal cost, whom she described as second only to Stalin in his evil. She resigned from the German chapter of PEN when it merged with its counterpart in the former East Germany.

I haven’t read her, hadn’t even heard of her prior to the Nobel, but from what I have been about to find out so far, I find her a woman to admire.