In the recent years, each year the Nobel Prize for Literature introduces us to a new writer in some corner of the earth. And soon, we dig up and translate his/her writings into English (and 20 other languages) and find so many virtues in it.
Elfriede Jelinek, this year's winner, is not only unknown in the world; not many people in her own country, Austria, have heard her name. Those who have read her don't really like her work much.
I liked what Bob Corbett said about her in The Guardian recently:
"I seethed, but I read on and on. Jelinek took me by storm, since I had to recognise these were very real people. True, they didn't live in my neighbourhood, but I knew they were legion. I pride myself on being a realist and was taken aback by my repulsion. I had to deal with that. I had to come to terms with Jelinek.
For me, that's what a great artist does. She sees the world, some corner of the world, and reveals it to the rest of us in her medium. I want to know my world, but I need the stimulation and challenge provided by artists, and Jelinek has become very important to me in my later years."