Friday, October 5, 2007

elfriede jelinek

“Print is dead”. That’s the motto Elfriede Jelinek’s last literary gesture seems to be saying. What an incredible writer Jelinek is! With books such as ‘The piano teacher’, ‘Lust’, ‘Greed’, and ‘Wonderful, wonderful times’, it seems an amazing gift that a writer of such stature goes online to offer her last work, ‘Envy’. Unfortunately, non german readers will have to wait for a translation.

Jelinek, Nobel Laureate 2004, says, “Anyone who wants to can download it or print it out.” She describes the process of “publishing a text on the Internet” as being “wonderfully democratic.” About the Internet itself, Jelinek says, “I find the Internet to be the most wonderful thing there is. It connects people. Everyone can have input.”

Jelinek’s experiment shows how the Web can be used to generate interest and create an audience. But what is Jelinek’s gesture saying about publishers?

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