Nobel laureate writes disparaging play about US President Trump

Source:AFP Published: 2017/3/28 19:23:39

US theater-goers got a small taste Monday of a new play by Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek that tries to understand US President Donald Trump and what he says about society.

Jelinek, an Austrian, won the world's top literature prize in 2004 and is known for writing the novel The Piano Teacher, which became a movie of the same name in 2001.

Entitled On the Royal Road: The Burgher King, her new play tries to make sense of Trump's election as president of the US.

Excerpts were read on Monday night at the Martin E. Segal Theatre at City University of New York.

As with other works by Elfriede, the play is dense, written in language in which each word or sentence seem to be key pieces in the task of solving a puzzle.

"When I first read the text, it felt like abstract painting," said actress Masha Dakic, who did the solo reading on Monday.

The play's main character is Miss Piggy, she of the Muppets. But in this case, she is blind, her eyes streaming blood, as she wonders aloud about Trump.

Trump has destroyed the past and hijacked the future so as to make everything all about the present - the world of the tweets of which he's so fond, Jelinek has said.

Gitta Honegger, who translated the play from German into English, said the election of Trump was a gut punch.

She said that just like intellectuals in that period, she watches those of today who were "not thinking that it's even possible that somebody with a brain like this and behavior like this and emptiness like this can be a president."



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