Posted on 10/21/2019 at 10:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Members of the Swedish Academy are defending their choice of Peter Handke to win this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature.

Two members acknowledged in a Swedish newspaper that, according to a translation by the BBC, Handke has “definitely made provocative, inappropriate and unclear statements on political issues.”

But, they continued, nothing in his work reaches that level, a claim echoed by a Nobel committee member, who described Handke’s writing as “radically unpolitical” and his comments as misunderstood, according to the Guardian.

(That said, another committee member, who nevertheless justified the literary prize, called some of Handke's past comments and actions "hair-raising.")

Handke’s critics have pointed to several reasons he shouldn’t have won the Nobel Prize: his past comments in support of convicted war criminal Slobodan Milošević, his attendance of Milošević’s funeral, his denial of the Srebrenica genocide, and his suggestion that Sarajevo’s Muslims had massacred themselves.

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