Sidelined, a Nobel lecture/ Elfriede Jelinek

"The language goes, I stay and am speechless"


The 2004 Nobel Prize for Literature went to Elfriede Jelinek, a reclusive Austrian writer, poet and dramatist. Her novel The Piano Teacher was turned into a French language film by Austrian director Michael Haneke, with the lead role played by Isabelle Huppert.

Jelinek has a phobia of crowds and so was unable to accept the prize in person, but pre-recorded her acceptance speech on video in her home which was then shown at the award ceremony - a Nobel lecture entitled Sidelined in which she talks about the nature of words and language.

The sources for this include an excerpt from the transcription in English of her speech, as well as the video of Jelinek delivering the Nobel lecture recorded in her home. These can both be found on the Nobel Prize Foundation website.

Other sources from the British Library Sound Archive included Kaspar by Peter Handke (1CDR0017562), recorded at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh in 1973 and Self Accusation also by Peter Handke (T1192BWC1), as adapted for BBC Radio.