A ceremony honoring Peter Handke in Gracanica tomorrow

Handke u Bogorodici Ljeviškoj
Foto: Jovana Baljošević

Peter Handke’s Nobel Prize in Literature sparked huge controversy this year. Handke is condemned for his „pro-Milosevic position“ and compared to Ezra Pound’s „fascist inclinations“ by a large part of the public. On the other hand, those who defend him point out that he is one of the most significant contemporary writers and an incomparable expert of the German language.

Due to Handke’s ties with the southern part of Kosovo, primarily Velika Hoca, a ceremony will be held tomorrow at 1:00pm at the Gracanica Cultural Center in honor of this year’s winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

This honoring ceremony is organized by the Gracanica Cultural Center, Matica Srpska, Matica Srpska Library and the Serbian National Theater from Novi Sad.

Serbs in Metohija view Handke as a benefactor and a friend. He visited Velika Hoca several times and often made donations and gave help there, including larger donations on occasions. He won several awards in Serbia. Two of his books have been published in Kosovo.

Handke enjoys a reputation in Serbia for being one of the few, but strongest, anti-bombing voices in 1999.

In Pristina, as well as in the region, on the other hand, he is primarily seen as a „sympathizer” or „supporter“ of Slobodan Milosevic.

Handke’s Nobel Prize was met with criticism by Pristina officials, while outgoing Kosovo Foreign Minister, Behgjet Pacolli announced that Kosovo Ambassador to Sweden, Shkendije-Geci-Sherifi, would not attend this year’s Nobel Prize ceremony.

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