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Herta Müller – the Journey to the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature:

October 19th, 2009 · 6 Comments · Books, Diaspora, PEOPLE

THE VILLAGE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETS NEST:

Herta Muller.05 Herta Müller (born in 1953) is an unusual choice for a Nobel prize for several reasons, some of which create, of necessity, controversy and heated debates not just in Germany, her adoptive country, but in Romania too – her country of birth.

Müller is ‘unusual’ because she is only the 12th female to get the Nobel for Literature in the last one hundred years: She also happens to come from a small and much troubled German ethnic minority from the province of Banat known as Suabian Germans (Schwaben Deutsche).

Furthermore, not since the Nobel Prize was given to Solzhenytsyn that such an accolade had been awarded to a writer who focussed on the repression under dictatorship in Eastern Europe and for this reason alone this event is significant.

ceausescu-china-1971196601- Finally, from the Romanian perspective, Müller comes from a country which lives badly the complex of being a ‘small country’ (like Belgium, or Ireland, or perhaps even the Basque Country – Euskal Herria), little understood and much misunderstood. At least through her literary output Müller could change this perception: being nominated for the Nobel Prize, puts Romania on the map in a very different way from the past stereotypes, of vampires, orphanages, human trafficking, trampling on human rights and more. Today and for the past twenty years since the end of Nicolae Ceausescu, the cobbler-dictator, dubbed by its sycophants ‘the Genius of the Carpathians’ (oh, yes…) modern Romania finds itself at the horns of a dilemma: that is not so much HOW TO CONFRONT one’s historic past and assume it, but rather HOW TO BURY this past. In this context Müller is a trouble-maker because she puts the finger on it and confronts headlong those in a position to make a CHANGE. yet are lacking the moral fibre to carry it out: Müller is the girl who kicked the hornet’s nest!

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