Just like a musical stretto, Winter’s Journey summons - with formidable clarity and almost frightening density - all the themes that have occupied Elfriede Jelinek in the years and centuries gone by. In the process of addressing these, she has created one of her most personal and touching works ever.
A stranger in the world and to life itself, Elfriede Jelinek’s latest novel follows the trail of the traveller from Franz Schubert’s Winter’s Journey. It begins with the frenzy of the present day (bank crises, victims of abduction who, incarcerated, lose all track of time) and continues ever more explicitly to elements of Jelinek’s own biography: the complicated relationship with her mother, her father’s admission into a psychiatric hospital, and ultimately to her merciless but ironic self-reckoning with her role as an author who "always drones out the same old song".
"What Jelinek expertly presents are the blackest depths of our written and spoken language, the eloquent concealment, the dexterity for keeping the truth at arm’s length discursively and reflectively - yes, of eluding pain." Süddeutsche Zeitung