Peter Handke – literary talent, ethical blindness


Howls of outrage have greeted Peter Handke’s Nobel Literature Prize for 2019. The Austrian novelist and playwright of Slovenian heritage is a highly controversial figure for his support for the Serbs during the 1990s Yugoslav war and his friendship with former Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic. Handke once denied the Serbian massacre at Srebrenica and publicly suggested that Sarajevo’s Muslims had massacred themselves and blamed the Serbs, and denied the Srebrenica genocide.

In 1999 Salman Rushdie named him the runner-up for “International moron of the year” in the Guardian, for his “impassioned apologias for the genocidal regime of Slobodan Milošević”. (The winner was actor Charlton Heston, for being a gun lobbyist.)

The Swedish Academy which oversees the award said he had been recognised for “an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience”. Doesn’t sound an enticing read though he is evidently a talented writer.

Born 6 December 1942 6.45 am Griffen, Austria, he has an upfront and enthusiastic Sun, Mercury and Venus in Sagittarius in his 1st house with his Sun opposition a downbeat Saturn in Gemini. His Saturn Uranus on his Descendant trine a creative 10th house Neptune, and sextile an opinionated and influential 9th house Pluto. His has Jupiter in patriotic Cancer deeply buried in his 8th which would give him a connection to his roots. His mother who suicided when he was 30 came from Slovenia. His Jupiter is trine a bitter, emotionally intense and vengeful Moon Mars in Scorpio in his 12th.

Milosevic, whose funeral he attended, after he died during his War Crimes trial in The Hague, 20 August 1941 10 pm Pozarevac, Serbia, did have Jupiter in Gemini which fell in Handke’s 7th;  and Milosevic’s Sun and three other planets in Leo plus his Mars in Aries would chime with Handke’s fiery Sagittarius emphasis. Though in reality it would have been a gritty partnership with Milosevic’s Saturn in Taurus opposition Handke’s Mars.

The composite was intensely emotional and warped with a composite Mars opposition Pluto square Venus which – with hindsight – would suggest revelling in brutality, death and hatred. If that energy had ever turned inwards they’d have killed each other.

On Handke’s personal chart his Solar Arc Midheaven is exactly conjunct his Sun at the moment; with tr Jupiter just over his Sun and other Sag planets. Into 2020 tr Pluto will trine his Midheaven and oppose his Jupiter so the criticism may not do him much damage.

You would have thought after the sex scandal last year which deleted the 2018 Literature prize at the time, they’d have been more sensible.


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