Elfriede Jelinek: Ein Sportstück [A Sportsplay]

(2126 words)
  • Linda C. DeMeritt

Elfriede Jelinek's highly acclaimed play of 1998 titled Ein Sportstück [A Sports Play] presents a scathing indictment of today's obsession with sports. The dramatist conceives of sports as a publicly waged battle that incites racist, antisemitic, and sexist sentiments. She states: “Sports have always interested me, and my hatred of athletes runs thematically throughout all of my texts. […] After all, sports are war […]”. Her play depicts the violence under-girding a culture that pays homage to the body at the expense of the intellect or emotion, a violence that results in the death of star athletes due to hormone abuse or in the multiple deaths of fans trampled at soccer matches.…

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DeMeritt, Linda C.. "Ein Sportstück". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 October 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16863, accessed 05 July 2015.]