Elfriede Jelinek: Ein Sportstück [A Sportsplay] (2126 words)

Linda C. DeMeritt (Allegheny College )
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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.…

DeMeritt, Linda C.. "Ein Sportstück". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 October 2005
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16863, accessed 17 June 2019.]

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