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This collection of twelve studies of some of the leading Austrian writers of today, such as Elfriede Jelinek, Peter Handke and Thomas Bernhard, is ample evidence of a distinctive Austrian literary culture, even if its definition proves something of a chimaera. But are these writers high priests, enthroned by the established culture, or desecrators, angrily rejecting it? Some of the contributors to this volume unflinchingly assign their authors to one end of this spectrum or another, while others refuse even to entertain such a provocative schematization. 'The essays in this collection offer a good impression of the formal and thematic range of contemporary Austrian literature and include substantial pieces on Handke, Bernhard, Jelinek, Fried and Mitgutsch, while other contributions reveal the special quality of more idiosyncratic and marginal figures. Editors and contributors wisely avoid attempting to deduce from this variety a distinctive Austrian quality common to these authors, but they are where appropriate aware of the provocation some of them represent in an Austrian context' (Forum for Modern Language Studies).