Matica Srpska opened the ceremony on the 80th anniversary of the birth of its honorary member and Nobel Prize Winner Peter Handke, and on the occasion of World Poetry Day, with the promotion of Serb poets’ poetry written about the said writer, whose works consist of little poetry but whose perceptions of the world, specifically of the Serb suffering from the 1990s to this day, very much resemble poetry.

Verses written by our famous poets and also references to Handke’s literary work, as well as testimonies of encounters with this Nobel Prize winner and his books, which came from the pen of many prominent Serb writers and poets, were collected in the 560-page-long book called “Peter Handke or Justice for the Man and Humanity”.

“Handke is our brother and we consider him a Serb poet. He became that in the most difficult of times for the Serb people, at a time when not many dared to act so, and he covered himself in glory the most with his travels across Kosovo, across Velika Hoča where he had slept in some bed while listening to birdsong. He said that the Serb people in Kosovo were the loneliest nation in Europe. Today, we pay a tribute to him in just the right place, in Matica Srpska,” said academic Matija Bećković who, according to his own words, had met the “second Serb Nobel Prize winner” several times.

“As a son of the German language, in 2019, he impelled the Nobel Prize Committee to bow to him, and that was a great rehabilitation of the Nobel Prize and its return to literature,” asserted Bećković and read his poem “Goethe and Handke” in which he says that Goethe, “the greatest among the Germans”, concluded from Serb poetry that our people deserved a better historical fate, and when, two centuries later, Handke came to the same conclusion, what they took away from him was the Goethe Prize.