Rein Gold

Elfriede Jelinek author Gitta Honegger translator


Publisher:Fitzcarraldo Editions

Published:13th Jan '21


Available to order, but very limited on stock - if we have issues obtaining a copy, we will let you know.

Rein Gold cover

Originally written as a libretto for the Berlin State Opera, Elfriede Jelinek’s rein GOLD reconstructs the events of Wagner’s epic Ring cycle and extends them into the present day. Brünnhilde diagnoses Wotan, father of the gods, to be a victim of capitalism because he, too, has fallen into the trap of wanting to own a castle he cannot afford. In a series of monologues, Brünnhilde and Wotan chart the evolution of capitalism from the Nibelungen Saga to the 2008 financial crisis. Written with her trademark ‘extraordinary linguistic zeal’ (Swedish Academy), rein GOLD is a playful and ferocious critique of universal greed by the 2004 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate.

‘Jelinek’s work is brave, adventurous, witty, antagonistic and devastatingly right about the sorriness of human existence, and her contempt is expressed with surprising chirpiness: it’s a wild ride.’
— Guardian

‘Translated with verve by Gitta Honegger, [rein GOLD] becomes a series of monologues without paragraph breaks: a frequent discordant assault on the senses. A visceral challenge to lazy and pernicious consumerism […] Brünnhilde and Wotan may have the names of gods, but they play down and dirty, their lengthy slanging match ripe with expletives and references to popular culture and Marxist and anarchist theory, the most obvious being Pierre-Joseph Proudhon’s slogan “Property is theft.” […] Jelinek’s critique is simultaneously timely and timeless, as Brünnhilde and Wotan’s arguments and digressions map capitalism’s progression.’
— Catherine Taylor, Financial Times

‘The liveliness of Jelinek’s language (in Gitta Honegger’s translation, which deftly renders all manner of wordplay) is undeniable… rein GOLD is highly evocative of the endless onward stagger of late capitalism’
— Martin Herbert, ArtReview

‘Jelinek’s prose and arguments are undoubtedly masterful; she is, despite the never-ending controversy around her boundary-breaking work, rightfully regarded as one of the greatest living authors writing in German. Honegger’s translation is vivid and equally as skilled […] rein GOLD is not a comfortable read, but really, given the subject matter, should it be? Wagner is not especially comfortable to sit through either, but you don’t go to see his Ring Cycle for a light, airy performance. You go to see and hear a work of genius. Important literature is rarely easily digestible.’
— Ella Fox Martens, Soft Punk

‘In rein GOLD, Jelinek reimagines the characters of Brünnhilde and Wotan from Wagner’s Ring cycle and transposes them into the context of modernity. She delivers an impassioned exposé of the discontents of capitalism. Her musical thought is interwoven with myth, politics, and Wagnerian motifs. Gitta Honegger’s excellent translation allows us to experience the intense flow of her characters’ streams of consciousness entangled in greed and alienation.’
— Xiaolu Guo, author of A Lover’s Discourse

  • Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature 2004

ISBN: 9781913097448

Dimensions: unknown

Weight: unknown

200 pages