On the Royal Road
- Author: Elfriede Jelinek, Gitta Honegger
- Publisher: Seagull Books
- ISBN: 9781803092300
Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek is known as a writer who works in response to contemporary crises and cultural phenomena. Perhaps none of her works display that quality as clearly as On the Royal Road. Three weeks after Donald Trump’s election, Jelinek mailed her German editor the first draft of this play, which turns out to be a stunningly prescient response to Trump and what he represents. In this drama we discover that a 'king', blinded by himself, who has made a fortune with real estate, golf courses and casinos, suddenly rules the United States, and the rest of the people of the world rub their eyes in disbelief until no one sees anything any more.
As topical as the evening news, yet with insight built on a lifetime of closely observing politics and culture, On the Royal Road brings into focus the phenomenon of right-wing populism, which spreads like a virus and has a lasting effect on global politics. Carefully perched somewhere between tragedy and grotesque, high-pitched and squeamish, Jelinek in this work questions her own position and forms of resistance.