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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Continuation of "What's your favorite Handke titel + why???"

Dear Lothar,
Your comment [on the bottom of this page] somehow does not appear at
http://handke-discussion.blogspot.com/2009/06/best-handke-books.html
even though I got the  notification! I will post it there myself as part of this post.

Life would of course be simple for us if the discussion involved what car we preferred to drive, and why.
I had a brief period in the early 70s when I liked fast cars - a Pontiac Firebird Convertible and MGB -
and fast girls, and I still have an itch for both. After I left NY in 1985 I had a four door 74 Chevy Malibu, which I
bought used, and took the back seat out, so that my goats, the great Nubian love Chiquita and  Mexican wool goat Amy,
could travel with me, and I had that car for
ten years and put a total of 250 thousand miles on it before I actually managed to sell it in Mexico
for $ 200, that  really is me! Martin Krusche of http://www.van.at/log/
still longs for fast muscle cars, but merely memorializes them with photos on his blog that
is otherwise devoted to an interesting crossroad of cultural events in a small town near Graz! That is,
we can observe, read an extraordinary cultural potpourri brewing, and not in one of the cultural
capitals. Albania appears there, all of the Yugoslav republics and more; Austrian politics, fascism keeps
rearing up into it!
===========================================

I wouldn't say that I am cheating by dividing Handke's work and what speaks to me as being lastingly important
as well as excellently done, into periods. It's something
I would also do with Goethe, but not with Shakespeare's plays for example.
The Germans are said to be always in a "state of becoming"... and that certainly
applies to Handke as a changing writer... thus I note that you don't seem to think any of the early
novels all that important or excellently done. What about my argument that
a novel such as DER HAUSIERER is a demonstration of how Handke conquered fear??
Well, perhaps you have not entertained that argument which I will complete
in Part II of the Psychoanalytic Mongraph, sometime next week.

For Josef Winkler even DIE HORNISSEN is/ was an immensely important book/ document... perhaps he can tell use why! I am still
struggling over it! I am a bit more of a consumer who wants my writers to do at least
half the work for me! Handke then splits into the writer of novels, and of diaries. HORNISSEN
has both qualities, and that I suppose is what makes it so taxing.

I didn't pick any of the diary publications, no matter how important I find them,
especially Bleistift, [L'histoire de Crayon] because it shows us how Handke thinks about, develops
artistic matters [Walk About the Villages in this instance], because, as edited
selections from what Handke noted down during these various periods, they are untrustworthy, no matter
their cumulative impact. For example, WEIGHT OF THE WORLD, the only one that
Farrar, Straus has published [not that they would stand in the way of other publishers
doing them in English] was subsequently re-edited in the German edition, eliminating
some embarrassing matters...  so I regard them as partial primary material, selections, which
actually do not make the claim to be any more than what they are... but as "whole"
completed books...???  By publishing these selections Handke has assured continued
fascination with the material, and attention to his work on the part of scholars,
who now have TWO depositories where they can look at the material and write
their books about him! Handke realized the value of this continued fascination at
the latest when regarding the Kafka and Joyce industries. After all, he's
at least as sly and cunning a writer as Joyce.

To simply make all of BEWOHNER DES ELFENBEIN TURMS    into one essay
is avoiding the issue of what kind of essayist Handke is: which he has answered
with the DREI VERSUCHE [Three Assayings: on Tiredness, Jukebox, and
the Fortunate Day
; as well as a reprieve of that in his Don Juan dance].
I do something similarly encompassing by regarding - usefully for me! - all the early theater work plus HOUR [excluding
DYING OUT]  as one work, a single endeavor, but can make out a strong case for their integral
formal authenticity, and the formal logic out of which they were written.
HOUR is probably the greatest piece of sheer prose Handke has written!
The laws of formalism are both harsh and confining, but generous in what
can be done within it's terms. Think of these laws as they apply to music, Bach,
Mozart, but also the near-undening Afternoon Raga under the Buyon Tree
in Madras!

My favorite Adorno quote always was: "Degustibus disputandum est " - because it
is in that fashion that one discovers how alike and unalike one is from one
another, and if such  a discussion is then conducted in something like the manner
suggested by Professor Habermas [who turned 80 today!], one can reach some interesting conclusions
while engaging in a worth while process.

I myself would  not include PREPARATIONS FOR IMMORTALITY, despite
its extraordinary beginning, because
it has sections where the formalism runs dry. Dem Stueck geht schnell die Puste aus!
Weird but true, perhaps Handke will at some point return to it and make the necessary remedies. I am positive
that anyone as self-critical of his own work as he, is aware of the play's weaknesses.

The screenplay for HIMMEL UEBER BERLIN consists of 1/3 Wenders
and 2/3 Handke who himself scavenged his then texts and added a few poems!
You evidently didn't read my long piece picking apart the screenplay.
Beginning of my becoming a Handke studier, 20 years ago.

There is nothing to "understand" in GREDOS: it is a process that you enter,
and you then participate in a writers being skin-close, totally adhesive to being in love with writing!
Thus that extraordinary ending!

Anyhow, perhaps some others will join us on-line

xx Michael R.



Lothar Struck wrote:
Okay, ich habe mit der Fragerei angefangen.
 
Schön so zu mogeln und unterschiedliche Perioden und Genres ausfindig zu machen - so kann man mehr Bücher angeben :-)
 
PROSA
Die Wiederholung
Versuch über den geglückten Tag / Versuch über die Jukebox
Die morawische Nacht
Langsame Heimkehr
 
STÜCKE
Das Spiel vom Fragen
Über die Dörfer
Zurüstungen für die Unsterblichkeit
Publikumsbeschimpfung (das ist immer noch "aktuell"!)
 
GEDICHTE
Naja...
 
JOURNALE / TAGEBÜCHER
Gestern unterwegs (vielleicht von allen Büchern das Schönste)
Das Gewicht der Welt
Am Felsfenster morgens
Die Geschichte des Bleistifts
 
ESSAYISTISCHES
Aufsatzsammlung: Ich bin ein Bewohner des Elfenbeinturms (hieraus kann man soviel lernen)
Gerechtigkeit für Serbien
 
SONSTIGES
Film - Der Himmel über Berlin (mit Wim Wenders) 
Besprechungen - eine in der ZEIT über die französischen Filmemacher Huillet/Straub
Übersetzungen - Aischylos; Bove
 
WAS ICH NICHT VERSTANDEN HABE (liegt an mir)
Der Bildverlust
 

2 comments:

cgerrish said...

Ah... so difficult. Once inside, it's difficult for me to detect the boundaries between the texts. But my first thoughts were for "The Inner World of the Outer World of the Inner World", "Self Accusation" and "Slow Homecoming." Each of those texts made a permanent change in me. After contact with them, the world seemed to be broadcasting on new frequencies.

SUMMA POLITICO said...

what's so nice about handke is that every 7 years or so he molts!
one of the people who makes life worth living in the world of
literature, when you think you've got a handle on his work... he confronts you with a whole new set of problems... not many like that... phlip roth pretty much keeps writing the same book over and over... terrific as he is... bellows was someone who developed... a real companion for life as a writer is even harder to find than a good wife! xxx michael r.

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