Monday, April 12, 2010


 General Considerations:
A Self-Appellation that fits!
Division into periodicities would be easy in Handke’s case, and also appropriate,
but each period requires its own focus.
Rather and also, why not [also, chiefly] three intertwining foci on Handke’s three main avenues of communicating as playfully as he does, his three ways of playing?
[1] Narrative Prose
[2] Plays
[3] Essays
I am going to take a chance and have three central sections devoted to the development of the prose and plays and essay and thus obviate, or interlink what would otherwise be required in a chronological arrangement. But also provide on example of its near perfection.
 After all, Handke’s work is over-determined, that makes him challenging, and drives what he says through to real readers; and these sections would be of interest not only to readers but to writers and playwrights and also to philosophers of language.
Also, The Reader might afford the opportunity to translate certain texts not otherwise available.
Since The Reader, and each section of it, is  chronological, each of those sections might have excerpts from the contemporaneous spontaneous diary notations that Handke started to keep as of what I call the Paris crisis period of the early 70s, from WEIGHT OF THE WORLD, THE HISTORY OF THE PENCIL, MORNINGS AT THE ROCK WINDOW; YESTERDAY, ON MY WAY...
[texts in italics are not in English but exists in all major Romance languages]
On the aspect of Handke as "assayer"
as I think of his different kinds of essays – it isn’t just the “THREE ESSAYS” or DON JUAN but the play THE ART OF ASKING falls into it too,
John D'Agata is a natural to address if he is game, what with having picked a long text from Innerworld as an example of the “lost origins of the essay”, say Singular and Plural from Innerworld  [where I once demonstrated how by writing Handke conquers fear! now if that isn't something to have given the "new Kafka" a swollen head!]
I would put in a center fold of photos,
of Baby Handke and his mother Maria eyeing each other, of the young student holding a book, these are in Haslinger’s “Jugend eines Schriftstellers”
Then one of his with fist wife Libgart, the one where they are drinking beer, it catches his spirit of the time… of him in his workroom in Salzburg… there are hundreds to choose from…

Table of Content Rough  

An essay on the early work.
 The introduction to this section, or the general one, needs to dwell on how this Innerworld ./Outer World/ of the Innerworld phenomenon/ procedure [not that different from T.S. Elliot’s] grows yet remains an essential feature of Handke’s self based work, “Objective correlative”; and in general, on how Handke uses his self, self-states and experience as his own material while generalizing it. Masks, personae later in the novels, starting with Goalie.

a] When I was 15 [to be found in an early anthology by Eckehard Kronenberg, needs to be translated,  effervescent]

b] “Welcoming the Board of Directors…
The title story from the early virtuoso things in Begrüssung des Aufsichtsrats, it exists in an Austrian story collections.  
c] I am an Inhabitant of the Ivory Tower [one of the playful provocative essays of the period, might have been translated meanwhile]

d] Half a dozen texts from Innerworld

e] Radio-Play I ???[because it demonstrates how Handke plays with fear, and it disappears] and is in the then strict serial mode… and because it is not readily available as are the other early play texts. Or Self-Accusation.

f] at this point I would segue into the prose section with excerpts from:…
This would be the central section on the development of the prose. It needs to address the “personae” that Handke finds, Josef Bloch, Keuschnig, Sorger, Loser, Kobal, The Pharmacist, The Ex-Bankieress; The Ex-Author; and needs to have commentary, annotation, guidance from section to section…

There ought to be one section that focuses very closely on technical innovations...the way dream writing arises out of the control of deep syntax,  and what Edmond Caldwell calls "the Handke effect",  Handke’s use of filmic techniques…
A section from both Die Hornissen [The Hornets] and Der Hausierer [The Panhandler] which exist in the Romance languages, whose audience has been more receptive, especially Spain and Portugal. I translated a few pages of Hornets as part of an essay on Handke’s development as a prose writer. I was going to translate Panhandler until Handke told me that it contained a lot of quotes from U.S. “black mask” type detective and crime novels, and not from the originals! One section to illustrate both his phenomenological procedure and how fear is quelled while being toyed with.    
1] A section from Die Hornissen
2] from Der Hausierer [i.e. pure phenomenology]
3] The opening of Goalie as an example how
syntax can involve your state of mind in that
of a paranoid-schizophrenic...
4] the dream image section from Afternoon of the Writerwhere the writer is injured by the Salzburg
gossips and feels like a hit and run victim in a ditch…
5] “the king of slowness” The Repetition excerpt… to show how you are slowed down by reading a text
6] the dream syntax section and the section that Edmund Caldwell picked in One Dark Night I Left my Silent House where textual doubt is demonstrated most successfully.. From the same book, after the "Pharmacist" gets bumped on the head...
7] a section from The Hour we knew Nothing of each Other because the text takes you
by the scruff of your syntax and doesn't let
go until the end. A better translation than
the Honegger one, perhaps the one that was done for the performance at The National in London
two years ago???
8] Either the opening of Absence or of the 2007 novel Kali where the text is not only experienced as such but also as opera to adumbrate the reading experience...
9]  RE-MAGICKING THE WORLD: A section from Del Gredos
10] A page of so from the “Apache” section of Moravian Night where the underlying fury rumbles barely suppressed through the syntax… Faulknerian…

10]PROSE PURE: ecriture pure A few sections from Moravian Night  
11] LEFT-HANDED WOMAN in its entirety?
12] One of the pieces from Once More for Thucydides. As an example of pure lyric prose.

Problematics [1971-76]

Can one get away without the mistitled
Sorrow Beyond Dreams… and the need to annotate it from the perspective of imagining what life was like for Maria Sivec's firstborn under those circumstances? This section affords the opportunity for a good biographical essay.
Perhaps one of the progressively more
fugueing poems in Nonsense & Happiness
[but if there is a separate short section on Handke's poem???...] A section from Moment of True Feeling perhaps not the suicidal parts but the one of that famous Moment?
  This section would address itself to what I call Handke's Paris Crisis [1971-78] the lay-a-broad left high and dry both by his mom and his wife, and like many a lay-abroad before him... couldn't handle it, started to fugue, but wrote some first rate things about his then state of mind.  And didn't learn the lesson that you have to treat a woman right, or they will split no matter how famous or a great artist you are! Not many French saints about! Fewer and fewer by the year who want to live with a frigid Salamander who hits and bites!
The “Second Weaving” as it were, picking up
The Radio Play / Self-Accusation  and HOUR strands..
Needs an introductory essay, describing the early procedures and intentions, and the transition to and with an excerpt from VILLAGES, ART OF ASKING
Perhaps La Cuisine as something more playful and quite different???
Or his Becket play “Until the Day Parts us.”

The Home-Coming Period
Sections from History of the Pencil as the transitional
from Walk about the Villages
Opening Chapter of A Slow Homecoming, the Alaska section..

Needs an introduction, my choice is John D’Agata
“Assayings” as I call his approach
The strand [s] that are picked up… Innerworld… Art of Asking

A text from INNERWORLD,
On the Jukebox in its entirety
A Section from THE ART OF ASKING
A section from THE PLAY ABOUT THE FILM ABOUT THE WAR to show Handke’s indebtedness to the German tradition - Brecht, Kipphardt, Grass, Weiss – of critical drama, with Handke’s very own twist.
The Salzburg Period
.An Essay linking SORROW with THE REPETITION
And indicating the firming up of Handke’s identity with the installation of his Slovenian Grandfather as the father figure, on his closer identification with Slovenia, Yugoslavia, and their literatures

The Salzburg period 1979 to 1987, another 7 year stint, at which point we fled back to Paris, we'd gotten ourselves into trouble with a wench! who is haunting and hunting him even now as I write.  Erinyes like that exist!
No fury has hell...
 Linking up with the
The Repetition

As an example of the fellow's state
of mind The Afternoon of the Writer, which differs not that much from "Loser", the case, who differs as a “case” not that much from su suicidal Keuschnig the once again murderously minded,
in Across [Chinese des Schmerzens] 1984,

Chaville Paris II
1998 to the present

A section, which one [?] from
From Del Gredos: The five thousand words
on the destruction wrought by the hurricane that hit Northern France around 2000.

Perhaps: Lucy with the Thingamajigs”?

Handke the Traveler Walker?????
Sections on walking in Yugoslavia
From No-Man’s-Bay
Del Gredos
From the Diary volume Yesterday, on my way”


How does one deal with the Yugoslavia involvement? If at all here?
I think I mentioned initially that such a reader represents a wonderful opportunity to make up where his main US Publisher
Farrar, Straus has been remiss over the years.
The Cuckoos of Velica Hoca [2007] see this page devoted to it at handkeprose2.scriptmania site [link to all matters mentioned here
via the link below] Velica Hoca  is certainly by far the best focused text on that subject and demonstrates what a great reporter Handke can be
who normally showers obloquy on these critters.
Scott seems to fell that JOURNEY TO THE RIVERS is the most important text… I disagree, because at the very least it needs to be put in tandem with SUMMER’S REPRIEVE
[and I think all the Yugoslavia texts plus the
need to be published as one volume.
With an essay by Scott Abbot on Handke's involvement in Yugoslavia
where I only fault Handke for then copping out when it came to
being an "expert witness" for Milosevic at Scheveningen.
I myself have written a small book’s worth of pieces on the subject
and did so to make Handke’s engagement comprehensible to myself. That is how I work.
German reviewers meanwhile - Weinzierl, Kastberger, Detering
who come out of Germanistik - have become utterly deferential,
now that Handke is about to win the Nobel, has sold his notebooks
and manuscript for a total of about one million Euro to two institutions
 that buy that kind of stuff, keeps the company of princes of industry
and presidents....but Handke has always been his own best critic. The German
reviewer rabble is nearly as hideous as those here, and some of them have jobs
at major papers! Aren't merely occasional idiots but convey their
idiocy into print day and week in and out. Hubert Spiegel at the FAZ,
a couple of folks at Die Zeit. One fellow who usually has a cool head, Lothar
Struck has become prematurely Apfelmus over Moravian, in Glanz und Elend.
One of those on-line review organs that give you hope as there are increasing
numbers in all languages!!


A wonderful edition of Handke's complete poems
was published recently by Bartelsby in Madrid,
it contains all of Innerworld, all the long poems from
Nonsense and Happiness, the incidental poems
as they appear in the four published notebook volumes
and the wonderful, as yet untranslated into English,
Das Gedicht an die Dauer
["Poem to Lasting Things," as it might be called]


Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society

This LYNX will LEAP you to my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS

"Degustibus disputandum est." Theodor Wiesenthal Adorno
"May the foggy dew bediamondize your hoosprings + the fireplugof filiality reinsure your bunghole! {James  Joyce}
"Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde." [von Alvensleben]
"Siena me fe, disfescimi Maremma." [Dante]
"Ennui [Lange Weile] is the dreambird that hatches the egg ofexperience." Walter Benjamin, the essay on Leskov.


"A most remarkable prose poem that ought to be read at the rate it was written, 
about three pages a day," 


(short version)

“By the way, he told me later, if one refrained from looking directly at a thing and instead  just brushed it with a glance, the image could burn itself into one's retina in a way that no  purposeful observation or contemplation could."

What a marvelous book! An aging reclusive restaurateur, gripped by the blues, dreams of an orgy, of the return to “womantime” – the erotic connection to the world and time and being seemingly forever: “I want a Bird” the dream begins, elicited by a pornographic fantasy; promptly “a sparrow” alights on a hazel stick lance, “Ich will vögeln” it says in dream language, and there he is: Don Juan!  Through the “breach” in the wall.
There was a time that Handke belittled “magic realism” – from his customary envy I imagine – and here he is more magical than any of them in transposing his interiority, his libido, into a playful many layered… into a real motherfucker of a book, oh and what dark sides this imagined Don has. - And not one single reviewer in the English language knows how to read! Don’t burn books, burn reviewers, don’t even bother putting them on a stake! Handke’s subsequent novel, the 2006 Kali is even more ambitious and an equally magical opera film – not that I haven’t half a dozen minor quarrels with Don Juan, oh and isn’t it ever so unfortunate that the second novel after Don Juan, the 2008 Moravian Nights, isn’t as multi-dimensionally composed as the formally so perfect Don Juan, a book that Thomas Mann would have envied! What reading experiences Handke continues to provide!...


Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society

This LYNX will LEAP you to my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS

"Degustibus disputandum est." Theodor Wiesenthal Adorno
"May the foggy dew bediamondize your hoosprings + the fireplug
of filiality reinsure your bunghole! {James  Joyce}
"Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde." [von Alvensleben]
"Siena me fe, disfescimi Maremma." [Dante]
"Ennui [Lange Weile] is the dreambird that hatches the egg of
experience." Walter Benjamin, the essay on Leskov.

About Me

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MICHAEL ROLOFF exMember Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS: "MAY THE FOGGY DEW BEDIAMONDIZE YOUR HOOSPRINGS!" {J. Joyce} "Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben] contact via my website