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IS THE OVER-ARCHING SITE FOR ALL HANDKE BLOGS AND ALL HANDKE.SCRIPTMANIA.COM SITES, THAT IS FOR THE HANDKE PROJECT AS A WHOLE. It will have one page with links to every page on each blog and for each page on each handke.scriptmania site. Michael Roloff

Wednesday, February 27, 2019


Follow summapolitico on TwitterAN ONLINE POST OF A FAVORITE SECTION FROM HANDKE'S walk about  the villages  .


9:00 AM (1 hour ago)
to Handke

Endanger your work even more.
Don't be the top dog.
Seek out the face-off.
But be unmindful.
Have no thoughts in back of your head.
Keen nothing secret.
Be soft and strong.
Be sly, enter the fray but hate to win.
Don't observe, don't test, but be ready for signs.
Tremble, quake, shatter, heal.
Show your eyes, wave the others on into the depths, 
care for spaces and behold each one in their own picture.
Act only with enthusiasm.
Fail with ease.
First of all, take time and the long way round.
Be addle-brained.
Go on a holiday as it were.
Overhear no tree and no water.
Enter where it pleases your heart and treat yourself to the sun.
Forget your kinfolk, strengthen the strangers, spaces, 
a hoot for the tragedy, 
spit on misfortune,
laugh conflicts to smithereens.

until you are in the right 
and the leaves' rustling turns sweet.
Walk about the villages.  



Friday, December 21, 2018


Follow summapolitico on Twitter





One lagging review for MORAWIAN NIGHT






The Variety of Biographical and Psychological
Postings have been collected at


Tuesday, December 4, 2018




 Although [a] to date no English language journal – but for Good Reads 


has reviewed Handke’s May 2018 THE GREAT FALL

 https://handke-magazin.blogspot.com/2018/08/roloff-review-of-handkes-great-fall.html  and [b] not even Handke’s early plays are being done and [c] I can’t get my translation of his sexy THE BEAUTIFUL DAYS OF ARANJUEZ 


published  & no one has reviewed Scott Abbott's translation of TO DURATION 





this extraordinary state of affairs may make you forget how RIGHT  the Handke reception went for a while at first:  I of course noticed Handke’s polemic at the Gruppe 47 1966 meeting not that it did much for someone who had participated in U.S. writing classes but to wonder whether maybe the fellow was a fool, he certainly could not mean Guenter Grass, Uwe Johnson, Siegfried Lenz or Peter Weiss with “descriptive impotence,” but failed to get the sought for answer to my puzzlement at a party that Jakov Lind and Pannah Grady and I gave at Pannah’s splendid Dakota apartment 



However, the pseudo-Beatles at a critical significant moment made me realize that I was dealing with a fellow of village origin and its kind of openly grinning sadism  when Alan Ginsberg asked me to translate that he wanted to fuck him. And whom I put out of my mind until I noticed the reception of his first book, DIE HORNISSEN 


and if I had been an editor at Grove Press and not at the comparatively staid Farrar Straus I might even tried to publish it in translation. However, I noticed that no one had picked up his plays by 1967 which had made more of a stir in the German language world and, after experiencing PUBLIKUMS- BESCHIMPFUNG/ OFFENDING THE AUDIENCE in Berlin, I persuaded my colleagues at Farrar, Straus via telegram, with help of then friend Susan Sontag, to take on that play and SELF-ACCUSATION… KASPAR was added to the volume during the translation process  and I discussed the translation with Handke in Berlin in 1969, and must say to have been glad to have him show me the recently whelped daughter Amina, as compared to the apparently indifferent revolutionaries [see Handke’s A CHILD STORY] and sought to oblige his wish to make KASPAR’S  initial sentence – “I want to be someone like somebody else was once” - as abstract as possible. However, had it not been for Bob Giroux assenting to Handke’s talent while yet finding it awfully literary, the little shit who did so much damage to my projects at Farrar, Straus, the children’s book editor Iago Michael DiCapua, would have had his way  once again and shot down Handke right there and then – who would have fared better in the long run with Knopf or Helen Wolf at Harcourt Brace. 

The volume KASPAR & OTHER PLAYS garnered a rare review for a book of plays, from Stanley Kaufmann in the New Republic,


and Richard Gilmman, to whom I sent the other play translations, soon wrote the first piece on Handke’s theater for his Making of Modern Drama  


     However, it was to be some years before the first official performance. A friend, the recently deceased actor writer Michael Locascio  


happened to be returning with a beat-hippie troupe from some years in San Miguel D’Allende, where “the Hammer” had breathed his last one cold rainy Tequila night in the arms of one JB, a scrawny member of this troupe on some Mexican railway ties, and this troupe and my tape recorder amplifier trouped to the Goethe House and various venues doing SELF ACCUSATION & what I called OFFENDING THE AUDIENCE; until Herbert Berghof’s HB Studio did these plays and, with that very bright actor EG Marshal the first private two week performances of KASPAR.  I also gave a one year option to Kaspar to Mr. Empty Space who however didn't do anything with it but perform the play at institutions for the mentally disturbed. Nor that I ever see or hear of a single FSG employee seeing and commenting about a single of quite a few Handke performances  that then transpired in New York. For, once SELF-ACCUSATION & MY FOOT MY TUTOR had premiered at B.A.M. in Spring 1971 the major plays THE RIDE ACROSS LAKE CONSTANCE and KASPAR were successfully mounted under the direction of the Brechtian director Karl Weber [whom I had first seen in 1957 as one of the soldiers in Johannes R. Becher’s  notorious WINTERSCHLACHT, a Stalingrad play to oblige the Soviet Occupation if ever there was one, and what a beautiful job Brecht and Co did too on that great revolving stage. ] 



at the Vivian Beaumont/ Lincoln Center with a great caste; 

KASPAR again at B.A.M. with Christopher Lloyd’s prize winning performance  


I substituted the far less difficult THE GOALIE’S ANXIETY AT THE PENALTY KICK, for the contracted DER HAUSIERER 


and it was a hit, so was SHORT LETTER LONG FAREWELL .

LEFT-HANDED WOMAN was pre-published in entirety in the NEW YORKER  


 IT LOOKED AS THOUGH HANDKE WAS A MADE WRITER IN THE U.S. DIDN’T IT? It was but a short time before Farrar, Straus started to fuck matters up.  

 End Pat One


Part Two “What went Wrong?” 

 Success continued a while longer.  Weight of the World, the first of Handke’s half dozen journal excerpt volumes, too, was a success, however FSG failed to heed my advice to also do its successor the 1981 HISTORY OF THE PENCIL / GESCHICHTE DES BLEISTIFS,  a real work-book of a journal which is so rich in notes on the development of the great WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES and afford the interested critic so much insight into various aspect of how Handke works.  

THE 1971 SORROW BEYOND DREAMS was a huge success and a stage adaptation ran at the Phoenix for years I think.  

  However, even though KASPAR & OTHER PLAYS kept being reprinted, FSG refused to publish the second collection centered around THE RIDE ACROSS LAKE CONSTANCE and did not do so until 1979 at which point I had added the 1973/4 THEY ARE DOING OUT  which Kalfin at Chelsea Theater/ B.A.M turned down for being topical! It did not premiere, at the Yale Rep, until 1979, about five years too late. Carl Weber’s and my attempt to introduce some music from Leiber/ Stoller failed because Leiber once again dropped out of a project and we failed to have the equivalent of Gerald Depardieu for the Quitt lead. 

 L  The NYRB ran two favorable and interesting reviews of Handke’s work, by Frank Kermode 


and Michael Wood

 Peter Mayer at Avon published two different Handke collections  TWO BY HANDKE & THREE BY HANDKE, which later also were done by Collier-MacMillan.

  I did my translation of THE INNERWORLD OUTERWORLD OF THE INNERWORLD at Continuum Books.  

However, there also were some early signs of misunderstanding 


Anatol Broyard didn't get the point of Handke's refusal to write psychological drama in LEFT HANDED WOMAN, a book I think he wrote in response to his being left  in 1971 by his own insulted wife, the worst thing that ever happened to him ... and here we have a leaving one anything but happy!  ? Anyhow, that is one motivation for this novella that  includes his own "left-handedness" in the mysterious painful proceedings.

Clive Barnes had been left uncomprehending by the happenings play of plays The Ride Across Lake Constance.  

And I think I failed to make sure that some of these brilliant short happening type plays got done at the proper venues,  Cries for Help, Quodlibet,  etc, as I easily might have at the time.

Handke had started to become interested in Alaska and made one final trip in Fall 1978 prior to writing the prose text Langsame Heimkehr / A Slow Homecoming in the Hotel Adams in Manhattan, a project he himself then felt he failed at, but which Suhrkamp published in 1979. However, Farrar Straus [which meanwhile had also published his 1974 A MOMENT OF TRUE FEELING  - Avon Books  meanwhile issuing  Two & Three by Handke]  – did not publish A SLOW HOME -COMING until 1986 and combined it with two entirely different titles THE LESSON OF ST. VICTOIRE and A CHILD STORY –  


In other words there was  a ten year break in U.S. publication history whereas there was none in German, 





the kind of break that is to be avoided unless you want to lose momentum, etc.  and Handke, though not a wall flower yet needed constant tending, the big books were still to come, he had not written the kind of rare title - a  power book like Tin Drum , a Mort a Credit that, in translation,  can establish you as though you were a native;  and 10 year delay lacuna that in this instance was a huge mistake - and to combine these three titles -which had nothing in coming but authorship and being written while the author for a period of seven years returns to the country whose citizen he is - confounded the critics into thinking some kind of post modernist highjinks were afoot.

 A SLOW HOME COMING , though a fragment, is one of Handke's most extraordinary texts, THE LESSON OF

  ST. VICTOIRE is his first walking book and manifest an artistic re-orientation of a very profound kind. 

 A CHILD STORY,  is probably the weakest book Handke ever wrote, the more so  if like me you happen to witness Handke and daughter Amina both in the U.S. and in Paris and have one of these women [who the author defensively claims  have it all  wrong when accusing him of miserable child rearing] provide the most intimate insight into what is transpiring - now wonder that Handke fortunately regretted, perhaps also the book?, but how badly he, the writerly fantatic, had treated his first-born.

 It takes the kind of publishing genius only the likes of  Roger Straus are  capable of to start to fuck matters up.  This is also the time where Handke starts to have one different editor after the other at FSG. I think it must at least be ten these 50 years,  whereas in Germany Jochen Jung and Reinhard Fellinger have stuck it out through thick and thin, which also shows the great turmoil under Straus were few editors and editors and chief held out for long. The last Handke book that FSG published, the 2017 MORAVIAN NIGHT  the translation was not edited at all, its editor left about the time the m.s was turned in 7 years after its German publication, I like the translation a great deal, as I prefer Krishna Winston to Mannheim, however, any halfway woke editor would have caught Winston's major booboos  


    Handke observed, accurately,  in the mid 70s that the firm had no real interest in his work; evidenced by a famous Roger Straus letter to Unseld that the had a Handke problem…  it was a problem of Roger own making to some large degree. That was around the time that FSG published THE REPETITION 


and read the NY Times Book Review monstrously stupid review where this cold warrior goes after Handke for having a 16 year old school kid on a graduation trip through Slovenia fail to abhor pictures of Tito! 

There was nothing I, as editor at Continuum Books,  or later as co-publisher of Urizen Books, could do about a matter but to publish my translation of INNERWORLD and NONSENSE &; HAPPINESS. Continuum did not do novels, at Urizen  partner Schulz, whose acquaintance I had made over his directing the first official Handke production in the U.S. at B.A.M, Spring 1971, had been deeply offended by Handke's response to his work, and would not agree to do DER HAUSIERER.

   Matters worsened when my FSG nemesis, Michael DeCapua became editor in chief – this was the person who had killed my Adorno reader, with its Susan Sontag introduction, a year’s work of mine, because he could not find the proper translator, allegedly, and without consulting either me or Susan, and what a difference it would have made to have such a volume published in the mid-70s. DeCapua then also turned down my best translation, which Handke felt was the best translation he had  ever seen, of WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES / UBER DIE DOERFER 


and that was the end of FSG publishing Handke plays. Steve Wasserman - when he became publisher of FSG’s play-wing HILL & WANG then turned down THE HOUR WE KNEW NOTHING OF EACH OTHER and THE ART OF ASKING - it takes real genius to turn down HOUR, one of the greatest texts of the 20th century! We had a correspondence on the matter, he did this for financial reasons, apparently unaware of FSG two Handke play collections doing exceedingly well.  Alas the wandering Wasserman who has watered at many springs. Meanwhile you need to assess the history of the kind of reviews Handke’s work was receiving specifically from “Auntie” , the New York Times,


and in general , the overall catastrophic reception


 which reviews become quite uniform once Handke 
defends the Serbs from being made exclusively responsible for the disintegration and crimes during the Yugoslavia troubles


Not a one of these reviewers will allow him to take a different tack from all the human rights hyenas or use any but the permitted language - who might worry first about the crimes being committed and crimes past of their own imperialists. 

Although some initial drama reviews by Gussow and Kerr were fair, as previously noted the NY Times entirely missed LAKE CONSTANCE’S happening quality and matters started to go downhill with Anatol Broyard  - In my estimate the NY Times coverage has a single re-printable review [of ACROSS], that is,it is not idiotic or rife with error of slight or stupid opinion  and, overall, a single review, it is William Gass's of NO-MAN'S BAY 


where Handke's equal renders a review worth re-reading.  Alas for the Kultchur! The same old whore I met at Pound's Hugh Selwyn Mauberly during my senior college year has only become a few degrees grosser. And
 to American Theater as a whole applies my Seattle experience 


Here I will add some names to drive the point home

Michael Roloff, Seattle, December 2018

Saturday, December 1, 2018

COMMENTS ON von Bülow/ Handke's Das stehende Jetzt.

Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach: Das stehende Jetzt. Die Notizbücher von Peter Handke. Gespräch mit dem Autor und Essays von Ulrich von Bülow.
Deutsche Schillergesellschaft, Marbach am Neckar 2018.
150 Seiten, 18,00 EUR.
ISBN-13: 9783944469393

Das stehende Jetzt / Hic Nunc
for me is the Handke book of the year 2018, Handke himself for once did not publish anything new but for that summa, his Bibliothek

and my review of this treasure trove will be a gradual one @:



[1] First Posting: early December 2018

Von Buelow’s text consists of

[a] an interview with Handke about his notebooks endeavor, a conversation I will not try to condense here - it makes for essential reading if you are interested in deciphering the notebooks and their importance for the DIMENSION of Handke’s oeuvre that consists of journal extracts:






 Phantasien der Wiederholung



Peter Handke

Gestern unterwegs



 Vor der Baumschattenwand nachts


that derive thence; and, of course, to see to what degree if any the notebooks are work books, drafts - what have you - for the narratives, the stage work and the essays. – Bon voyage to the scholar eyes that enter those tickets!
Let me immediately note that I disagree with von Buelow in too readily buying Handke’s claim that the notebooks, the 221 one it is I think now in the Archive’s posession, which have their inception in 1975, are not diaries – best as I can tell who appears in the journals and witnessed his note taking and some of their locations

the Notizbuecher are also Tagebuecher, no matter Handke’s 1975 wish to the contrary – as a matter how can they not also be diaries! – Hic Nunc~– and this would seem to be one of many instances when the distinction- obsessed Handke is unnecessarily but characteristically finicky.

Best to my knowledge such intense notebook keeping is unique among writers, although one could maintain that literary culture, also in German letters, has been building up to something as monumental as this endeavor, off-hand and irrelevantly Robert Musil and Harry Graf Kessler come to mind. Some truths are only to be found in these leavings – to sell such bulk and make most of it publicly available – note Gregor Keuschnig/ Lothar Struck’s fine piece in Literaturkritik that discusses constraints on access:

is testimony to Handke’s insatiable exhibitionism – but I don’t think the world is a Backfisch who will blush in the wanted embarrassment from that kind of contact, but - considering the marvel that much of the work affords - will be grateful to the scholars that take the trouble to decipher  and relate… And how multi-dimensional the artist and person becomes by showing off so many sides of himself, and as anything but a saint prevaricates not all that dreadfully or that often.

A shame that Handke did not ctd. to pursue work with the analyst he saw in Paris in the early 70s and who confessed to Handke that, he, too, [a Catholic analyst?], felt the weight of the cross at Eastertime, [vide Weight of the World] and we might have some years of what the discipline calls “process notes,” to lend yet a further dimension, aside how an analysis might have reflected itself in Handke’s thinking or learning to think – after all, Handke, initially stood very much under the influence of Wittgenstein’s linguistics, but as von Buelow shows, especially while at work, preparatorily, for the prose text of Langsame Heimkehr, that is in Alaska, was impressed by Heidegger, whose work he regarded at other times as resistant as  Beton – and though the very name Heidegger elicits revulsion in me, I can appreciate Handke thinking about the problematics of poetic endeavor in a scientific age, and taking recourse to Heideggerian formulations about “being” – formulations that Wittenstein would hoot at with a thousand owls!

I agree entirely with von Buelow when he notes Handke’s Deskriptor phenomenology – certainly nothing new in literature at least since Stephen Deadalus availed himself of the metaphor of the old woman in the Rembrandt painting paring her fingernails as the proper – and scientific! – somewhat dissociated objectivist attitude, though note how much gentler and kind and empathic Handke’s phenomenology becomes, nay was as of the beginning. What needs to be kept in mind is that Handke is twice as sensitive as the ordinary monkey, his autistic sensitivity, which can lead to over-stimulation during stressful periods, a lack of the equivalent dampers, during the period subsequent to his mother’s suicide nd the first wife splitting – the three long ever more stormy poems in NONSENSE AND HAPPINESS


How much more precisely Handke sees was something I noted during his 1971 visit to New York, when he asked me how old I was, a matter on which I was not dead certain at the time, having been born at the very end of 1935. His reply to my answer was: “I thought you were a year older.” On getting hold of my birth certificate he was proved right. Someone whose eyes are so eagle-like also notices that the moon is one degree waxier or waner and is the spookier for that! And this amplification holds true for all senses. No wonder that he murders a few dozen suburban leaf blower each autumn!

Aside the interview, von Bulow after commenting on the the notebooks focuses on two identifiable themes or obsessions of Handke’s that manifest themselves ther:

[2] Heidegger makes an appearance during Handke’s Alaska trip that produced the narrative of A SLOW HOMECOMING and von Buelow devotes some pages to [3] Handke’s involvement with Spinoza’s materialism and his pantheistic equivalence of nature and God, whic led me to speculate that Handke’s involvement with a good pscho-somaticist – very much in Spinoza’s tradition - might have a gone a long way to relieving his psychosomatic heart troubles, whose symtom’s Handke over these decades appears to have sought to walk off.

So much, then, for the first installment of this commentary. Let me know if you are interested in receiving a PDF of it and the thought I am devoting to this wonderful book and to the Notizbuecher. Michael Roloff, December 3, 2018

Part II:
Prior to resuming my comments on the effect of A SLOW HOMECOMING on me in resolving a profound transference developed during nine-month traipsing and boating flying and driving all over the vast interior of Alaska….

# II-a of II a-b-c & I, II, III

of my comments on Von Buelow’s DAS STEHENDE JETZT addresses what came as the biggest surprise from Von Buelow’s perusal of Handke’s Notizbuecher:

For one, Klaus von Buelow’s reading of Handke’s NOTEBOOKS  [p. 142-3]
leads one to believe that Handke does not believe in cause and effect – preferring a  kind if associative shadowing procedure for his phenomenologically notating text; which strikes me as fine for a text such as THE LESSON OF ST. VICTOIRE, where it manifests as a kind of impressionism, which Handke demonstrates most thoroughly in the anxiety play novel DER HAUSIERER

 a consciousness registering all around and specific ominousness – Handke’s phase where he regarded himself as the “New Kafka” – mid to early 70s.
This is a wonderful poetic way of proceeding in giving intimations in a highly aesthetic manner, pretty much in the same way as e.g..  Virginia Wolfe does in THE WAVES.
   However, this way of proceeding got Handke into deep hot water for his first Yugoslav war trip account A JOURNEY TO THE RIVERS – see https://handke-yugo.blogspot.com/
for that Alpine Range of trouble
where he even made a point of saying that he was not doing anything different from what he had been doing all along.

[I will not dissertate on the attacks that have been launched on the phenomenological procedure} but the reception both in Europe and in the USA at the very least wanted him to repeat, if possible in their own condemning language, that there was only on responsible party and one particular evil perpetrator… and in fact Handke might have made life easier for himself if he had defended his position that it was premature to condemn Milosevic and the causes for the all around mayhem were too complicated certainly for the blaming of a single tribe, that is, the Serbs if he had proceeded within the continuum of accustomed rational or standard polemic style.
   Though Handke occasionally hinted at the time -  in this matter - that the German recognition of Slovenian and Croatian independence played a role in the disintegration, Handke – who recently accused himself of being or having been hugely stupid – at that time really paid no heed to cause and effect that might hav explained if only to himself how he as Lothario got himself into so much hot water that one morning he then wakes up and the neglected and insulted wife who has fled the coop, providing a shock that leads to years of age and whose resulting panic attacks land him in a hospital, but little waking in the matter that Lothario-like being can have  
 until you’re up the Rio Grande at Truth and Consequences

and start to kiss the Elephant’s Butte

or drown in it!

 – I am speculating here, though perfectly ordinary homo sapiens in some ways, yet with his ultra-high sensitivity autism and childhood trauma as a ultra love child I cannot tell what kinds of denial Handke might practice subliminally – thus, a mystery ensues – why is or was the genius formalist writer so unnecessarily profoundly stupid – arrogance????.
   That Handke does not believe in cause and effect also characterizes the absence of the usual psychological motivation of his characters, say LEFT HANDED WOMAN, to which  the NY Time’s Anatol Broyard objected so violently – but which does not bother me, who once got himself trained as an psychoanalyst who is absolutely happy not to know the why and wherefores of the LHW’s sudden resolve to leave her husband – for as soon as I start to speculate on the possibly highly complicated set of circumstances that leads to the existential shock the shock and the fundamental mystery starts to be softened, disappear. – and for whatever reason Handke wrote that particular novella at that time – perhaps as gambit to counter his wife having left him. https://handke--revista-of-reviews.blogspot.com/2010/05/left-handed-woman-scott-abbott-and-few.html

But let me - as translator, and thus as close reader, of at least some of his great texts – note that Handke, however, seems to believe and practice artistic logic of all kinds, very much within the tradition of at least Western if not literature in it entirety going back for thousands of years, and perhaps exercising artistic logic and the requisite sensitivities I suggest might be at least a kind of surrogate in everyday living to a constant awareness of the constant operation of the myriad of cause and effects at whose mercy we exist.

Next, for the New Year, II-b HANDKE’S RECOURSE TO SPINOZA ETHICS OF PRODUCING JOY, take a look at Peter Strasser’s  Der Freudenstoff: Zu Handke eine Philosophie



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MICHAEL ROLOFF http://www.facebook.com/mike.roloff1?ref=name exMember Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS: http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html "MAY THE FOGGY DEW BEDIAMONDIZE YOUR HOOSPRINGS!" {J. Joyce} "Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben] contact via my website http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html