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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

Saturday, April 28, 2018


Follow summapolitico on Twitter   http://handke-discussion.blogspot.com/2018/03/roloffs-review-of-alexia-fruit-thief.html


In “Alexia, Fruit Thief/Filcher”

Alexia is presented as a vagabond – childhood escapee - who has been all over the world – to lots of the same places that Peter Handke has been: Alaska, Detroit, Spain - has Handke actually been to Siberia? She seems to be in her mid-twenties just returned from Russia [not from Serbian rivers!!!] but has haute bourgeois French parents - her motive for going to the Picardie is said to be to look for her mother, the Bankieress from SIERRA DEL GREDOS…
but Alexia is actually yet another of Handke’s surrogate wanderers Sorger, Loser, Kobal,  Keuschnig, the Bankieress… what Kleinians call a “part object” which differs from a projection – Handke’s most delightful “part object” - and a slight one being that restaurateur in NO-MAN’S-BAY who serves the world’s most delicious word-salad but keeps going broke and thus keeps moving his joint ever deeper into the forest – as - judging by the sales figures of his books and how rarely his plays are done in  English - Handke would have to in this country if he wanted to maintain his life style.


Part objects of the amusing kind are rife in the play THEY ARE DYING OUT and signify that Handke stands very much in the tradition of Austrian comic dramatists.

However, Alexia - like Sorger and Loser - is not just a part but surrogate for her creator’s senses, she or he do the seeing for him, and thus free Handke from his notebooks and the autobiographical and allows his fantasy to roam. Thus, Sorger’s profession of geological surveyor or Loser’s as archeologist I think need to be understood as poetic rather than the activities of a professional.

Independent of doing yeo-woman’s service as her creator’s magnificently observant eyes and ears during his exploration of a stretch of the French country side – that is, of being Handke’s surrogate personae –  Alexia is odd indeed and anything but your typical twenty-something all-around vagabond as which Handke tries to present her. Alexia is first of all the reincarnation in female form of St.Alexius

but the only thing she shares with him is a proclivity for hiding under stairs - we do not see her begging or sharing alms, though she is frugal. More saintly she becomes in the chaste dream that Handke provides her when she does not hook up with her companion Valter, she may even be on her way to a nunnery and marriage to Christ!

She is into Eminem but apparently not into any French singers, and she does not strike me as any kind of typical twenty-something world explorer as which she might also have been portrayed. She is said to have managed one semester at the University at Pointoise – Peter Handke’s second daughter, chiefly raised by her French haute bourgeois mother Sophie Semin, is about the same age and Handke could have asked her to get an idea of a typical French girl her age – Alexia is not Laocadie Semin/Handke not by the farthest stretch of the imagination, who I am sure has other songs in mind aside Eminem and is unlikely to be part saint in the making. If Alexia is meant to be rendered as a typical upper-class girl that decided to go her own way around the world he could have consulted with this daughter – the few dabs in the direction of establishing a background are not only unnecessary but distractingly insufficient. 
Young adults that age have sex, entirely friendly sex it may be, non-committal pleasurable hook-ups or romantic involvements, and it is as much part of their life as breathing but in that respect Alexia and Valter do not exist as separate characters but as a vehicle for Handke to memorialize a region and as a memory of once projections of chasteness – the passage on p. 414-5 telling of Alexia’s dream of a possible brides-groom strike me as appropriate to a saint in the making -   Like Handke Alexia 9s also into the blues but her association to a lot of the same far-ranging places that Peter Handke has been are rather minimal and don’t add much  - the mere mention of the Bering Sea or Yesenin River etc. etc. fail to add more than a very few specific experiences and thus fail to tantalize in the same manner in which her current expedition does. Her two nights of the expedition are spent, in both instances, in different inns, and I wonder whether Handke ever sleeps during his many country walks under the Hawthorn tree on an August moon, whether at the Bering sea he slept in an igloo – I note his many interestingly described hotel stays, including one in the Kosovo in that piece of reportage Velica Hoca

but wonder how hardy a vagabond he is… while conceding that the likes of Handke and the Norman Mailer of Why Are We in Vietnam, can absorb, say, more wildflowers in the Brooks Range, in a day that would take the in some respects slow me a week to incorporate.

I am caviling a bit here, very minor caviling, but where I praise as highly as I do I feel that I must also wonder a bit why Alexia must have a family and a family get-together at the end – why we must suddenly be novelistic in an old-fashioned sense where Handke once upon a time said he would never be. Alexia vagabond can wander anywhere she likes and does not need the obvious motivation of a not overly exciting family get-together as an excuse. “That is how the tale wants it, the way the tale tells it,” is an author‘s  frequent imprecation who admits at the end that the  dweller of the NO-MAN’S-BAY is writing the book. He could easily have come out and said, “It’s me Peter Handke, I am writing a Peter Handke Book, and using Alexia will be a lot more fun and allows my imagination and playfulness to roam as I can’t doing a notebook or a travel account.” And no one would mind – certainly not this late in the game.
   However, as we read her marvelous adventures up the river Viosne and in the Vexin there is no mention of looking for Mom – has it slipped the author’s mind? The only thing being looked for is that lost cat by it owner – the sound of his looking pervades Alexia’s hike. The night that Alexia stays in the tiny chambre of the Auberge de Dieppe the smell from one of Mom’s shawls wafts about, but the formidable Bankieress has only stuck her head into the tiny room and found it wanting is the sole reminder of the alleged objective of the expedition – the Bankieress is about, a most improbable event that she would be scrambling around the Vexin, that she has gone gaga, but never mind? Now if that moribund cat would transform itself into the mad bankieress that would be the kind of miracles Handke does not write.

At the end of the book there is a family get together – that appears to have been Alexia’s destination but was not mentioned when she set forth; and her teenage brother is working as a carpenter apprentice – no advance mention that he would be in Chaumont - and I think some of these matters, judging by minor loose ends and contradictions and improbabilities were made up as Handke went along?

ALEXIA as THE LEFT-HANDED WOMAN’S younger sister is as odd as her creator who has worked life-long at appearing normal.

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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