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Thursday, July 5, 2018


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and now the equally - but differently - inverted and playful and differently semi-autobiographical projection screen

all part of re-reading the sleight-of-hand artist’s shorter, semi-autobiographical fictions  -

Let me approach the deeply puzzling and intriguing AFERNOON OF A WRITER - that I have not reread these past 30 some years and am doing for the first time in its brittle Ralph Mannheim translation [1] - by focussing on an example of one of its most prominent features: projection

As the Great Oracle of Vienna had it: „By your projections thou shalt know thyself!”

On page 55 of the U.S. edition we come on what is likely one of Handke biggest but certainly one of his nastiest, grossest and most revealing lies, and an extrairdinary loss of cool, a lie that - it turns out because it is so forcefully put and in full awareness of its mendacity - then becomes for the reader an opening to that so compact novel’s and Handke’s work numerous other projections – of the writer’s woundedness – by gossip - in the form of a woman hit-and-run victim tossed into the bushes, the writer addressing the world Walter Mitty fashion via a projected announcer who then breaks down on the air... via the alleged feeling to be „nothing” – an evaluation buttressed by no less than a Goethe quote – pointing to the fact that, as is so frequently the case, the claimed nothings really think they are the hottest of hot shits – as of course befits the  prodigal player Peter Handke and is a justfied self-evaluation in a number of writerly but no other respects [which then needs to be tucked away] – the kind of player who by the time he wrote AFTERNOON had devised sleight-of-hand plays on the order of the xxx Ionescoish ‘The Ride Across Lake Constance”,
the grand WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES and the astounding prose works DER HAUSIERER, GOALIE’S ANXIETY AT THE PENALTY KICK – marked by a paranoid schizophrenic’s projections and his killing of a woman he has picked up as he becomes enraged – the memorable metaphor for rage the boiling bubbles on the hotplate turning into a ants; the paranoid SHORT LETTER LONG FAREWELL; THE LEFT-HANDED WOMAN [THE IDEAL LIFE]  an inversion of the then state of affairs into wished for normalcy... until Handke looses his cool, during a critical period in Salzburg, as he does at the end of page 55; and it is worth quoting the page in its entirety and then explicating and puzzling why Mr. Handke breaks the cool in Salzburg mid-1980s...  after having written that marvel THE REPETITION and about to flee back to Paris. How much of the notoriety ascribed to „The Writer” – of a kind befitting the later Handke of the Yugoslav Troubles but in AFTERNOON rather the alluded to Thomas Bernhard – was the case, had the Marie Colbin troubles reached the stage of notoriety? According to Scott Abbott she was persuing him from bar to bar!  
Best as I know is that Handke’s statements opposing the Waldheim campaign met the usual opposition – imagine that: in Austria in the mid-80s, 40 years after the end of Nazism opposing an old Nazy criminal running for office becomes a big deal! – Handke had called Austria „fat” – In ACROSS [Chinese des Schmerzens} a Swastika-smearer is tossed across a cliff of the Salzurg Moenchsberg. However, Handke was an acknowledged important author of well-known plays; his great WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES had not gone over well at its famous Salzburg premiere in 1982.
He lived among what the doorman at the Hotel Mirabelle called „the big animals atop the hills „ , the Moenchsberg

M:View of Salzburg from Moenchberg lift Stock Photo - 42199026

And I visited him there once in 1980 upon my victorious ruturn from a month as a piece of cultural exchange in Bugaria and beat him at Tarok, a loss that Handke suffered as badly as he writes in VillageS even as a child he could not handle losing.

The writer heads off to a dive, that Mannheim, improbably lodged in the language of Dicken’s London, calls a gin mill, and is accosted by someone who calls him „a weakling and a liar” – the latter of which is the case, „weak” and „strong” are adjectives that lose all significance once you have done an analysis. The writer seems to be working on a story and expresses a certain degree of satisfaction among his general grumpiness; he is rehearsing the next morning’s work – all that fits just about any writer and points to AFTERNOON as a projection screen – something Handke achieves in just about every work of his and which accounts for his readers’ entanglement in his work. Handke also projects his INNERWORLD, invariably, obviously most manifestly in the series of texts by that name

The INNERWORLD projected here is a grumpy but secrectly superior self, obviously the descriptions of the winterscape are first rate, nothing else is to be expected from a first-rate writer of that kind, the quality of his observations speaks for him. The book suffers perhaps from a certain monotony because the writer seems to have no family, no mention of Handke’s daughter Amina she being one of the reasons he had returned to Austria to make sure she had an Austrian education [at one time I looked at various French lycees in New York for Amina when Handke contemplated relocating to a New York suburb in the 70s – a fantasy that his unhappy time writing LANGSAME HEIMKEHR in the Hotel Adams in 1978/9 extirpated once and for all!]; no family means no complications that would complicate the afteroon that therefore seems more like that of an old man. Only a cat, no wife, no girlfriend, no friends of any kind that he runs into, a few folks ask for autographs – actually the title ought to be AFTERNOON OF A KNOWN WRITER – he is self-conscious about his fame. He longs for the re-appearance of a beautiful woman who once showed her face in the dive – a dive that seems not to have any great sluts, at least none that he notes.
There is that wonderful section where Handke puts his valedictory to translating into Ralph Mannheim’s mouth.


The passage from AFTERNOON I have in mind that is a true entry wound to the book and to Handke
incepts at the top of page 55 – a few pages later in the German - with the words „Suddenly he felt the need to read something” and -  after a description of a variety of „wish you were here” postcards of Southwest landscapes, animal & incident that I sent Handke and others while I and a new love had cut out to the Southwest in 1985 away from the world of the Con, and sucessfully translating his marvelous Walk About the Villages - entirely forgetting in that process the division Handke had placed, half a decade prior, to a possible friendship with the translator and editor of all his early work in English - and continues: „... the last recognizable letters vanished from the text. Only recently, paralell series of dots, semi-circles, and wavy lines had suggested arabesques; now the lines had lost all shape and were so far apart that it was hard to conceive of any connection between them. Only the address and the „As ever” and signature at end were still written as plainly as before. What the obscure scribble communicated to the addressee was a furious effort, manifested by the pressure of the pen, the split lines, and the blots – as though the writer had repeatedly and vainly assaulted the paper. But this mutilated cuneiform, in which all traces of the human hand had been extinguished also expressed something else: a threat, an omen of death aimed at the addressee.” 


For efficiency and clarity’s sake, let me provide the background that led to what is a deep and total lie if only for Handke’s willful displacement of the timing – who of course fails to provide the background or the story, and lives safely but falsely in the mystery.
 The only one who is assaulting anyone here is Mr. Handke and it is me because I showed him after he had threatened me – I guess it must have been a shock to have been confronted after all that time! - that he had been [1] caught red-handed in the cookie jar & [2] is unable stomach defiance of one of his patented threats
And is thus manifesting [3] a truly Germanic lack of a sense of humor to a letter that allowed as humorous a response as the terms in which it was put;  vengefully issueing [4] a monstrous lying distortion.   

Lets start at the start of the start of the episode that leads to Handke’s perversion:
  1981 this translator of all of Handke’s early plays received the text of the great UEBER DIE DOERFER

 – a godsend at the time - which - after several onslaughts, of arduous but amazing labor – see the postscript – and an extensive correspondence between author and translator - became WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES

    Handke wrote that it was the best translation he had ever seen, and that it was „cutting,” in the good sense – he was right on the first part: having shouted out the text to give the verbal finish to this translation for voice for actors to speak I realized myself that it was one of the two translations – the other were 65 Nelly Sachs poems in OH THE CHIMNEYS - that had engaged every aspect of me - head and heart and guts. That Handke’s ear picked up the cuttingness of the text – it was a time downtown you did not want to encounter the living edge of my rage - confirmed once again my sense of his ultra perceptiveness.
Moreover, the work on the translation of this great and demanding text had made me so happy that I entirely forgot a dastardly act of Handke’s of about half a decade prior where he had taken forceful possession of my main squeeze, the „great fondness,” who on her way back from Africa it had been suggested might visit someone whose work I was translating and publishing. It wasn’t even the taking possession that was so troubling – though Handke might have first called me in New York and asked - as he did his editor Elisabeth Borcher’s husband - whether he could sleep with someone I call the Great Fondness to distinguis her from a number of carnitas passions; and after the initial surprise at the request I would have done as Borcher’s husband did and left it up to Fondness what she would do. – It was not an instance - as there were a few in my lifetime - where physical infidelity made for instant cleavage.  
Under the then there circumstances, had I been a Renaissance warrior or just an ordianry walrus had Handke not been an admired genius author or it had been the „great passion” who had been taken posession of, I might also have killed the bastard the next time he appeared at my door in New York... or he and the great fondness could have fallen in love and the Great Fondness would not have lost any of the Fondness I foisted on to her.
   I myself went back to passion [for my greatest love, MUSIC-A] and initially became no less fond of the Great Fondness, or that semi-Platonic notion – and that good sense and duration of that kind might easily and fruitfully prevail in a couple where both parties are of a literary persuasion. - It was an instance where we might have had yet another entry to a 20th century Laclos revival as they were being lived out during those now long-ago days that Laclos’s work most appropriately was beginning to be read and filmed.  No Laclos relationships, however, for Mr. Handke who can’t or I should say couldn’t handle it if one of his affairs while he was married had another lover. A Pasha of a Walrus he! Under different circumstances we would have employed enuchs in our seraglios!  
– But no, one of the two or three decisive cleavage moments – cleavage of possible friends – manifested itself yawningly like a quaking gulf when the threesome met at the  Algonquin, Handke’s usual New York residence, upon Handke not even seeming to recognize, barely acknowledge a woman to whom he had confessed, among many matters, that his wife Libgart Schwartz leaving him in the early 70s was the worst thing that had ever happened to him – as I – had I been as well-schooled as I am now - might have realized on the basis of translating his fuguing   NONSENSE AND HAPPINESS
 ... not that I think that that is actually the worst....
   The „great fondness” reporting on the goings on at the Lion’s den, Handke’s basement apartment at Rue Montmorency [which I knew quite well], was most enlighting. Like Handke himself, his young daughter was treated to exhibits of the primal scene and expressed typical jealousy. By age 30, in 1972 Peter Handke had committed the delikte of both his real father, a Herr Schoenherr, and his stepfather Bruno Handke – he had, if we are to believe Morawian Night, fathered an illegitimate child in Krk/Cordula [but in compare to his father appears to have made no move to remain in touch with mother or child], had beaten women and his child, to whom he also behaved sadistically in many other ways [vide Weight of the World & for me his weakes because unaware book A Child Story -2] ; he had been a true layabroad in a world of broads waiting to get laid; and, he couln’t handle it if these women – Libgart, Marie Colbin, Sophie Semin - split for pretty much the same set of reasons; neglect, fanatical cold salamander at his desk; liberally unfaithful and insulting in his behavior as I noticed during the Handke, Kolleritchs, Schwartz visit to NY in 1971.


That afternoon of non-acknowledgment and recognition at the Algonquin spooked spookable me, was the fellow schizophrenic? Had there been some motive in taking possession of the great fondness? – he had just left the 25th floor apartment I had lent him, for it being suicidal! and moved back into the Algonquin. –  That afternoon followed a by-then ten-year’s acquaintance that you can read up on at:

and als read footnote # 13.

And ever after I kept my distance from the person or sought if possible to interpose a third, usually Michael Brodksy. Which was followed by my 1980 conquering visit to Handke in Salzburg! that showed me, retrospectively, that I was on a trip to show Handke that I too could dominate. A unique event.

Handke, it turned out, had no interest in the Great Fondness who is memorialized in Weight of the World as someone who learns a number of foreign languages to be able to write a biography. –


In the late 90s in Seattle I happened to meet Wim Wenders who inquired whether Handke and I were still friends. Without explaining that maybe we had never even been, or indicating that I continued to cherish his work - but after mentioning the then long-ago incident Wenders then cited that Handke intentionally hurt all those closest to him.
    Not knowing Wenders, but aware of others Handke had injured both psychically and physically, I failed to ask what Handke had done to injure Wim – who nonetheless has continued to work with Handke over these many years.  
  I have no idea whether the injury Handke caused me and that I entirely forgot during the translation of the great play and subsequent cutting out west and writing of „wish you were here” postcards, so that in fact we could have become or perhaps were friends - was incidental or intentional –  or whether the Handke of the panic states and loss of mother and feminine love and fighting Jeanne Moreau acted out of his usual pashadom that all the women in the world were his - even when married his affairs could have no other lovers aside the Walrus from Griffen! The pasha whose wives kept then kept running away from him because he became a cold-blooded salamander writer, Libgart, Marie Colbin, Sophie Semin who then rejoined him after both had had another series of affairs and Handke finally figured out that separate residences was the solution if he wanted to keep at least one wife.  
   The writing of this page 55 in other words was thoroughly delusionary - the postcards were sent quite a while prior to the decisive blowup, were happy „wish you were here” cards. Handke distorts them after I  replied enlightengly to a Handke threat that he would abbrogate our friendship if I persisted writing tough letter of the kind as I had to PEA as I had subequent to returning form the West and found out that they abrobated an agreed upon contract. „It was something one could not do to him.” Nothing, of course, was being done to him; his statement manifests the man’s extraordinary self-referentiality which you can also find in his correspondence with Unseld and others.
    My handwriting has a curious history. My mother introduced me to reading and writing Christmass 1939 by giving me one of these famous wax tablets that had letters rising out of it if you rubbed it in the right way - magic to a curious four year old as the computer screen became once again. I then had primary school in Vornbach am Inn far in the Southeast, a very rural Bavarian village school in Stifter country far from the bombs, and the Volkschule in the village of Schoenebeck, Bremen. I recall the script of that time, a kind of Gothic; in the U.S. as of 1950 I then changed to writing individual letters – that is, printing more than writing, which however if you speed it up and if the pen and paper are not conducive to each other can come out looking angular – perhaps that is what Handke’s „cuneiform” refers to. However, he had been receiving letters - not just postcards - with that kind of writing for more than a decade and I don’t recall his complaining; rather the opposite, there was a time during this Paris period that he was apparently so lonely that he asked me to write him – which I did in my degenerating German, and he asked me to switch back to English. It took a while to figure out why such a successful writer was so lonely – once you contemplate his behavior at the time his loneliness become less mysterious. Why his behavior is/ was so odd – tollpatchig was what his antagonist Reich-Ranicki called it – becomes less mysterious once Handke makes you aware, as he did Gamper, of autistic episodes – that is even differently mysterious until you examine the vagaries of autism!


My own bad luck initially in New York persisted  [AT- Urizen is attributable to my failure to go see a lawyer to take care of a partner whom Handke it happened to be described as „very dark” http://artscritic.blogspot.com/2011/04/short-unhappy-life-of-urizen-books.html] and at Farrar Straus in the sense that the fellow at that august firm [where I had brought Handke in the 60s, and where I had published two volume of his early plays and several of his novels], a creep who had opposed  Handke and all my  work from the very start – a children’s book editor who had killed my Adorno Reader with a Susan Sontag introduction! after I left to become the Suhrkamp agent – had become - incroyable! - editor in chief – and Handke, well apprised with ccs of my correspondence, observed very accurately that this Iago type was treating me as only such a little shit could... and was astonished at my persistence, about which I did not enlighten him: it had to do with Roger Straus’s promise to do the play once I was done - a matter on which as on so many other that crook then welched. You, too, in you early years may be dazzled by the kind of list that this firm had in the mid 1960s – Lowell, Wilson, Barthelme, Susan Sontag, etc. into thinking that matters must be all above board! Not that they cannot be, but often as I then found out they were anything but. http://artscritic.blogspot.com/2015/04/summa-farrar-straus-roloff.html

Though warned about Straus prior to being asked if I wanted to work there, he nonetheless managed to fleece me of ¾ quarters of my royalties – e.g on 15 of the 20 Hesse tiltles – a matter of many thousand dollars during the life of those contracts which would have made a huge difference, for one in my and Urizen Book’s life; the firm made millions from the titles I brought them. I persisted in that instance to have it on the record that Straus lied. Straus successors have been equally remiss. This was also about the time that Roger Straus wrote Unseld at Suhrkamp that he had a Handke problem – a problem of his own making because he did a lousy job publishing him as the firm then did forever after.
  Subsequentl to the FSG blowup I found Performaing Arts Journal -PEA- folk whom I had given work prior to their starting their own firm, who would do the play; managed to win the first of two big belated lawsuits against the criminal partner

 and managed to get out of the Big Bright City via a new passion that took me to the Southwest and back into healthy nature. There we did a lot of traveling  - Southwest Texas and New Mexico - and then settled in Billy the Kid country and I sent Handke and others postcards by the bunches. The ones from White Sands and Big Bend I think were the most spectacular. Only two Sierras – the Carmen Range near Big Bend vice versa the Ria Grande which is quite grande again resupplied by Mexican waters, and the Sacramentoes in N.M. where M. and I had our fix-me-up hunting lodge. 
I returned to New York about a year later to close down my loft and what if Performing Arts haven’t welched on our contract; and with all the ills I had suffered then sent them a sledge hammer on your toes kind of letter, with cc to Handke in Salzburg, whereupon I received a letter back that started with the words „nice to hear from  you again” - no mention of all those lovely picturesque cards! – and whose two significant sentences were: „this was something one could not do to him” - that of course really rang the bell! - and if I persisted in writing these kinds of letters it was bye bye friendship.
 I was working to get our work published – nothing was being done TO Mr. Handke; but it is a sentence proving Handke’s astounding self-referentiality that characterize AFTERNOON OF A WRITER, too, and the characterization of my handwriting is a projection of Handke’s own death wishes for me; the clearest instance of Handke’s psychosis, the kind of psychotic act that Bloch performs in Goalie.
It was never a good thing to threaten me, but especially not in the years 1982-86. Meanwhile, courtesy of Malte Herwig’s biography we know that Handke is a threatener who threatened friend Kolleritch that Manuskripte would never receive another manuscript of his if they ever ran a negative review of one of his works again.
  I wrote back „re: friendship - Aren’t we lucky” and cited the incident with the Great Fondness „ and for good and nasty measure on my end hadn’t I desisted running away with the insulted and neglected Libgart when the Handke, Kolleritch, Libgart package had been in New York in 1971! Wasn’t she the right rasante for me!... Who ran away to seek refuge with Peymann within the year of our not running away in New York [3], from the cold infidel insulting layabroad salamander ! where-upon Handke had famously spat out the sleepingtablet!   ...   
Mention of Libgart was nasty of me, I had a sense that Libgart splitting had been a major blow, though I had not examined the matter as closely as I have now. No, I knew. The Great Fondness had been told and she told me.
  Handke might as easily have responded with the gallows humor of my reply and we could have laughed the matter off and really have become friends. But no.
The upshot of this exchange was that Handke turned at once to Ralph Mannheim to do another DOERFER translation, which Farrar, Straus however, also, did not publish – that brilliant firm gave up on Handke’s plays at the moment that he became a mature author, all the great later plays, if translated, are all over the place. Subsequently, that genius Steve Wasserman who was running Hill&Wang at that time, the FSG division that did plays at that point, turned down ART OF ASKING & HOUR – imagine that! And in a later exchange with me defended this on the grouds of profitability – KASPAR at that point was probably in its 10th printing and LAKE CONSTANCE at least in its second.
Aside the possibility that Handke was eager to see what the play would do on the stage in English, I expoect my answer - judging by the viciousness of Handke’s memorialization of the episoe in AFTRNOON - was regarded as an act of lese majeste. I had noticed Handke’s vulnerabilities in that respect when I beat him at Taroq at my Moenchberg visit – and he is someone who writes about himself as a child unable to suffer the sliightely defeat of any kind; but, nonetheless, self or occasioal self-awareness does not seem to lead to a change in modus. Still, the viciousness of the p.55 AFTERNOON projection ctd. my breath away after all these years. Here is the man who keeps dreaming of running amok, the potential killer who got ever so lucky by being a writer, and smart by living at the edge of town!
It took a while to find a publisher for VILLAGES, but Ariadne permitted an extensive postscript; yet failed to send review copies even to Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal – thus their books don’t sell and no one but their 500 Austrian subscribers ever hear of them. For six months work I got a total of 650 dollar,  500 Austrian via Ariadne, $ 150 from Partisan review who pre-published a chunk; and a fine bottle of California Red wine from the St. Monica Review who also pre-published a chunk.
But VILLAGES also became my „heart test” – which few passed,and the GREAT FONDNESS of whom I was growing less fond for a variety of reasons only responded to a the single sentence that cites „the hefty taxes” – success had changed her, and not for the better.
  So much for WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES being a PEACE TEXT, a Godsend that turned into an ALBATROSS.

I only translated two more Handke text. One was a brief idyllic text that I found too beautiful to withstand and that can be found in the St. Monica Review & a few years back, for my Serbian director friend Zejlko Dukic in Chicago, THE BEAUTFUL DAYS OF ARANJUEZ
Handke and I it turns out both know of the pornographic heart of the world its great pleasures and its potential for pain.
During the time of the Yugoslav troubles I wanted to translate Handke’s DUG-OUT CANOE

because I had one Ret White here at Cornish who seemed interested in mounting it. Handke nixed it with the curious message via the Suhrkamp Agent „that I should accept” – I didnt accept any foolishness, but it was just as well that I did not go to the trouble.  As usual, Ret White at Cornish did not follow up, typical of the in that respect utterly provincial and disappointing Seattle:
 Meanwhile Scott Abbbott has produced a fine translation of this great piece of work that had been published by PEA
not that anyone has had the guts to mount the play and adjust it in its Brechtian way to different wartime circumstances.


Re-reading Handke’s short novels preparatory to reviewing the comparatively short – to the epics – 2010 THE GREAT FALL reminds me how a long-ago read book can take on a life of its own in the memory bank. What I recalled chiefly about AFTERNOON prior to rereading it just now -  originallyy read 30 years ago in German about the time it was published, was [1] that I know the mountain – the Moenchsberg - that Handke describes decending & Salzburg where I once spent a week in the 60s at a Hegel conference, which I believe also took place on the Moenchsberg, and  which mountain I once ascended and partially decended with Handke once on a night in October 1980 after I had beaten him at Tarok and he was furious and told me he was not going to show me the re-imported runaway wife Libgart Schwartz who I had no idea was the woman on the phone when i had called – „did you get yourself a secretary” being the words that slipped across my lips, to my own surprise – I sensed Handke becoming the kind of „big animal” that the portier at the hotel I was staying at described living on the Moenchsberg.  
 I was always glad that the person [who in WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES, which I translated, admits to being the worst of losers] didn’t toss me across the cliff at the spot where in ACROSS [Chinese des Schmerzens] he tosses the old swastika smearing Nazi!
On first reading AFTERNOON [1] I  made up my mind that, on one level, it was a marvelous example of Handke writing a projection screen for other writers to find and differentiate similarities while [2] simultaneously exhibiting some of his own problematics. Just about every writer can identify with the here critter’s interest in finding the right word – for whatever. Not every or even most are pervaded with „unhappy consciousness” as is Handke throughout this aftrernoon and evening.

[2] and that it was Handke’s projection of his wounded self that is the wounded woman, the hit and run victim, about midway into the book – which, now that I have just reread the passage, is certainly a daring interpretation – in my mind I completed Handke’s syntax the way he then wrote in ONE DARK NIGHT in dream syntax! There are quite a few other mentions of thorny matters - being Handke ’s kind of writer it appears can be painful, is torturturous. Scott Abbott found the road to Golgotha in Left-Handed woman, I only its recollection.
The life the book was living inside me transformed the radio announcer at the midntight end into a walter mitty-like figure – and i had forgotten that he suffers despair on the air -  [4] but certainly he is yet another projection and on the same order as the wounded woman.    
 In the bar or pub  - what the translator calls a „gin mill” – i had tranposed what follows, the conversation with the translator and at that time turned him into Handke’s Serbian translator!
``Matters that I did not recall, that did not make such a lasting impression on me, was how grumpy the writer is during part of his roundabout Salzburg, how self-conscious he is about being well known – the title pertains to a „well known” writer, if not notorious from the way he described being regarded  - as Handke may very well have been subsequent to his interventions in what I call the „Yugoslav trouble” and his appearance a the funeral of the big bad bete noir Milosevic. I have addressed what reasons Handke might hae had rto be geneally disliked in Austria at that time – compared to Thomas Berhard, to whom the book alludes at one point, I would say none.     
And I forgot the fine dissertation on why translating can be a good surrogate for writing.

Shortly after finishing AFTERNOON Handke fled Salburg leaving some manuscripts behind and then took up residence in Chaville a suburb he had dissovered   while he resided in Clamart/ Meudon in the early 70s.
  It is an odd experience to accompany the unhappy consciousness of this writer during his afternoon an evening walk. After all, he had written a number of very fine things by then.   There are suicidal notes here later on – the one I like best is that of letting go of his bedpost and plunging down the sheer cliff and landing on a pile of his writer’s pencil shavings!

1] I am no fan of Mannheim’s – he lived for too long away from the living language and his translations of The Repetition  & A Slow Homecoming need to be redone because his language fails to accmodate Handke’s rhythms. Though she can fuck up big time at difficult moments, I far prefer Krishna Winston’s far more musical work. A better ear!

2] A Child Story I find so poor because I saw a lot of Handke and Amina in that time in Paris and New York and never in my life have I seen such a cowed quiet girl – no dancing steps left at an early age; and so I was not surprised to hear from Eric Wolfgang Skwara around 1994 that Handke deeply regretted his educational ways.

3] The New York Times Reviewer Herbert Mitgang may have a point that the writer must not be a pleasant fellow

4] Aside the aforgoing, there is no one next to my mother that I love more than the bastard from Griffen, for the love that starts to speak out of his work with VILLAGES and that becomes in Peter Strasser’s words EIN FREUDENSTOFF

The stuff of Joy.
he can be the sweetest most generous of men – domage for a woman coming between us.

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