Friday, May 28, 2010

THOMAS BARRY ON HANDKE, Himeji Dokkyo University/Japan

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Reading/Writing: Short Pieces on Two Non-Fiction Texts by Peter Handke
Thomas F. Barry
Himeji Dokkyo University/Japan

=. . . for me that is a kind of recurrent idea. The more I immerse myself in an object, the more it approaches a written sign.=
(= . . . das ist bei mir so eine wiederkehrende Vorstellung. Je mehr ich mich verstiefe in einen Gegenstand, desto mehr naehert er sich dem Schriftzeichen.= )
Peter Handke in conversation with Herbert Gamper/1986 (231)
I. A Circumscribed Life: A Confusion of Nature and History
Wunschloses Unglueck (1972; A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, 1974)
Because of the obviously painful personal circumstances that occasioned the writing of this biographical memoir, it is, for many readers, the most poignant and most accessible of Handke's otherwise rather impersonal or emotionally distant writings. It represents his attempt to come to terms with the suicide of his mother, Maria Handke, at the age of fifty-one in November of 1971. Discussions of the book are to be found in the monographs by Schlueter (119-136), Naegele and Voris (55-61), Firda (77-85), Mixner (182-188), Renner (84-92). Also useful is the introductory essay by Becker-Cantarino in her class textbook edition of the text as is the Volker Bohn essay in the Fellinger collection. The essays by Hammer (1995), Naegele, and Varsava are also informative. A discussion of Handke's childhood and family history can be found in the Haslinger biography.
Most critics read the book as a self-reflexive text which foregrounds the processes that produce it, a postmodern revision of the biography genre. He does not want to produce a mere life chronicle fleshed out with mute facts nor a literary exercise that fashions his mother into some kind of artificial literary construct. Instead of simply narrating the course of his mother's life, he examines the linguistic environment that shaped her life: the social-cultural, religious, and the political-ideological cliches (during WWII) that she received naively and uncritically and which formulated her identity as a =woman.= As with his structuralist insight into the Catholic religious ideology of the seminary priests that posed as =divine nature,= he deconstructs the life of his mother as if it were a =text= and exposes it as a construct indeed a circumscription of (a largely male/paternal dictated) =history.= Her choices as a human being were literally circumscribed/curtailed by the language of the political, economic, and gender power structures that dominated her life. He comments at one point that after the Anschluss with Germany in 1938, Nazi ideologues presented historical events as if they were a =drama of nature= (252). His mother's life is viewed here in terms similar to those presented in his other writings: as a confusion of nature and text, of empirical-existential fact with language, cultural values, and social ideologies. The influence of Barthes' Mythologieson his idea of nature/history distinction is apparent. This deliberate confusion of nature and political ideology also forms the basis for Handke's more recent criticism of the liberal bourgeois media in its portrayal of the Serbs. Praised by some German critics for its historical and feminist relevance, one surmises that this formalist approach to his mother's life also provided Handke with a measure of emotional distance from an obviously painful personal situation. The American reception of the text stressed the emotional and existential dimensions and was rather positive. Jeffrey Eugenides comments in his introduction to the 2002 New York Review of Books Classics edition of the Manheim translation differeniate Handke's project in A Sorrow Beyond Dreams from that of other American (and for that matter, European) postmodernists. His remarks deserve citation here:
Interestingly, Handke's grim book came out during the free-for-all of literary postmodernism. In the United States, writers like Barth, Pynchon, and Coover were publishing wild, funny novels full of narrative disjunctions and formal play. The American postmodernists, fatigued with the complacency of realism, were turning narrative on its head. Because they distrusted omniscience, and more importantly because they distrusted the government during those years of the Vietnam War, they sought to undermine the conventions of storytelling and, in so doing, undermine the political authority that perpetuated itself through conservative, national myths.
Handke's postmodernism is quite different. Though full of the standard hesitations and skeptical of omniscience, A Sorrow Beyond Dreams displays no high-low conflations, no outright attack on political authority. There is just a rigorous demonstration of the failure of language to express the horror of existence. The American postmodernists gave up on traditional storytelling out of an essentially playful, optimistic, revolutionary urge. Handke despairs of narrative out of sheer despair (xii-xiii).
Many German and American postmodern writers and academics are focused on what can be called political deconstruction, the revelation and analysis of social, ideological-political, and gender-based systems of power which ultimately demean and oppress the individual. Handke is certainly in sympathy with these concerns as his writings on Yugoslavia and his critique of the western media's demonization of all Serbs. His clear emphasis, however, on existential and spirtual (essentially Romantic) issues has alienated him from many European readers and professors. Eugenides observations are indicative of the generally positive reception Handke has received in the United States. His American reception is reminiscent of the positive evaluation given to Hermann Hesse's books during the 1960s in the U.S. when, during the same period, he was largely discounted by German critics as being a tedious post-Romantic.
Yet, Handke ultimately judges his own work to be a failure and claims he will write more concretely about it at a later time. He manages to maintain the balance between mere reportage and literary artifice to the extent that his mother's life conforms to the ideological and gender norms of her social milieu. However, when her existential estrangement becomes so intense as to transcend the linguistic and cultural cliches that society has dictated, he comes to identify with her more closely while simultaneously trying to maintain an emotional distance and he loses this delicate balance. He begins to describe her in the same words he uses for himself and his fictional characters, a dilemma he remarks upon in a section of his meta-commentary ( 263-265).
At one point towards the end of the text, for example, he describes his mother as follows: =It was a torment to see how shamelessly she had turned herself inside out; everything about her was dislocated, split, open, inflamed, a tangle of entrails= ( 52). The graphic image of the self being turned inside out is a prominent motif in several of Handke's fictional texts and depicts the existential nadir of the individual and the complete estrangement of consciousness: the self viewed as a monstrous, obscene growth (Barry 1986). In the earlier novel The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, the former soccer goalie Josef Bloch undergoes a schizophrenic breakdown and during one of his more extreme episodes, he is described in terms similar to those Handke uses to portray his mother: =Defenseless, incapable of defending himself, he lay there. Nauseatingly his insides turned inside out; not alien, only repulsively different= ( 57). The 1975 novelA Moment of True Feeling deals with a similar existential crisis in the character of Gregor Keuschnig. He is again described with images that recall both Bloch and the figure of Handke's mother: =In the next moment he felt as though he were bursting out of his skin and a lump of flesh and sinew lay wet and heavy on the carpet.= ( 8). The portrayal of the mother here moves subtly from fact to fiction.
The mother becomes ironically, in the course of the narrative, yet another confusion of text and life, a fictional extension of the son, another character of the son's literary texts. In the Gamper interview, Handke remarks that the book is not really about his mother but is =meine eigene Geschichte= (=my own story=) (225), that is, autobiography rather than biography. On the theme of women and sexuality so curiously neglected in the critical literature on Handke, Hammer (1993), whose provocative writings on the author explore issues of gender, sexuality, desire, and anger, suggests that there may well be oedipal and narcissistic issues at work in this text. The (perhaps highly sexualized) merging of son and mother in the text seems to prompt the breakdown of the narrative into fragments  a literary impotence or a narratus interruptus--and it ends with a promise of repetition.1
II. The Essays: Attempts at Writing/Revisioning the Self
Versuch ueber die Muedigkeit (1989)
Versuch ueber die Jukebox (1990) (The Jukebox and Other Essays on Storytelling, 1994)
Versuch ueber den geglueckten Tag (1991)
=Listening to Beatles' records turned out to be an excellent cure for too much thinking.= Geoffrey O'Brien
This set of essays, like Handke's journals, has received a mixed reception from readers and critics and for much the same reasons as the latter. They have been condemned as being boring and inconsequential, reflecting an author ultimately obsessed with his own thought processes, residual echoes of Durzak's older charges of narcissism. The topics are indeed unusual, even trivial, but they are essays very much in sense of Montaigne, explorations of the writer's consciousness (his memories especially) = un livre de moi= but they are also reflections upon the act of narration. The first essay is an examination of the role tiredness has played in the writer's life, presented in a series of questions and answers. Handke transforms an everyday experience--often precipitated by states of boredom--into a fascinating exploration of the world of slow motion, differentiating degrees of fatigue, the types of weariness, its rejuvenating effects, as well as its erotic, cultural, and political implications. The second is a third person chronicle of a writer who travels around Spain, much like the peripatetic Nietzsche in his wanderings from hotel to hotel in Switzerland and Northern Italy, in search of these old music machines in order to write an essay with the title =Essay on the Jukebox.= Handke attempts to understand the significance of the jukebox, a spiritual quest that leads him into the literature of the jukebox, the history of the music box, and his memories of the Beatle's music. In so doing, he elucidates the various stages of his own life. The third text contains a first/third person reflection on what might constitute a successful day for the writer. Handke invents a picture of tranquility, using a self-portrait by Hogarth as his point of departure to describe a state of being at peace, a project already conceived of by Valentin Sorger in The Long Way Around =on such a day the fact of morning and evening, light and darkness ought to be beauty enough= (132). Some of the better critical readings of the essays are by Hammer (1993), Hoesterey, Ribbat, Steiner, and Moser.
The essay on tiredness takes up a theme that has concerned Handke throughout his career. His first novel, Die Hornissen (The Hornets), contains a chapter entitled =Die Muedigkeit= (=Tiredness') in which the blind narrator, sitting in a chair, endures a semi-paralysis and becomes sensitive to the sounds around him. 2 Tiredness is also taken up in the =Geborgenheit unter der Schaedeldecke= (=Safety beneath the Skull=) essay in which it is associated with states of anxiety. The essay on tiredness proper is structured like a conversation between a therapist and patient. The analytic/synthetic act of writing here is ultimately a therapeutic one in which the self of the past is simultaneously dismembered or =deconstructed= in and as memories--and then remembered in the act of writing. In this remembrance, the self is thereby repeated and re- (en) visioned, recreating itself anew in and as the transfigurations of textual activity. 3 This textual reconstruction of the self constitutes the writer's transcendence, which is only momentary, occurring only during the activity of writing. The author seeks in his essay to examine the =Bilder=/=pictures or images= his problem of tiredness engenders in him, translating these inner pictures into language =with its twists and turns and overtones= (12). Near the end of the essay, he makes the following observation on images, memories, and his own writing:
A few days ago, the dead body of a mole was making its way through
the dust of this Andalusian road as slowly and solemnly as the
statues of sorrow that are carried about on stands during Easter
Week here in Andalusia; under it, when I turned it over, there was
a procession of glittering-gold carrion beetles. And last winter,
on a similar dirt road in the Pyrenees, I squatted down in the
exact same way as we are squatting now, and watched the snow
falling in small grainy flakes, but, once it lay on the ground,
indistinguishable from grains of light-colored sand; in melting,
however, it left strange puddles, dark spots very different from
those made by raindrops, much larger and more irregular as they
trickled away into the dust. And as a child, at just the same
distance from the ground as we are now, I was walking in the first
morning light with my grandfather, on just such a dirt road in
Austria, barefoot, just as close to the ground and just as
infinitely far from the dispersed craters in the dust, where the
raindrops had struck--my first image, one that will let itself be
repeated forever (39-40).
The act of writing/calligraphy in =strange puddles, dark spots= and =dispersed craters,= images of dust, decay, and death, and squatting down as the close observation of nature structure this paragraph. A personal (and therefore idiosyncratic) chain of visual associations link the vulnerable childhood self (and Handke's beloved and protective grandfather) with the aging and tired adult in a reverie of a funeral procession that is also linked to a rebirth. A primal image that is repeated and in its repetition, there lies the existential continuity of the writer's self and his texts.
The image of writing and the self here is mystical and should be understood as a signatura rerum in the mystical sense of Jacob Boehme's 1621 De signatura rerum (The Signature of All Things.; Chapter One/Sections Six and Sixteen):
6. In the human mind the signature lies most artfully composed, according to the essence of all essences; and man wants nothing but the wise master that can strike his instrument, which is the true spirit of the high might of eternity; if that be quickened in man, that it stirs and acts in the centre of the mind, then it plays on the instrument of the human form, and even then the form is uttered with the sound in the word: As his instrument was set in the time of his incarnation, so it sounds, and so is his knowledge; the inward manifests itself in the sound of the word, for that is the mind's natural knowledge of itself.
16. Therefore the greatest understanding lies in the signature, wherein man (viz. the image of the greatest virtue) may not only learn to know himself, but therein also he may learn to know the essence of all essences; for by the external form of all creatures, by their instigation, inclination, and desire, also by their sound, voice, and speech which they utter, the hidden spirit is known; for nature has given to everything its language according to its essence and form, for out of the essence the language or sound arises, and the fiat of that essence forms the quality of the essence in the voice or virtue which it sends forth, to the animals in the sound, and to the essentials in smell, virtue, and form.
The observation of form in nature and humankind is a religious activity that is practiced in many of Handke's fictional persona from Josef Bloch and Valentin Sorger to his most recent creations. The conjoining of art and religion enlightenment in all its dimensions--is implicit in the existential and psychotherapeutic project of his writing. It is religious in the sense of both of the presumed Latin roots of the word: religare or a re-binding of the finite self with the divine and relegere or a re-reading of the signs that constitute the divine self and its re-creation in the reader. The reading and writing of the divine  the images of death and rebirth he observed on the ground is an effort to capture the nunc stans or the eternal present that is a revelation of the divine presence. The act of revealing the divine is, however, an attempt--an essay of the writer--and is imperfect and must therefore be repeated. The eternal present in this imperfect image =will let itself be repeated forever= and indeed, must, in the Nietzschean sense of the term =eternal repetition,= be embraced and affirmed.
The text of the essay treats many forms of tiredness and they resemble the modalities of Handke's own fictional characters, negative states of tiredness associated with guilt, shame, and estrangement and positive forms associated with a merging of the self with the external world as in his mystical loss of ego as he watches people passing by in Manhattan (27-29) (a scene which also finds expression in the final section of the Long Way Around novel). This latter positive form of =clear sighted tiredness= (31) is linked to what the writer calls the fourth attitude of his =linguistic self= (31) with respect to reality in which the self is extinguished and becomes pure gaze. The world then reveals itself in its objective truth and =the world tells its own story without words, in utter silence= (31). The first two attitudes of his linguistic identity describe his utter alienation from the external world accompanied by (autistic-like) states of speechlessness, the nadir of self in Handke's texts. The third attitude represents the origins of his sense of relatedness to the world and others in and through language as story/text: =life enters into me by beginning spontaneously, sentence for sentence, to tell stories= (31). This is the stance that dominates Bloch's consciousness in The Goalie's Anxiety.
He discusses the fourth attitude of a =unifying= (36) tiredness in terms of a rehabilitated Kantian =Thing in itself= that is the pure (mystical) perception of the world as it is when the self/world dualism collapses. He also discusses it in terms of the longing for an (epic) spiritual-aesthetic totality in which all things are related as the good, the true, and the beautiful the world map of the =all together'= (39)--that forms such a prominent theme in Handke's writings. 4 The interlocutor-therapist figure ironically terms these expressions in the essay =typically mystical stammerings= (42). Handke is well aware of the audacity of his radical insistence on his subjectivity and the negative criticism it has engendered.
The essay on the jukebox is a text about the preparations for writing a text, a meta-text that recalls his first novel Die Hornissen that is a novel about the origins of a novel. It treats the melancholic writer's quest around the Spanish countryside for a highly ironic vision of the =holy grail= of the now defunct artifact of pop culture, the jukebox. It is associated in his mind with the music of the 1960s that has been a motif in his writings =and with his first experiences of the ecstatic loss of self, the overcoming, as the O'Brien quote on listening to the Beatles suggests, of the (neurotic) thinking that generates his estrangement from the world (91). In these earlier experiences with the jukebox as with his mystical moments of ultimate (epic) tiredness, he perceives the people and objects around him with =such enhanced presentness= (99), a moment that resembles the vision of =EINER ANDEREN ZEIT=/=SOME OTHER TIME=(116) in the narrator of Short Letter, Long Farewell and the epiphany experience of the nunc stans or the static moment of eternity in The Lesson of Sainte Victoire (143). It also recalls the =disturbed= perceptions of earlier estranged characters such as Josef Bloch and Gregor Keuschnig. Like these latter figures, the writer in the jukebox essay feels compelled to view objects as signs or metaphors to =read= the world as a text--as in the beginning of the essay at the train station, he sees the footprints of previous travelers as some kind of graphic omen for his project (4).
Having found his jukebox in a bar in Linares/Andalusia, the text ends with desolate and ironic images of alienation and writing as the author observes a Chinese girl (who resides in Spain) copying Chinese characters into a notebook and realizes his quest as only having just begun (118). The irony of the image resides in the notion that the writer who seeks experiences of totality/connection with reality must do so under conditions of the utmost isolation from society, the conditions of all those who seek mystical visions.
The imagery of Chinese writing here recalls Handke's use of it in The Lesson of Sainte-Victoire in order to formulate his poetics of the transformation of the world Thing-Image-Script= (178)--into text.5 This aesthetic transformation of the mute world of objects into language signs is the project of Handke's fiction, the creation of a therapeutic connection, a totality between his (estranged) consciousness and world, a project the character of Sorger also a fan of the jukebox-- formulates succinctly in the Long Way Aroundnovel: =There is a possible connection, . . .. Every moment of my life is connected with every other without intermediate links. The connection is there; I need only imagine it in full freedom= (75). The experience of totality/connection that the writer seeks is one of radical immanence in the domain of the imagination liberated from the ideological concepts and the =system thinking= of bourgeois society.
In the writer's ruminations on what constitutes a successful day, he discusses the difficulties of sawing logs for his fireplace as =a complete parable, or fable?, for the success of his day= (141). He describes his problems writing in terms of startling ironic imagery, the saw, as it makes its final cuts, striking =against stone, nail, and bone all in one, and just before the finale, so to speak, the undertaking would come to grief= (142-143). Hammer (1993) reads this violent scene, and the essay series as a whole, as a =process of aesthetic self-castration in payment for a new, legitimized, subjectivity= (P19). The sawing of the log serves, indeed, as a (highly sensual, sexualized, and even masturbatory) depiction of the writing process and of the potential collapse that hovers behind the writing of the essays (and, as in A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, behind all of Handke's texts). Writing is both an analytical dismemberment  =a =deconstruction= in the broadest of terms--of the real self and its synthetic =rememberment= in a transformed state as a textual self. The writer claims the best way to proceed is to find the correct starting point for sawing and to begin with a =jolt= (141). The word serves as a major motif in Handke's writing as a signal of the (violent) dislocation from everyday reality, the estranged consciousness in its radical immanence that motivates such characters as Bloch and Keuschnig and that initiates the aesthetic process for the author. The writer of the successful day essay even comments earlier on that many (readers) has objected to the ='ugliness'=(129) of this word. He discusses the even rhythm of the saw in aesthetic terms as =the ideal embodiment of his dream of disinterested pleasure= (143) and in words one thing led to another= (142) that describe the paratactic style the essay writer uses himself (136). They also which recall both the paratactic sentences in many of the entries in Handke's journals and those the disturbed Josef Bloch finds so calming: =One sentence yielded the next sentence. And then, and then, and then . . . For a little while it was possible to look ahead without worrying.=(Handke's ellipsis; 60-61). The setbacks he experiences in writingà=from the breaking of a pencil point to touching upon issues so intensely personal, of flesh and bone as it were, that they remain incommunicable= serve him, however, as a renewed occasion to reimagine/rewrite the moment into a positive experience through =a liberating act of awareness or reflection= (143), an imaginative act of therapeutic self-determination that points to the core of what has been Handke's aesthetic program since his first experiences of reading literature in his seminary days.
Peter Handke's Works Cited
=Die Geborgenheit unter der Schaedeldecke= in Als das Wuenschen noch geholfen hat. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1974, 71-80. (=Safety beneath the Skull=)
Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1970.
The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick. Trans. Michael Roloff. InThree By Peter Handke. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1974. 5-97.
Die Hornissen. Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 1966. (The Hornets)
Ich bin ein Bewohner des Elfenbeinturms. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1972. ( I am an Inhabitant of the Ivory Tower)
Der kurze Brief zum langen Abschied. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1972
Short Letter, Long Farewell. Trans. Ralph Manheim. In Three By Peter Handke. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1974.99-238.
Wunschloses Unglueck. Eine Erzaehlung. Frankfurt am Main; Suhrkamp, 1972.
A Sorrow Beyond Dreams. A Life Story. Trans. Ralph Manheim. InThree By Peter Handke. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1974. 243-298.
Die Stunde der wahren Empfindung. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1975.
A Moment of True Feeling. Trans. Ralph Manheim. In Two Novels by Peter Handke . New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1977. 9-102.
Langsame Heimkehr. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1979.
The Long Way Around. Trans. Ralph Manheim. In Slow Homecoming. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1985. 3-137.
Die Lehre der Mont Sainte-Victoire. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1980.
The Lesson of Monte Sainte-Victoire. Trans. Ralph Manheim. In Slow Homecoming . New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1985. 141-211.
Das Gewicht der Welt. Salzburg: Residenz, 1977.
The Weight of the World. Trans. Ralph Manheim. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1979.
Versuch ueber die Muedigkeit. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1989.
=Essay on Tiredness.= Trans. Ralph Manheim. In The Jukebox and Other Essays on Storytelling . New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1994. 3-44.
Versuch ueber die Jukebox. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1990.
=Essay on the Jukebox.= Trans. Krishna Winston. In The Jukebox and Other Essays on Storytelling . New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1994. 47-118.
Versuch ueber den geglueckten Tag. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1991.
=Essay on the Successful Day.= Trans. Ralph Manheim. In The Jukebox and Other Essays on Storytelling . New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1994. 121-167.
Secondary Works Cited
Barry, Thomas F. ==Sehnsucht nach einem Bezugssystem': The Existential Aestheticism of Peter Handke's Recent Fiction= inNeophilologus 68 (1984), 259-270.
Barry, Thomas F. =Language, Self, and The Other in Peter Handke's The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick .= South Atlantic Review 51.2 (May 1986), 93-105.
Boehme, Jacob. The Signature of All Things. London and Toronto: J. M. Dent, 1912. Reissued, Cambridge, England: James Clarke, 1969.
Barthes, Roland. Mythologies. Trans. Annette Lavers. New York: Hill, 1972.
Becker-Cantarino, Barbara. =Introduction.= In Peter Handke. Wunschloses Unglueck. Edited by Barbara Becker-Cantarino. Boston: Suhrkamp-Insel, 1985, pp. ix-xiv.
Caviola, Hugo. =Ding-Bild-Schrift: Peter Handke's Slow Homecoming to a =Chinese' Austria.= Modern Fiction Studies 36/3 (Autumn 1990), 381-401.
Durzak, Manfred. Peter Handke und die deutsche Gegenwartsliteratur. Narziss auf Abwegen . Stuttgart:1982.
Eugenides, Jeffrey. =Introduction.= In A Sorrow Beyond Dreams. A Life Story. Trans. Ralph Manheim. New York: New York Review of Books, 2002. v-xiv.
Fellinger, Raimund, Ed. Peter Handke. Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 1985.
Firda, Richard Arthur. Peter Handke. New York: Twayne, 1993.
Gamper, Herbert. Aber ich lebe nur von den Zwischenrauemen. Ein Gespraech, gefuehrt von Herbert Gamper . Zuerich: Ammann Verlag, 1987.
Hammer, Stephanie Barbe. =On the Bull's Horns with Peter Handke: Debates, Failures, Essays, and a Postmodern Livre de Moi.= Postmodern Culture 4/1 (September 1993). Electronic Journal.
Hammer, Stephanie Barbe. =Just Like Eddie or As Far As a Boy Can Go: Vedder, Barthes, and Handke Dismember Mama.= Postmodern Culture 6/1 (September 1995). Electronic Journal.
Haslinger, Adolf. Peter Handke. Jugend eines Schriftstellers. Salzburg: Residenz, 1992.
Hoesterey, Ingeborg. =Autofiction: Peter Handke's Trilogy of Try-outs.= In The Fiction of the I: Contemporary Austrian Writers and Autobiography . Ed. Nicholas J. Meyerhofer. Riverside, CA: Ariadne Press, 1999. 47-60.
Klinkowitz, Jerome and Knowlton, James. The Goalie's Journey Home: Peter Handke and the Postmodern Transformation . Columbia, Mo: University of Missouri Press, 1983.
Michel, Volker. Verlustgeschichten. Peter Handkes Poetik der Erinnerung. Wuerzburg: Koenigshausen &Neumann, 1998.
Moser, Samuel. =Das Glueck des Erzaehlens ist das Erzaehlen des Gluecks.= In Peter Handke. Die Langsamkeit der Welt . Ed. Gerhard Fuchs und Gerhard Melzer. Graz/Wien: Droschl, 1993. 137-153.
Naegele, Rainer and Voris, Renate. Peter Handke. Muenchen: C.H.Beck, 1978.
Naegele, Rainer. =Peter Handke: Wunschloses Unglueck.= InDeutsche Romane des 20. Jahrhunderts . Ed. Paul Michael Lutzeler. Koenigstein: Athenaeum, 1983. 388-402.
Renner, Rolf Guenter. Peter Handke. Stuttgart: Metzler, 1985.
Ribbat, Ernst. =Peter Handkes =Versuche': Schreiben von Zeit und Geschichte.= In =Schein und Sein-Traum und Wirklichkeit.= Zur Poetik oesterreicher Schriftsteller/innen im 20. Jahrhundert . Ed. Herbert Alt und Manfred Diersch. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1994. 167-179.
Schlueter, June. The Plays and Novels of Peter Handke. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1981.
Steiner, Uwe C. =Das Glueck der Schrift. Das graphisch-graphematische Gedaechtnis in Peter Handkes Texten: Goethe, Keller Kleist.= Deutsche Vierteljahresschrift 70/2 (Juni), 256-289.
Varsava, Jerry A. =Autobiography as Metafiction: Peter Handke's A Sorrow Beyond Dreams.= Clio 14/2 (1985). 119-135.

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