Peter Handke 1942-
Austrian playwright, novelist, memoirist, scriptwriter, short story writer, essayist, and poet.
Regarded as the most important postmodern writer since Samuel Beckett, Handke has earned European literary acclaim as one of the preeminent German-language writers of his generation. Influenced by the writings of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, Handke's own writings challenge the role and influence that language plays in creating one's identity, questioning the importance of language and the barriers that language creates.
Handke was born on December 6, 1942, in the Austrian village of Griffen. His mother, Maria, married Bruno Handke, a German army sergeant stationed in Austria, out of convenience, as Handke's biological father was married to someone else. Handke won a scholarship to a Jesuit seminary located in Tanzenberg and then transferred to a gymnasium (European secondary school) in Klagenfurt. He studied law from 1961 to 1965 at the University of Graz, where he became involved with the Grazer Gruppe (Grazer Group). In 1966, while attending a literary convention at Princeton University of the Gruppe 47, the most influential association of German writers at the time, Handke criticized the lecturers and discussions for their “empty descriptiveness.” He left law school in 1966, failing to take the final exams to earn his law degree, and went to live in Germany where he married Libgart Schwarz. Also that year he created the Sprechstücke (speech plays), a series of five experimental plays based on the concept and power of language.
The Sprechstücke, a collection of plays Handke wrote early in his career, are known for their play on the power of language and for breaking down the fourth wall between the actors and the audience. Publikumsbeschimpfung (1966; Offending the Audience) begins with rules for the actors. The actors are told to listen to the litanies of the Catholic church, watch a Beatles’ films, listen to “Tell Me” by the Rolling Stones, and observe people pretending to be monkeys and spitting llamas in a zoo. Audience members hear noises from behind the curtains, see scenery being set up, and are greeted by ushers who bar them from “watching:” the play because they are dressed “inappropriately.” When the stage curtains are lifted, the audience meets four actors who explain to them that they, the audience, are the true actors of Publikumsbeschimpfung. This is followed by the four actors, or speakers, repeating themselves, contradicting themselves, and both praising and insulting members of the audience. Weissagung (1966; Prophecy) begins with a quotation from Osip Mandelstam and proceeds with a long series of prophetic figures of speech. Selbstbezichtigung (1966; Self-Accusation) is written for a male and female speaker. The actors describe their first movements, sounds, and sights as infants, and later, as they learn language, their first forays into socialization. As the actors continue on their language evolution, the audience becomes aware of how critical language is to society and to social rules. In Hilferufe (1967; Calling for Help) an unidentified speaker uses sentence fragments to convey or associate to the audience a sense of danger. The play explores the notion of the word “help”. The last play of the Sprechstücke is Kaspar (1968). Kaspar is based on a real-life account of Kaspar Haser, who at the age of 16 was discovered in Nümberg, Germany, without the ability to speak, read, or even walk. The play focuses on the direct relationship between “words” and “things.” After the Sprechstücke, Handke wrote Das Mündel will Vormund sein (1969; My Foot My Tutor), a play about the relationship between two characters, and the dominant/submissive roles the characters have with each other. Quodlibet (1970) consists of several characters from various walks of life. The characters do not communicate through complete sentences, but rather by sentence fragments. There is no plot line to the play, but rather by the sentence fragments uttered the audience pulls together a storyline for the characters. In the 1980s, Handke wrote Über die Dörfer (1981; Through the Villages), a play similar to the work of Greek playwright Aeschylus. In the play, the protagonist Gregor must decide if he should mortgage the house he owns, displacing his brother Hans who lives in the house, to finance his sister Sophie's interest in opening up a shop. In 1989 Handke wrote Das Spiel vom Fragen oder Die Reise zum sonoren Land (Voyage to the Sonorous Land; or, The Art of Asking) Over four hours long, the play consists of eight characters, seven who are travelling to a magical land, and the eighth character a native of this land. Russian author Anton Chekhov and Austrian author Ferdinand Raimund are two central characters in the play.
Critics' interest in Handke's work has strengthened over time. While he is consistently praised for his evocative explorations of language, perception, and the limits of expression, some of his more experimental works, though appreciated for their ambition, have been judged overly cerebral and abstract to the point of inaccessibility. His first drama, Offending the Audience, not only thrilled the audiences that were the object of Handke's abuse, but also the reviewers. Praised for its attack on conventional notions of the theatre, the play has exerted a significant influence on contemporary drama. Kaspar, the last of Handke's Sprechstücke, has been cited as one of the most important works of post-World War II German literature. Even when the play's thesis—that socialization through the teaching of language robs a person of his individuality—was rejected, the drama was commended for its intellectual rigor and overall dramatic intensity. The success of Kaspar established Handke's international reputation and helped silence critics who questioned his qualifications after he spoke out against Gruppe 47.
*Publikumsbeschimpfung [Offending the Audience] 1966
*Selbstbezichtigung [Self-Accusation] 1966
*Weissagung [Prophesy] 1966
*Hilferufe [Calling for Help] 1967
Das Mündel will Vormund sein [My Foot My Tutor] 1969
Der Ritt über den Bodensee [The Ride across Lake Constance] 1970
Die Unvernünftigen sterben aus [They Are Dying Out] 1973
Über die Dörfer [Through the Villages] 1981
Das Spiel vom Fragen oder Die Reise zum sonoren Land [ Voyage to the Sonorous Land, or, The Art of Asking] 1990
Die Stunde da wir nichts voneinander der wuβten: Ein Schauspiel [The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other] 1992
Die Theaterstücke 1992
Zuruestungen für die Unsterblichkeit: Ein Koenigsdrama 1997
Die Fahrt im Einbaum oder Das Stuck zum Film vom Krieg [The Canoe Trip or the Play of the Film of the War] 1999
Die Hornissen [The Hornets] (novel) 1966
Begrüssung des Aufsichtrats: Prosatexte (short stories) 1967
Der Hausierer [The...
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Criticism: General Commentary
SOURCE: Firda, Richard Arthur. “Theatrical Experiments.” In Peter Handke, pp. 13-40. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1993.
[In the following essay, Firda examines the techniques Handke uses to explore language in his plays.]
EARLY THEATER, 1966-1967
Though Peter Handke had published an experimental novel, Die Hornissen, in 1966, it was the premiere of his first play, Publikumsbeschimpfung, in that same year that established his name as an innovator in modern German theater.1Publikumsbeschimpfung, first performed on 8 June 1966 at the leftist-oriented Theater am Turm in Frankfurt under the direction of Claus Peymann, is the first work in a collection of Sprechstücke (Language plays). The German word Sprechstücke recalls the focus in a language play on words, sentences, and language as primary reasons for writing and viewing a play.2 The underlying experience for the viewer-reader becomes clear only as he or she confronts the play on the stage or reads it as a printed text. Jerome Klinkowitz and Jerome Knowlton note that “linguistic deconstruction” in this play (as in other Sprechstücke) creates a sense of radical familiarity, and that in Handke's subsequent language plays, “a fully formed yet nonillusionistic world is being made on stage” (107). There is little here to which the audience can relate from...
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Criticism: Publikumsbeschimpfung (Offending The Audience)
SOURCE: Hern, Nicholas. “Offending the Audience.” In Peter Handke: Theatre and Anti-Theatre, pp. 30-45. London: Oswald Wolff, 1971.
[In the following essay, Hern disusses the theatrics involved in Offending the Audience and how this play differs from standard theatrical productions time.]
The text of Offending the Audience is prefaced by a short list of seventeen ‘Rules for the Actors’ (this is the only time Handke uses the word ‘actor’ in connection with his Sprechstücke, otherwise they are speakers: the casting for this play is simply ‘Four speakers’). These rules are a series of ‘look and listen and learn’ instructions, directing the actors' attention to various more or less mundane sights and sounds, to be heard emanating from Catholic churches, football crowds, riots, debates, simultaneous translation systems, bicycle wheels, cement mixers, trains, the Rolling Stones, and the Radio Luxembourg Hit Parade, and to be seen demonstrated by layabouts, animals at the zoo, Lee J. Cobb, Gary Cooper and the Beatles. Just as John Cage insists that all sound is music, and Ann Halprin that all movement is dance, so Handke seems to be saying to his actors that the very mundanity of these visual and aural experiences should not invalidate them. They are worth seeing and worth hearing for their own sake and Handke even emphasises certain parts of each experience as...
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SOURCE: Hern, Nicholas. “Kaspar.” In Peter Handke: Theatre and Anti-Theatre, pp. 59-74. London: Oswald Wolff, 1971.
[In the following essay, Hern discuses Kaspar, comparing it to The Living Theatre's production of Frankenstein, as well as to The Bald Prima Donna by Eugene Ionesco.]
Even the title of Handke's first full-length play [Kaspar] signals a new development. Kaspar is after all a name, the name of the central figure, and no figure with a name has hitherto appeared in Handke's plays. More than this, Kaspar represents an actual historical personage, Kaspar Hauser, who mysteriously turned up from nowhere in Nuremberg in 1828, aged 16, but with the mind of a child. Ernst Jandl's short poem ‘16 years’, chosen by Handke to preface his play, can be seen as referring obliquely to Hauser and his limited powers of speech, as it asks lispingly: ‘what thall/he do/the lad/with hith/thickthteen yearth’. But, hardly surprisingly, Kaspar is not a dramatised historical biography. ‘The play Kaspar does not show how Things Really are or Really were with Kaspar Hauser’, reads the first line of Handke's introduction. ‘It shows what is Possible with someone. It shows how someone can be brought to speech by speech. The play could also be called Speech-Torture (Sprechfolterung).’ In fact, the play was originally provisionally entitled...
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SOURCE: Schlueter, June. “Kaspar.” In The Plays and Novels of Peter Handke, pp. 41-50. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1981.
[In the following essay, Schlueter discusses Handke's study of language in the play Kaspar.]
Kaspar (1967), Handke's first full-length play, premiered simultaneously at the Theater am Turm in Frankfurt (under the direction of Claus Peymann) and the Oberhausen Städtische Bühne (under the direction of Günther Büch) and became the most frequently performed modern play in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland during the 1968-69 season.1 The same audiences who had smiled wryly at the abuse they endured from Handke's first Sprechstücke, along with thousands of others, flocked to the theaters to see the producton which Theater heute was to declare “Play of the Year” in 1968, which Peter Brook was later to direct in Paris prisons, and which theaters in New York, London, Paris, and numerous other major cities were to perform in subsequent years. Enthusiastic reviewers praised the play as a major theatrical event, suggesting a greatness akin to that of Waiting for Godot (En Attendant Godot, 1952) and predicting a permanent place for Kaspar in literary history. Jack Kroll called Handke “the hottest young playwright in Europe” and Clive Barnes referred to him as “one of the most important young playwrights...
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SOURCE: Herrick, Jeffrey. “Peter Handke's Kaspar: A Study of Linguistic Theory in Modern Drama.” Philological Quarterly 63, no. 2 (spring 1984): 205-21.
[In the following essay, Herrick discusses language and its limitations in Handke's Kaspar and gives a comparison to The Chairs by Eugene Ionesco.]
Although considerable scholarly effort has recently been given to applying linguistic studies and theories to literary texts, especially in deconstruction, almost none has been given to examining literary works in which the creative use of linguistic theory plays a manifest role. Yet several modern European dramatists have clearly concerned themselves with linguistic theory in their plays. The overt use of linguistic theory in drama has largely been due, it seems, to the epistemological basis of much modern linguistic theorizing, since those modern dramatists who deal with linguistic questions generally have philosophical and psychological matters under study. This is nowhere more apparent than in Peter Handke's Kaspar, which is a presentation of a linguistic indoctrination that has tragic dimensions. The subtle and insidious power of unseen prompters to control the development of the protagonist Kaspar's mind has its basis in the idea of the deterministic priority of language structure in thought, an idea labeled the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis by linguists. But Kaspar is...
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SOURCE: Malkin, Jeanette R. “‘Think What You Are Saying’: Verbal Politics in the Early Plays of Handke and Kroetz.” Modern Drama 33, no. 3 (September 1990): 363-379.
[In the following essay, Malkin compares the play Kaspar to Franz Xaver Kroetz's dramas Stallerhof and Geisterbahn.]
Peter Handke and Franz Xaver Kroetz have, as both will readily admit, very little in common.1 If anything, they occupy opposite ends in the spectrum of contemporary German dramaturgy and, with each successive play, seem to move further apart. Handke's abstract subjectivity has in recent plays (such as Über die Dörfer, 1981) deepened into near mysticism. Kroetz, on the other hand, has moved from sub-proletarian naturalism to, more recently, an almost cinematic depiction of middle-class moral styles (as in Furcht und Hoffnung der BDR, 1984). Handke is a private person, an individualist with an aversion to labels, systems, and political affiliations.2 His critical acclaim has always been greater than his popularity and some of his best writing has been done in the novel, rather than the dramatic genre. Kroetz is a highly prolific and popular playwright (and actor). Much produced, often interviewed, he is outspoken, polemical, politically engaged, a one-time member and even spokesman of the German Communist Party (KPD).3
It is perhaps the very...
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SOURCE: Barnett, David. “Dramaturgies of Sprachkritik: Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Blut Am Hals Der Katze and Peter Handke's Kaspar.” Modern Language Review 95, no. 4 (October 2000): 1053-63.
[In the following essay, Barnett discusses how Kaspar has become a modern classic through its exploration of language and unique staging techniques.]
Twentieth-century literature has been fascinated by language, more precisely, perhaps, by the disjunction of word and meaning. Few literary works, however, have attempted to approach these problems from the perspective of their linguistic foundations. The dramatic medium, with its possibilities of contrasting text with image, might suggest itself as particularly well suited for such an investigation. Peter Handke's Kaspar (première 11 May 1967, Theater am Turm, Frankfurt and Städtische Bühnen, Oberhausen) is probably the best-known example of a play about the mechanisms of language.1 Ever since its first performance it has generated interest and stimulated much critical comment. This major play is not the only one to make linguistics its focal point. Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Blut am Hals der Katze (première 20 March 1971, Städtische Bühnen, Nuremberg) also focuses on the figure of the linguistic tabula rasa, yet it engages the medium in a very different way. To my knowledge, only one scholarly...
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Criticism: Der Ritt üEber Den Bodensee (The Ride Across Lake Constance)
SOURCE: Kaufman, Sarah. “The Truth about Lake Constance.” Washington Post (9 October 1998): N41.
[In the following review, Kaufman discusses theatrical stagings in the 1930s, as well as tie-ins to German movie stars whom director John Spitzer uses for his adaption of Handke's The Ride across Lake Constance, performed by the Fradulent Production.]
The tiny, 45-seat theater at D.C. Arts Center is currently home to some Very Big Ideas.
The Ride across Lake Constance is FraudProd's fourth production by Austrian experimentalist Peter Handke, whom director John Spitzer calls the most important playwright of the late 20th century—despite the fact that he is little known on this side of the Atlantic. What the rest of the country hasn't yet discovered, says Spitzer, is Handke's take on reality.
Handke deals with that fundamental postmodern concept of multiple truths—“many divergent realities that are valid at the same moment. And if you're going to seize on one possible interpretation, you're going to close out 50 others,” the director says.
Which is exactly the issue in Ride. In a properly appointed, 1931 drawing room, a mix of characters (all named for German silent-film actors) talk about events that may or may not be real, may or may not be fantasy. Nobody seems to know for sure, which is exactly the point. Who can...
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SOURCE: Hern, Nicholas. “The Ride Across Lake Constance.” In Peter Handke: Theatre and Anti-Theatre, pp. 90-94. London: Oswald Wolff, 1971.
[In the following essay, Hern discusses the question of sanity versus insanity in Handke's work The Ride Across Lake Constance, comparing it to previous Handke plays such as Kaspar and My Foot My Tutor.]
Handke's second full-length play [The Ride Across Lake Constance] is a critic's dream in that, while clearly re-using certain elements from the author's earlier plays, it equally clearly represents an advance on these plays; but it is also a critic's nightmare in that this advance is into territory almost totally devoid of those landmarks such as logic, consistency, sequentiality, by which a critic would normally find his way. Indeed, nightmare, or dream, is an apt description of the play, by far the most surreal of Handke's creations and reminiscent no longer of the abstract austerity of Beckett but rather of the cruel luxuriance of recent Bunuel (The Exterminating Angel, Belle de Jour) or of the baroque inventions of the neglected Polish dramatist, Gombrowicz. Talking in interview about his play, The Marriage (produced in Berlin in 1968, the first of a series of Gombrowicz productions in German theatres), Gombrowicz called it ‘obscure and dream-like and fantastical: because it is so full of shadows, I wouldn't know...
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Criticism: Die UnvernüNftigen Sterben Aus (They Are Dying Out)
SOURCE: Koehler, Robert. “Wunderbar Staging of Dying Out.” Los Angeles Times 104 (1 August 1985): 2 sec. 6.
[In the following review, Koehler gives a positive assessment to Rolf Brauneis's staging of Handke's Die Unvernünftigen sterben aus.]
Peter Handke's German theater doesn't transfer easily to our cultural landscape. The comedy tends to be more emphatic and dichotomous than we're used to, the drama often highly expressionistic and political. And the language defiantly resists translation.
Against those odds, Los Angeles has had two fine stagings in a row of two of Handke's major works: last year's Kaspar at the Night-house, and now translator/director Rolf Brauneis' compelling version of The Unreasonable Are Dying Out at the Wallenboyd.
Brauneis, a quiet man with a countenance seemingly chiseled from a block of stone, has a few surprises in store for those who would like to meet the director who's elicited some very electric ensemble performances—highlighted by Kedric Robin Wolfe's startling portrayal of the industrialist Hermann Quitt.
For starters, this is Brauneis' first directorial assignment. His circuitous career, as he recalled it in the Wallenboyd office, began with painting. He later gravitated to Frankfurt's legendary Theatre am Turm in the robust late '60s.
‘A lot of my friends were...
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Criticism: Das Spiel Vom Fragen Oder (Voyage To The Sonorous Land)
SOURCE: Metcalf, Eva-Maria. “Challenging the Arrogance of Power.” Modern Fiction Studies 36, no. 3 (autumn 1990): 369-79.
[In the following essay, Metcalf discusses Handke's usage of mythology and language to establish a quasi-fairy tale-like structure in Das Spiel vom Fragen.]
In 1967 Peter Handke built himself an ivory tower, and he has resided in it ever since. The theories about language and writing that he exposed in his essay “Ich bin ein Bewohner des Elfenbeinturms” have continued to serve as his guiding principles throughout his more than twenty years of authorship. During the last decade, Handke has drifted further and further in the direction of mysticism, which has become the ultimate consequence of his rejection of current nonliterary discourse.
Based on Herbert Gamper's long interview with Handke, Aber ich lebe nur von den Zwischenräumen, and Handke's two most recent works, Das Spiel vom Fragen: oder die Reise zum sonoren Land and Versuch über die Müdigkeit, I will trace Handke's Nietzschean efforts to revalorize words and concepts and along with them the value scale of modern society. His attempts to reach out beyond the thoughtless superficiality of everyday language and the stale realism of the stories dominating modern fiction to a deeper or greater reality by means of a priestly, ecstatic, and often hermetic...
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Criticism: Die Stunde Da Wir Nichts Voneinander Der WuβTen: (The Hour We Knew Nothing Of Each Other
SOURCE: Riding, Alan. “The Drama before Language Intervenes.” New York Times 144 (26 December 1994): 33.
[In the following review, Riding discusses the production of Handke's The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other and how a play without words, only sound and actions, achieves a greater level of drama.]
A play without words? Mime, of course. Well, no. In mime, gestures replace words and, in the end, little is left unsaid. Peter Handke's idea is different. He looks around and sees myriad brief encounters that never reach the stage of words. So he has written a play before words.
It is not hard to imagine. In the hurried solitude of urban life, individuals send out “here-I-am” messages through their appearance and body language. Without a word being uttered, they set off responses of fear, respect, curiosity, arousal, indifference, disapproval. Then the moment passes and the crowd moves on.
In The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, Mr. Handke, an Austrian-born playwright and novelist, has taken this to its theatrical conclusion, turning the stage into a piazza where, over a 24-hour period, 400 characters played by 33 actors and actresses appear, observe, are observed and then disappear.
They include a gum-chewing airline captain and his crew, an old fisherman, grinning roller skaters, a sexual deviate, tourists, a...
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Criticism: Die Stunde Da Wir Nichts Voneinander Der WuβTen: (The Hour We Knew Nothing Of Each Other
SOURCE: Honegger, Gitta. “Seeing through the Eyes of the Word.” Theater 24, no. 1 (summer 1993): 87-92.
[In the following essay, Honegger, an English translator of Handke's work, discusses the usage of speech pattern and sound in Handke's The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other.]
… As though everyone everywhere in the world, day in, day out, always had his pictorial mission: the mission to be a picture to others: the woman walks “past the train station, along a puddle collecting the falling rain, as ‘the housewife on her way to the market,’ and further in the distance someone walks by as ‘the man with the umbrella;’” thus, offering their pictures of themselves, they help one another (me, at least) …
—Peter Handke: Fantasies of Repetition, 1983
Peter Handke's most recent work for the theater, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, is a play without words. It takes place in a square, inspired by the piazza of a small town near Trieste. Handke had spent an afternoon there watching the goings-on, each passer-by suggesting the fragment of a story which takes its shape only in the context of all the preceding and succeeding moments witnessed by the spectator, who in turn entered his own associations. At one point a coffin was carried from one of the buildings. Then life went on as if nothing had...
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Criticism: Die Stunde Da Wir Nichts Voneinander Der WuβTen: (The Hour We Knew Nothing Of Each Other
SOURCE: Nordmann, Alfred. “Blotting and the Line of Beauty: On Performances by Botho Strauss and Peter Handke.” Modern Drama 39, no. 4 (winter 1996): 680-97.
[In the following essay, Nordmann compares the works of Botho Strauss with Peter Handke, focusing on Handke's play The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other.]
The performance of a text or the staging of a play is often and easily imagined as the representation, in another medium, of its content or meaning. On stage can be shown what the script merely says; the rehearsal process and the production itself thus appear as means towards the end of communicating to the audience what an author has set down on paper. When this picture of what goes on in performance is extended to dance or the realization of musical scores, the notion of “representation” proves too narrow, and performances are, therefore, often said to “express” a feeling, content, or intention.
While the two notions of “representation” and “expression” are theoretically rich and lend themselves to sophisticated explorations of just what it means to represent or express something, Nelson Goodman proposed that performance might be conceived also in different terms entirely. He suggests that performance can be likened to the exemplification of a pattern or form and that the transition from a dramatic text to its theatrical production involves no ontological...
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Criticism: Die Fahrt Im Einbaum Oder Das Stuck Zum Film Vom Krieg (The Canoe Trip Or The Play Of Th
SOURCE: Grimm, Reinhold. “Die Fahrt im Einbaum oder Das Stuck zum Film vom Krieg.” World Literature Today 73, no. 4 (autumn 1999): 728-29.
[In the following review, Grimm dissects Handke's Die Fahrt im Einbaum Oder Das Stuck zum Film vom Krieg plot line and character development, giving the play a negative review.]
Peter Handke's faible for the Balkans, and for Serbia in particular, is well known. In his new book, Die Fahrt im Einbaum oder Das Stück zum Film vom Krieg's (The Voyage in the Dugout or The Piece about the Film on the War), this penchant comes to the fore again, in however veiled or masqueraded a manner.
Handke's “piece” (i.e., play, or alleged play) is equipped with no fewer than three mottoes—from Ivo Andrić, Goethe, and the fourteenth-century laws of King Dušan—all of which are meant to justify his apologetic endeavors. The dramatic action, if indeed that is the proper term, takes place in the lobby of a hotel named “Acapulco,” a legendary building situated in a small provincial town right in the midst of the innermost gorges and mountains of the Balkan peninsula. It is there that two moviemakers, the American John O'Hara and the Spaniard Luis Machado, have met in order to hold tryouts for a film they plan jointly to shoot on the (civil) war that raged in this area—probably Bosnia—a decade ago. One after another,...
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Marcus, J. S. “Apocalypse Now.” New York Review of Books 47 (21 September 2000): 80-85.
Detailed account of Handke's pro-Serbian politics and the scope of some of Handke's post-21st century works.
Marranca, Bonnie. “Peter Handke's My Foot My Tutor: Aspects of Modernism.” Michigan Quarterly Review 16, no. 3 (summer 1977): 272-79.
A study on My Foot My Tutor, with a discussion on the play's use of a natural environment and non-usage of dialogue.
Nägele, Rainer. “Peter Handke: The Staging of Language.” Modern Drama 23, no. 4 (January 1981): 327-38.
Discussion of how Handke's plays, without language, have changed contemporary theatre.
Schlueter, June. The Plays and Novels of Peter Handke. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1981, 213 p.
Collection of essays dealing with Handke's English-translated work prior to 1981.
Falk, Thomas H. “Die Theaterstucke.” World Literature Today 67, no. 3 (summer 1993): 604.
Discusses Handke's works throughout the years, starting with his first play Publikumsbeschimpfung, and concluding with the play Die Stunde da wir nichts voneirander der wubten.
Additional coverage of Handke's life and career is...
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