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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"ACROSS" / CHINESSE DES SCHMERZENS

  1. Während der Arbeit an der Langsamen Heimkehr notierte Peter Handke: »Manchmal die Vorstellung, ein Schriftsteller hätte vor 
    allem die eine Pflicht: eine Landschaft zu verewigen. — Aber wie? — Mit den Geschichten von Menschen.« Diese »Pflicht« hat Peter Handke mit Der Chinese des Schmerzes für eine bestimmte Landschaft — Salzburg und Umgebung — erfüllt, mit der Geschichte von Andreas Loser. Die Landschaft: das ist, zum Beispiel, der Mönchsberg. Die Geschichte ist diejenige Losers, Lehrer für alte Sprachen, der, getrennt von seiner Frau und den beiden Kindern, in einem südlichen Vorort Salzburgs wohnt. Er, der sich bisher immer als Betrachter verstanden hat, stößt eines Tages in der Getreidegasse einen Passanten nieder — und unterrichtet daraufhin nicht mehr. Auf dem Weg zur monatlichen Tarockrunde bemerkt Loser einen Hakenkreuz-Sprayer: der Betrachter greift ein — er tötet den Sprayer. Auch wenn Loser keine Schuldgefühle verspürt, hat er eine Schwelle überschritten, er ist nicht mehr ausschließlich der Betrachter, sondern hat nun eine eigene Geschichte—und nur indem er diese akzeptiert, überwindet er den Schwebezustand. »Was sonst könnte friedenstiftend sein, als eine wieder einleuchtend gewordene Welt? Peter Handke ist für dieses Buch zu danken.«
    (Die Zeit)

  2. http://www.suhrkamp.de/buecher/der_chinese_des_schmerzes-peter_handke_37839.html
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  4. DER CHINESE DES SCHMERZES

    Erscheinungsort:  Frankfurt am Main Verlag:  …
  5. DER CHINESE DES SCHMERZES - NOTIZBUCH, 1979

    ... sind hinsichtlich der Entstehung der Erzählung Der Chinese des Schmerzes interessant, da sie Erlebnisse oder Beobachtungen ... Mann winkend verschwindend, erschien plötzlich als Chinese « (S. 33), damit meinte Handke vermutlich seinen Freund, den ... hervor) besuchte. Die Notiz erinnert an die Szene imChinese des Schmerzes , in der Andreas Loser abends mit dem Bus nach Hause ...
  6. DER CHINESE DES SCHMERZES - NOTIZBUCH, 1981

    ... Handke die Niederschrift der ersten Textfassung von Der Chinese des Schmerzes in Angriff nahm, sind ab Ende November 1981, als er ... das Notizbuch eine Stelle zur Figur des Malers, der in Der Chinese des Schmerzes Teilnehmer der Tarockrunde ist. Die Textstelle ist in ...
  7. DER CHINESE DES SCHMERZES - NOTIZBUCH, 1982

    ... der ersten Textfassung seiner Erzählung Der Chinese des Schmerzes , die er laut einer Notiz am 18. Dezember 1982 beendet ... in Salzburg, in denen Handke seine Erzählung Der Chinese des Schmerzes überarbeitete, ab. Die erste Textfassung hatte er – ...
  8. DER CHINESE DES SCHMERZES - NOTIZBUCH, 1982

    ... ist die Hauptquelle zur ersten Textfassung von Der Chinese des Schmerzes , die Peter Handke am 12. Oktober 1982 zu schreiben ... am 18. und 19. August, enthält das Buch Notizen zu Der Chinese des Schmerzes , die vor allem der Charakterisierung seines ... « (S. 23). Es folgten punktuelle Einträge zu DerChinese des Schmerzes am 5. und 10./11. und 14./15. September, die bereits ...
  9. DER CHINESE DES SCHMERZES. ERZÄHLUNG (TEXTFASSUNG 2A), TYPOSKRIPT 2-ZEILIG, 147 BLATT, OHNE DATUM [10.01.1983 BIS 05.02.1983]

    ... Der Chinese des Schmerzes Die zweite vollständige Textfassung von Peter Handkes Erzählung DerChinese des Schmerzes ist ein 147 Blatt zählendes, zweizeilig getipptes ...
  10. DER CHINESE DES SCHMERZES - TYPOSKRIPT 2-ZEILIG, 1983

    Zu Peter Handkes Erzählung Der   Chinese des Schmerzes sind Teile einer schon zweizeilig getippten Textfassung ... von der späteren zweiten Textfassung. Der Epilog von Der Chinese des Schmerzes wurde von Handke zum Beispiel mehrmals überarbeitet, ...
  11. DER CHINESE DES SCHMERZES (TEXTFASSUNG 2B), TYPOSKRIPT 2-ZEILIG, KOPIE, 146 BLATT, OHNE DATUM [05.02.1983 BIS 13.03.1983]

    ... Der Chinese des Schmerzes Vermutlich fertigte Peter Handke diese Kopie der zweiten Textfassung von Der Chinese des Schmerzes (Textfassung 2b) Anfang Februar 1983 an, und zwar ...
  12. DER CHINESE DES SCHMERZES - NOTIZBUCH, 1982

    ... April und 18. August 1982 entstandenen Notizbuch wird Der Chinese des Schmerzes am vorderen Vorsatz erstmals konkret mit dem ... das für die Erzählung zentrale Schwellenmotiv) zu Der Chinese des Schmerzes verwendet, wird neben dem Projekttitel am vorderen ...
  13. DER CHINESE DES SCHMERZES - TYPOSKRIPT 1-ZEILIG, 1982

    ... erhaltene Textfassung von Peter Handkes Erzählung Der Chinese des Schmerzes ist ein 50 Blatt umfassendes, einzeilig und eng bis an ... noch nicht im Klaren, er probierte statt » Der Chinese des Schmerzes « (Bl. I, 1) noch andere Varianten, wie » Die ...

http://handkeonline.onb.ac.at/search/node/CHINESE

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 Book Review : Poised on the Threshold of Reality, Redemption

June 25, 1986|RICHARD EDER | Times Book Critic
Across by Peter Handke (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $14.95)
Peter Handke, the Austrian writer, is a literary master of estrangement, but lately he has been working on reconciliation. He works by contract. In an icy framework, the warmth ravishes. In a framework of stylistic difficulty, the sudden clarity startles.
    "Across," a brief and beautiful novella, has its obscurity, but essentially it is very clear indeed. Set in Salzburg over Easter week, it is a parable of redemption.
    Its narrator, who sometimes writes of himself in the third person--for example, in a moment of depression, as "the bundle on the bed"--is a schoolteacher and an amateur archeologist.
    He is adrift; his bonds to the world around him have loosened; the emotional equivalent of connective tissue has shrunk. He is not, at present, working at his teaching job, though he is not actually on leave. He is not living, at present, with his family though there is no definite split. He has more or less finished a paper on Roman thresholds, but has neglected to send it in.
    He wanders endlessly around Salzburg outskirts: the housing development in which he lives, a canal that runs nearby, and the foothills beyond.
    Minutely Detailed
    Everything is noted minutely. There are the patterns of grasses and shrubs, the angle of the light, the striations of the rocks. It is more geology than nature. The detail is abundant but desolate. The narrator does not accept what he sees as reality, but as isolated and baffling clues to a far more sinister reality he does not see. Precision is necessary, as it is in archeology, because it is the only hope for assembling an elusive picture.
    Violence is building up in him. A pedestrian jostles him; he knocks the pedestrian down. Enraged by some posters on a woodland path, he tears them down. And so, one evening when he comes upon a freshly sprayed swastika on a beech tree, he is prepared. He grabs up a stone, sets out on a run, comes upon an old man with a spray can, and kills him.
    It is the nadir, this Good Friday killing, in the cycle of alienation, violence and retribution that has gone on over our centuries. The old man reasserts his old loathsome creed, which the Good War, in Studs Terkel's phrase, sought to destroy. The narrator reasserts this Good War. And yet--again, the Easter symbolism--the killing is the beginning of redemption.
    "This is my history now. Justice had been done and I belonged to the nation of criminals," the narrator tells himself with dreadful clarity. The cycle must be broken and, an intellectual, he seizes upon a word to do the breaking.
    Considers Thresholds
    The word is threshold ; the subject, precisely, of his archeology. The narrator goes to a regular session with a group of card-playing acquaintances--that most elusive and least compromising form of companionship. He launches "threshold" into the desultory conversation, and lights it up. Everywhere in our world, there are boundaries: between the good guys and the bad guys, between human reason and human instinct, between man and nature, between the ugly and the beautiful. Wars, material or psychological, are fought across them.
    Instead, the conversation goes, consider the threshold. The card players recall their own images. It is a place you pause over, when you come from the world into your home. A man will sit on his threshold in the evening, and it invites passing neighbors to stop and chat. When you sit on a threshold, the door cannot be closed.One of the card players, a priest, reflects that a threshold is not merely a passage from one place to another, but a precinct of its own, "a place of testing or of safety." Thresholds stand for a relationship of mediation and transformation among people, instead of a relationship of confrontation.
    Real and Surreal
    It is a philosophical conceit, but Handke's grace of language and richness of association make it work. The narrator is real and surreal at the same time; and it seems perfectly natural when his life changes drastically after that single, giddy conversation.
    He goes home and lies down. It is still midway in the Easter weekend; there is silence outside, and hardly a movement. He is inert, almost without existence. And suddenly, he notices the flaring color of a hibiscus flower in the window. It is like an Easter bell. He mails off his manuscript; an affectionate letter from the school principal brings the idea of teaching back into life.
    He dresses himself with fastidious care, and begins a hallucinatory pilgrimage and ramble through a world that is suddenly many-splendored. At the heart of every German and Austrian writer, it seems, there is an innate capacity to be ravished by nature. Suddenly, the grass, the mountain, the light, are no longer foreboding symptoms, but an abundant reality. They overcome us, in Handke's scintillating evocation, as they overcome the narrator.
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    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

    I

    "Niemand, Fast Niemand, Kann Oder Mag Handke noch weiter auf dem Wege folgen, den dieser nun schon seit mehreren Büchern eingeschlagen hat." This remark by Jürgen Manthey (383) reflects a general trend in the reception of Peter Handke's latest works. Starting with Langsame Heimkehr (1979), Handke's writing has acquired a new tone that, although adumbrated by his preceding works, either surprised or affronted many of his previous readers. Invariably, negative critical response has focused on the subjectivity and solemnity of Handke's new tone. Manfred Durzak, for example, accused Handke of narcissism, criticizing his seeming indifference to literature's social and political dimension. WithLangsame Heimkehr, Durzak judges, Handke is "als Künstler abgestürzt" (159). Jörg Drews discovers an attitude of self-ordained priesthood in Handke's recent work and subsumes his writing under "Spielarten des Kulturkonservatismus, Einfaltsromantik und Intellektualromantik" (951, 954). Judgments of this kind are based on textual evidence. Handke's latest works contain archaic and sometimes solemn and absolutist vocabulary. Emphatic words like "Sehnsucht," "Bedürfnis nach Heil," "selbstlose Daseinslust," and "stille Harmonie" seem to celebrate existence rather than to make it accessible to reason, to lay bare alienation, and to expose the deficiency and imperfection of the world. Instead, Handke seems to enact an absolution of the Word and through it an absolution of the world. This analysis, then, will attempt to elucidate how this absolution can be understood. My view is that Handke's solemn tone cannot be taken at face value but has to be perceived in the context of an aesthetic that is allegorically inscribed in the text. My argument begins not with Handke but with some remarks about criticism of contemporary literature.
    Durzak's and Drew's charges against Handke betray a particular naïveté in that they avoid the hermeneutical questions they would be willing to ask when approaching classical or romantic texts, such as: what is a text's use of language, and what is its literary repertoire? What are, in other words, the aesthetic standards to be applied to the text? Only after defining the frame of reference employed by a contemporary text are we able to determine with some accuracy its historical locus and relate it to contemporary social and political realities. Only then are we able to gauge a text's potential simplicity, naïveté, or romanticism. Given the postmodern narratology within which Handke produces, we have to credit his literary work with the potential of being less accessible than it seems to be. This requires further explanation.
    Peter Handke's early prose, including his Sprechstücke, are part of the experimental writing of the 1960s neo-avant-garde. Pop-Art, Concrete Poetry, the writing of the Vienna Group, Heissenbüttel's Textbooks, and Arno Schmidt's Zettel's Traum aimed to subvert received notions of literature. They tampered with the textual order of the page, refused to capitalize nouns, and treated linguistic themes in a storyless prose. Like their dadaist and surrealist predecessors, neo-avant-gardists employed formalist innovations in an attempt to blur the line between art and non-art. Thus they aimed to challenge the bourgeois domestication of art in an autonomous but politically irrelevant sphere. However, when all traditional definitions of art were eroded by the virus of avant-garde innovation, formalist innovation lost its function as a work's historical index. Artistic production had reached the point of "anything goes."1
    This is the point when postmodernism sets in. In postmodernist literature, both experimental and traditional forms of writing are potentially "avant-garde." (Today experimental theater such asPublikumsbeschimpfung [1966] is integrated into the repertoire and has lost its provocative bite.) The notion of experimental literature has become obsolete for a definition of a work's contemporaneity. The literary work aspiring to be "avant-garde" is stricken with historical anonymity.2 Deprived of normative aesthetic standards, postmodern "avant-gardism" is doomed to operate in an aesthetic vacuum. If there is no more standard against which the literary work can set itself (and be gauged by the reader), its language becomes opaque. Reading and criticism lose the ground of traditional philosophy. Textual evidence becomes treacherous. This...
    http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/modern_fiction_studies/v036/36.3.caviola.html
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