By Peter Handke
Translated by way of Ralph Mannheim
from the book's cover:
The worry haunting the anonymous author in
Peter Handke’s new novel is the terror of los-
ing touch with language and of now not being
able to cross on with both his paintings or his
life. After a morning at his desk—where,
for him, a sentence placed to paper is an occasion
and the most reliable connection to the world—he
ventures out for a walk.
The writer’s afternoon odyssey takes him
from the heart of the unnamed eu
city to its outskirts, to a peripheral area
comparable to the fringe of desires or the
frontiers of language. He is alternately re-
lieved to be out on this planet, the place the 1st
snow is falling and the early-December
light is variously mirrored, and vexed: in an
outlying bar, a under the influence of alcohol places the author, in ef
fect, on trial. What is the company of the
writer? Is there any such company in this
century? Who can declare to be an artist and
to have made a position for himself in the
world? yet in this day the author additionally has
an appointment with one among his translators.
An older guy, he used to be himself as soon as a author,
and at the present time is chuffed accurately simply because he is
no longer one. A translator, he says, has the
certainty that he's needed.
From Publishers Weekly
This deceptively easy, but hugely tough and unique novella reaffirms Handke's preeminence at the foreign literary scene. One December afternoon in an unidentified German urban, the anonymous narrator, a author, takes a stroll and displays at the perilous presumption of his vocation and his terror on the tenuousness of his touch with concept. each one notice is a lifeline, conjuring up the realm and magically reformulating it. yet even as, the author and his textual content pressure on the limits of language and figuring out. Believing that the author is dispossessed in 20th-century tradition, the narrator is thrown again upon himself to confront the nullity of his discourse; his younger religion in his calling has collapsed into disenchantment and worry that via chickening out from society to write down, he has de-legitimized his voice. but the narrator concludes with the confirmation to "continue to paintings the main ephemeral of fabrics, my breath," with no reduction or concealment of literature's drained props, hence reassuring Handke's admirers that the writer will proceed to tax and thrill them along with his Mallarmean opacities.
From Library Journal
The day is wealthy for the nameless author who's the protagonist of this e-book. within the morning he grapples with the Beckettian hindrance, giving form to not anything with the tissue of smooth language, consistently conscious that the final word could be the finish of his skill to specific. A web page, possibly , after which comes the giddy present of an afternoon's stroll in the course of the urban. statement and instinct are this writer's instruments as he recharges himself with the event of existence. The simplicity of snow and plants supplies solution to the complexity of the "Gin Mill" crowd and a disagreement with the Translator. Handke is a strikingly proficient Austrian author who, during this novel, makes a speciality of the method of writing. This pithy textual content is both vital for writers and readers seeing that its eminently obtainable research of creativity leads either towards a recognition in their universal want for adventure. whereas different writers have exhaustingly didn't clarify the intricacies of this smooth artistic method, Handke succeeds with trendy simplicity.
- Paul E. Hutchison, Fishermans Paradise, Bellefonte, Pa.