Friday, March 5, 2010

HANDKE'S ART OF ASKING AND THE COMEDIE FRANCAISE CONTROVERSY

PETER HANDKE'S STATEMENT
at the bottom of this posting

Ah finally, something to post both at my summap & artscritic blog @ the same time!
My man Handke keeps stumbling upward from scandal to scandal. The first public affair was in 1966 in Princeton, I was there, at the Gruppe 47 meeting, there have been many since, and it has gone on like that as he has become ever a greater writer, but none like this Mount St. Helen's that keeps irrupting over and over

Here are links to English language + German language accounts of the affair
[the handke news section of a once grand site that disintegrated in a server about a month ago, but the subites are still intact]
http://www.fr-aktuell.de/in_und_ausland/panorama/panorama/?em_cnt=875361\n& \n \nFor Handke and Yugoslavia See: \n\nhttp://www.handkeyugo.scriptmania.com \nfor a fairly rich and many sided acount and lots of links of this complicated affair.\nI posted the following at one of two!! Le Monde blogs devoted to the affair.... you look at these blogs and you begin to think that maybe the Americans are right about frog legs... \n\n\nhttp://passouline.blog.lemonde.fr/livres/2006/05/scandale_handke.html \n"Pardon my Amurrican, but I don\'t wish to offend French sensibilities with mutterings in that beautiful tongue.The play \u003dDIE KUNST DES FRAGENS, [THE ART OF ASKING]\u003d happens to be a truly great play; perhaps the greatest play in the past fifty years, and that includes Handke\'s KASPAR, RIDE ACROSS LAKE CONSTANCE, THE HOUR WE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT EACH OTHER, WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES, and THE PLAY ABOUT THE FILM ABOUT THE WAR... \nAsking ",1]
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For Handke and Yugoslavia See:
for a fairly rich and many sided acount and lots of links of this complicated affair.
I posted the following at one of two!! Le Monde blogs devoted to the affair.... you look at these blogs and you begin to think that maybe the Americans are right about frog legs...
"Pardon my Amurrican, but I don't wish to offend French sensibilities with mutterings in that beautiful tongue.The play =DIE KUNST DES FRAGENS, [THE ART OF ASKING]= happens to be a truly great play; perhaps the greatest play in the past fifty years, and that includes Handke's KASPAR, RIDE ACROSS LAKE CONSTANCE, THE HOUR WE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT EACH OTHER, WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES, and THE PLAY ABOUT THE FILM ABOUT THE WAR... Asking
[or the journey to the sonorous land\n ] creates a profound and delicious sense of deep puzzlement in the audience, something that, ordinarily, is achieved only after years of psychoanalysis... it slows time down... gnats die on the way... you hear the dogs barking with the distinctness of a walk through the countryside... the audience becomes a pilgrim once again... \n\nI have known Herr Handke since 1966, personally feel some considerable justified ambivalence about him, but I also know him to be the most generous, irascible, and loving and antenae-sensitive to beings; little ambivalence if any about most of his work, whose early plays until UEBER DIE DOERFER [Par les Villages, I believe is its French title] I translated into American, and have written extensively on various aspects of Handke, including his involvement in matters Yugo-Slavian. \n\nIt appears Handke was following his grandfather\'s road in hoping for a continued federation, also as a counter model to the current European federation. Best as I can tell from this distant perspective -- that depends entirely on written texts and documentation -- he is not guilty of denial of anything, but of not speaking in platitudes. Last year he published an essay in the German magazine LITERATUREN,[the first section is available on line and also at the Handkeyugo site] in which he detailed why he would not appear as a defense witness at Slobodan Milosevic\'s trial, where I especially liked how he made fun of his own sense of self-righteousness. That he came out in simple defense of the Serbian people against the deeply orchestrated attempt, in Europe and in the United States, to make them solely responsible for the disintegration of Yugo-Slavia I find worthy of the highest praise, as compared to no end of writers, such as Salmon Rushdie, who were only too ready to join the lynching mob, or band wagon, as so many pret a porter intellectuals frequently are. Having disassociated himself from the defense of the more and more indefensible Slobodan Milosevic - as the trial proceeded and his entire also purely Serbian history became available -- I don\'t think Handke needed to show up at the funeral, have his photo taken in front of a huge flag-like photo of Milosevic, or make any kind of funeral oration. Herr Handke can be as petit bourgeois, exhibitionistic and obnoxious - and knows very much what he is doing when he exhibits, and at one time used to think of that as a diabolical impulse - and he can be stubbornly ... there really is nothing better than the German word is BORNIERT - as the ignorant mindless Bozonet of the Comedie Francais was at least in this instance, the first he has come to my attention in the bog of slugs of Seattle. He dreamt early on of appearing on the cover of the Spiegel, and I quite understand his autistically overdetermined need for such endless mirroring, and without these overdeterminations we probably also would not have his great work. As Allah says: That is the way of the cookie!THE ONLY THING THAT COUNTS in this instance is THE PLAY. I am glad that there is a controversy over a great play! \n",1]
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[or the journey to the sonorous land ] creates a profound and delicious sense of deep puzzlement in the audience, something that, ordinarily, is achieved only after years of psychoanalysis... it slows time down... gnats die on the way... you hear the dogs barking with the distinctness of a walk through the countryside... the audience becomes a pilgrim once again...
I have known Herr Handke since 1966, personally feel some considerable justified ambivalence about him, but I also know him to be the most generous, irascible, and loving and antenae-sensitive to beings; little ambivalence if any about most of his work, whose early plays until UEBER DIE DOERFER [Par les Villages, I believe is its French title] I translated into American, and have written extensively on various aspects of Handke, including his involvement in matters Yugo-Slavian.
It appears Handke was following his grandfather's road in hoping for a continued federation, also as a counter model to the current European federation. Best as I can tell from this distant perspective -- that depends entirely on written texts and documentation -- he is not guilty of denial of anything, but of not speaking in platitudes. Last year he published an essay in the German magazine LITERATUREN,[the first section is available on line and also at the Handkeyugo site] in which he detailed why he would not appear as a defense witness at Slobodan Milosevic's trial, where I especially liked how he made fun of his own sense of self-righteousness. That he came out in simple defense of the Serbian people against the deeply orchestrated attempt, in Europe and in the United States, to make them solely responsible for the disintegration of Yugo-Slavia I find worthy of the highest praise, as compared to no end of writers, such as Salmon Rushdie, who were only too ready to join the lynching mob, or band wagon, as so many pret a porter intellectuals frequently are. Having disassociated himself from the defense of the more and more indefensible Slobodan Milosevic - as the trial proceeded and his entire also purely Serbian history became available -- I don't think Handke needed to show up at the funeral, have his photo taken in front of a huge flag-like photo of Milosevic, or make any kind of funeral oration. Herr Handke can be as petit bourgeois, exhibitionistic and obnoxious - and knows very much what he is doing when he exhibits, and at one time used to think of that as a diabolical impulse - and he can be stubbornly ... there really is nothing better than the German word is BORNIERT - as the ignorant mindless Bozonet of the Comedie Francais was at least in this instance, the first he has come to my attention in the bog of slugs of Seattle. He dreamt early on of appearing on the cover of the Spiegel, and I quite understand his autistically overdetermined need for such endless mirroring, and without these overdeterminations we probably also would not have his great work. As Allah says: That is the way of the cookie!THE ONLY THING THAT COUNTS in this instance is THE PLAY. I am glad that there is a controversy over a great play!
" \nOf course ART OF ASKING has not been done in this country; nor has the great rich WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES , not to speak, not even to think of THE PLAY ABOUT THE FILM ABOUT THE WAR. \n\nEven the Germanisten don\'t read Handke any more, well occasionally one or the other checks out a secondary source! The great DON JUAN novel was still a virgin at the University of Washington\'s library last time I looked. As a matter of fact, as I keep saying, if I were a would-be-terrorist, and the only thing that kept me from running amok were an unread virgin book at the UDU it would be many many decades of reading in philosophy, psychoanalysis, Germanic and many other fields that interest me,before I would want to blow myself up to see what heaven might have in store for me. For, books, of course, are the only virgins to be found among the many, especially the nubile Asian, shopping fiends hereabouts, though it is always something to behold how much time the young Asian male spends before the mirror to achieve that "natural" storm-torn thatched roof look of his hair! - My feeling about Germanisten is that if a flue wipe them out the in the US they would only be missed for Business German. When was the last time that a Germanist even verged on being a public intellectual??? The smart ones of course ease over into Medieval Studies, philosophy, history... Alas. \n\nThere is also a summary posting for the past week\'s political stories that interested me and as I posted them at the New Times Public editor\'s forum, as my supplement to all the New that is Fit to Print but that doesn\'t make it into Auntie\'s pages, at the \n\n",1]
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"
Of course ART OF ASKING has not been done in this country; nor has the great rich WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES , not to speak, not even to think of THE PLAY ABOUT THE FILM ABOUT THE WAR.
Even the Germanisten don't read Handke any more, well occasionally one or the other checks out a secondary source! The great DON JUAN novel was still a virgin at the University of Washington's library last time I looked. As a matter of fact, as I keep saying, if I were a would-be-terrorist, and the only thing that kept me from running amok were an unread virgin book at the UDU it would be many many decades of reading in philosophy, psychoanalysis, Germanic and many other fields that interest me,before I would want to blow myself up to see what heaven might have in store for me. For, books, of course, are the only virgins to be found among the many, especially the nubile Asian, shopping fiends hereabouts, though it is always something to behold how much time the young Asian male spends before the mirror to achieve that "natural" storm-torn thatched roof look of his hair! - My feeling about Germanisten is that if a flue wipe them out the in the US they would only be missed for Business German. When was the last time that a Germanist even verged on being a public intellectual??? The smart ones of course ease over into Medieval Studies, philosophy, history... Alas.
There is also a summary posting for the past week's political stories that interested me and as I posted them at the New Times Public editor's forum, as my supplement to all the New that is Fit to Print but that doesn't make it into Auntie's pages, at the





9. April 2006 / III
»Auf den Tod von Slobodan Milosevic habe ich, anders als die sogenannte Allgemeinheit, an deren Allgemeinheit ich nicht recht glaube, nicht »mit Genugtuung reagiert«, zumal das Tribunal den seit 5 Jahren in einem angeblichen »5-Sterne-Gefängnis« (»Libération«) Verwahrten erwiesenermaßen hat sterben lassen. Unterlassene Hilfeleistung: ist das nicht ein Verbrechen? Ich »gestehe«, etwas wie Kummer empfunden zu haben, der am Abend nach der Todesnachricht beim Gehen in den Seitenstraßen zu der Vorstellung führte, irgendwo für den Toten eine Kerze anzuzünden. Und dabei sollte es bleiben. Ich hatte nicht vor, zum Begräbnis, pogreb, sahrana, nach Pozarevac zu reisen. Ein paar Tage später erreichte mich die Einladung, nicht etwa von der Partei, sondern von der Familie (die übrigens an der Beerdigungsstunde dann, anders als verlautet, zum Großteil anwesend war). Freilich bewog mich weniger das zu der Reise. Mehr waren es die Reaktionen der durchweg feindlichen, nach dem Tod noch verstärkt feindlichen Westmedien, und darüber hinaus der Sprecher des Tribunals und auch des einen oder anderen »Historikers«. Es war deren aller Sprache, die mich auf den Weg brachte. Nein, Sl. M. war kein »Diktator«. Nein, SI. M. hat nicht »vier Kriege auf dem Balkan angezettelt«. Nein, Sl. M. hat nicht als »Schlächter von Belgrad« bezeichnet zu werden. Nein, Sl. M. war kein »Apparatschik«, kein »Opportunist«. Nein, Sl. M. war nicht »zweifellos« schuldig. Nein, Sl. M. war kein »Autist« (Wann übrigens werden die schmerzhaftest kranken Autisten sich wehren, daß ihr Kranksein als Schmähwort gebraucht wird?). Nein, Sl. M. hat mit seinem Sterben in der Zelle von Scheveningen »uns« (dem Tribunal) keinen »bösen Streich gespielt« (Carla del P.). Nein, Sl. M. hat »uns« mit seinem Tod nicht »den Teppich unter den Füßen weggezogen, uns das Licht ausgeschaltet« (dieselbe). Nein, Sl. M. hat sich nicht vor dem Schuldspruch, ohne Zweifel LEBENSLÄNGLICH, weggestohlen«. Sl. M. wird »dafür aber dem Urteil der Historiker nicht entkommen« (ein »Historiker«): abermals nicht bloß unwahre, sondern schamlose Sprache. Solche Sprache war es, die mich veranlasste zu meiner Mini-Rede in Pozarevac -- in erster und letzter Linie solche Sprache. Es hat mich gedrängt, eine, nein, die andere Sprache vernehmen zu lassen, nicht etwa aus Loyalität zu Slobodan Milosevic, sondern aus Loyalität eben zu jener anderen, der nicht journalistischen, der nicht herrschenden Sprache. Beim Anhören des einen oder anderen der Vorredner in Pozarevac dann allerdings der Impuls: nein, nicht sprechen nach dem schneidigen General da, dem nach Rache schreienden Parteipolitiker da, die beide die Menge anheizen wollten, welche sich freilich, bis auf ein paar vereinzelte Mitschreier, keinmal zu einer Haß- oder Zornantwort kollektiv hinreißen ließ: denn es war eine Menge aus Trauernden, still und tief Bekümmerten, so mein nachhaltigster Eindruck. Und für diese Bekümmerten, gegen die markigen, starken Sprüche, mach¬te ich dann doch den Mund auf wie bekannt -- als ein Teil der Kummergemeinde. Reaktion darauf: P. H., der »Claqueur« (FAZ) -- gibt es eine verwahrlostere Sprache als diese? Ein »Claqueur«, was ist das: Einer, der für Geld Beifall klatscht. Und wo ist der Beifall? (Nie habe ich auch geäußert, wieder laut FAZ, »glücklich« zu sein nahe dem Toten.) Und wo ist das Geld? (Flug und Hotel selbst bezahlt.) Mein Hauptbedürfnis jedenfalls für die Grabreise: Zeuge sein. Zeuge weder im Sinn der Anklage noch im Sinn der Verteidigung. Heißt denn inzwischen, Zeuge nicht im Sinn der Anklage sein zu wollen, für den Angeklagten zu sein? »Zweifellos«, gemäß einem der Hauptschlagworte der herrschenden Sprache?« );

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