Wednesday, January 27, 2016

COMMENTS ON HANDKE’S ICH UND DIE UNSCHULDIGEN AUF DER LANDSTRASSE

COMMENTS on Handke's 
ICH & DIE UNSCHULDIGEN/
I & THE NOT SO INNOCENT INNOCENTS

= PART I=

ALSO POSTED @:

http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/2016/01/comments-on-handkes-ich-und-die.html

BACKGROUND & REVIEWS

http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/2014/10/die-unschuldigen-ich-und-die-unbekannte.html

INDEX TO THE HANDKE DRAMA BLOG


http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/2010/05/index-page-for-this-and-all-other.html



It has been 40 years

since the Klaus Peymann TAT premiere
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theater_am_Turm/

of PUBLIKUMSBESCHIMPFUNG  

what I felt too queasy to call ABUSING and now prefer to call
 PUBLIC INSULT
and ended up with
OFFENDING THE AUDIENCE
At the time
(but be my unqueasy guest)
http://www.handketrans.scriptmania.com

It was 1066 and the darkest of Merowingians were in power when I first heard and saw the Griffen Wunderkind at Princeton


https://plus.google.com/photos/106505819654688893791/albums/5640738175153983697

And then tried chatting him up
 at a party
 that Pannah Grady, Jakov Lind & I
gave for the Gruppe 47 
at her splendid apartment at
the DAKOTA
http://tinyurl.com/jx64wz6

in Manhattan

in whose courtyard,
about 15 years later,
a boy from Georgia 
yet another of this endless series of American madmen gunned down John Lennon.

Much water under and over the bridge,

lots of flotsam, 
and Handke is one of the few real continuities in a life
http://artscritic.blogspot.com/2015/12/provisional-obituary-on-reaching-eighty.html
where I find myself chiefly
http://artscritic.blogspot.com/2015/09/talking-to-ghosts.html

And though the Wunderkind 

would behave less than wondrously
 on occasion and though his ability to laugh supernally is devoutly to be desired and who knows
 what if the Tarahumaras
 had something better to do than for their women to chase the men and the men to chase each others women while everyone indulged in an Agave concoction… Artistically the Wunderkind has proved a pretty steady WONDER
 all along non-repetive developer, not too much to criticize there if one grants him his own sometimes most unusual terms in the very different tack that he has taken that has enlarged artistic means of communication in at least to me unanticipated or imagined terms.
  
And so now here we are in 1116
&
Via “commodius vicus of recirculation”  

http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/2012/07/peter-handke-plays-in-english.html

a dozen great plays
later we are @: 
http://www.burgtheater.at/Content.Node2/home/spielplan/event_detailansicht.at.php?eventid=964444796

and maybe it’s another great play


ICH UND DIE UNSCHULDIGEN AUF DER LANDSTRASSE

http://www.suhrkamp.de/buecher/die_unschuldigen_ich_und_die_unbekannte_am_rand_der_landstrasse-peter_handke_42472.pdf
{I & THE NOT SO INNOCENT INNOCENTS &  UNKNOWN ON THE CONTRY ROAD}
as great and important as half a dozen of them. Yet experience tells me
e.g. LAKE CONSTANCE 
 http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/2012/01/how-handkes-ride-across-lake-constance.html
that only experiencing
 these plays can tell… 
Yet one matter I know for certain,
I, someone who has had the most extraordinary not only translating and production experiences with this guy’s work but well read as I used to be
READING EXPERIENCES where the activity of reading becomes of another
and unique and entirely unanticipated one with a half dozen of his great texts…
That is,without experiencing a performance you can’t tell… 
But that
DRAMARTURGICALLY
I & THE NOT SO INNOCENT INNOCENTS &  UNKNOWN ON THE CONTRY ROAD}
(making the “I”
that narrates & comments & creates the text on stage)
 staging the
STAGE DIRECTIONS
(Making them an essential part of the performance)
Handke, not only stays true to his own first law of PLAY AS HAPPENIG
 but enlarges the possibilities of what can be done in theater
and for performance art  
hugely & perhaps forever after.
Thus I will be willing to cut him some slack if a few bits in the course of this demanding 20 k + text rub
me the wrong way.
===========================
=PART II=

I also preface these
COMMENTS ON PETER HANDKE’S
ICH UND DIE UNSCHULDIGEN AUF DER LANDSTRASSE
{I & THE NOT SO INNOCENT INNOCENTS &  UNKOWN ON THE CONTRY ROAD}

POSTED AT:

http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/2016/01/comments-on-handkes-ich-und-die.html

for background & reviews, etc. see:

http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/2014/10/die-unschuldigen-ich-und-die-unbekannte.html

with
=A=
HANDKE’S OWN COMMENT ON THE PLAY
where he states that the play’s
protagonist, the “I”, the narrator commentator, activator who gets the whole thing going, is a cross between “Caliban & Prospero, and a bit of a magician”
which might be one way to describe Handke himself, though thinking of  himself as Caliban, although not entirely unjustified, would be a bit vain-glorious. But most certainly Handke is one of the great magician of our time.
And that when he was writing the play he was thinking of a country road leading south from his birth town Griffen, Austria that in the play is now closed off, a private realm it has a guard, and the INNOCENTS try to barge in and all kinds of altercations ensue. These INNOCENTS, however, are innocent only in the sense that they “know not what they are doing”, and Handke himself is not in a godly forgiving mood towards them. Handke mentions that he is not interested solely in the continuing altercations, thus there are several other figures who inter-act with the “I” (Handke does not mention how multifaceted this “I” happens to be
vide Parts III + IV)
Two women, UNKNOWN & THE OTHER.
(Handke does not describe the nature f these interactions – vide Parts III &  IV- which are indeed dramatic!)   

Bei dem Ort habe ich an Griffen gedacht, wo ich herkomme, an die Straße, die nach Süden, in ein Dorf namens Ruden, führt. … Im Stück ist die Straße außer Betrieb, ein Wächter sitzt dort, es ist sein Reich, keiner darf dort hinein. Die Unschuldigen kommen daher, sind unschuldig, machen jedoch einen Haufen Scheiß. Es sind nicht die alten Bösewichte, die alles absichtlich machen, sondern sie wissen nicht, was sie tun, wie Jesus sagt: Herr, verzeih ihnen, denn sie wissen nicht, was sie tun! Ich bin eher der Meinung: Herr, verzeih ihnen nicht! Es gibt jedenfalls Konfrontationen der Figuren, ganz lustige, scharfe und traumhafte, wie es meine Art ist. Dann geht es ordentlich los, aber dann höre ich wieder auf, weil ich finde, es ist nicht interessant, nur draufzuschlagen. … Der Held heißt Ich, er ist eine Mittelgestalt zwischen Caliban und Prospero, ein Monstrum, ein Irrer, ein Tier und zugleich ein Zauberer. Es gibt auch zwei Frauen in dem Stück, die Unbekannte und die Andere, diese ist ein bisschen wie Lady Macbeth. Sie ist die Frau des Anführers der Unschuldigen, letzten Endes schreit sie vor lauter Jammer, aber sie geht nicht zugrunde, sie geht nur weg.“ - See more at: http://www.burgtheater.at/Content.Node2/home/spielplan/event_detailansicht.at.php?eventid=964444796#sthash.yRjitDEo.dpuf

&
=B=

A recent interview (where I translate the quotes in yellow),
entirety of which interview is @:



Januar 25, 2016
APA: Herr Handke, im Moment sieht man in den Medien immer wieder Menschenmengen, die über die Landstraßen ziehen, eine Art neue Völkerwanderung. Auch Ihr Stück zeigt Gruppen von wandernden Menschen. Flüchtlinge scheinen sie allerdings nicht.
[Handke  mentions in response to the opening question about refugees on the road that he has never treated actual day to day events in his plays, moreover the play is two & a half years old, which is true enough except perhaps (1) for the 1973  THEY ARE DYING OUT which, after all, aside the eternal conflicts, is a kind of persiflage of the then 60/70s verbal New Left lingo and discussions going on, but put into the mouths of a variety of anything but left discussants business folk. Bob Kalfin whose Chelsea Theater had produced Handke’s My Foot My Tutor & Self-Accusation as well as Kaspar 2 B.A.M but not Ride Across Lake Constance


(Lincoln Center, Vivian Beaumont) turned down Dying Out for being too topical & it was not done until 1979 at the Yale Rep in New Haven. Moreover (2), Handke, as most of you know, also became very much engaged publically in defense of the exclusively attacked Serbians during the conflicts during the disintegration of his favored unified 2nd Federation. However the greatplay of his that these events inspired – VOYAGE BY DUGOUT: THE PLAY ABOUT THE FILM ABOUT THE WAR is really a kind of Brechtian model that can be played in response to the confusions that any war will elicit & in whose representation one can accommodate a lot of these problematics if one wants to in a form that leads to their re-appraisal;  that is, DUGOUT is scarcely dependent on the Yugoslav conflict that triggered it, but plays an the fine knife’s edge of the kind of specific events that are characteristic of a lot of wars. It remains entirely non-conclusionary. Handke, as in this interview, frequently mentions that his work “merely grazes” contemporary events, true too, up to a point: however, the Nazi past enters the novel ACROSS & certainly plays a major role in that major drama STILL STORM & in SORROW BEYOND DREAMS.
Not that a great newspaper reader as Handke may still be is “out of it” in that respect.
Peter Handke: Mein Stück habe ich ja schon vor zweieinhalb Jahren geschrieben und dann immer weiter gearbeitet bis vor einem Jahr. Nein, meine Art ist, was vielleicht ein Fehler ist, nicht Aktualität zu behandeln, sondern zu schauen, wo noch irgendwas Universelles in der Welt verborgen ist, ein Geheimnis. Ich habe nie Aktuelles behandeln können – im Gegensatz zu anderen Stückeschreibern. Es ist mehr ein präziser Tiefentraum vom Menschsein. Aber natürlich, wenn dieser Traum nicht auch das Aktuelle zumindest streift und zum Schwingen und zum Ondulieren bringt, hat es auch keinen Sinn. Das Universelle für sich existiert ja nicht. (The piece is rather an attempt to delineate precisely a certain depth of what it means to be human. But of course it makes no sense if this attempt doesn’t at least graze the contemporary and gets it to swing and ondulate. The universal does not exist by itself.)  …)
APA: Wer sind diese Unschuldigen, die in Ihrem Stück über die Straßen ziehen? Ist das ein Ausschnitt der Gesellschaft, wie Sie sie heute wahrnehmen?
Handke: Das kann ich nicht so generell sagen. Es sind natürlich kleine Porträts. Ich hab eigentlich das Stück nur „Die Unschuldigen“ nennen wollen. Es sollte ein sehr polemisches Stück werden, fast ein zorniges Stück. Aber zum Glück gab es dann schon Stücke mit diesem Titel, und das hat mich dazu gebracht, viel epischer und viel weitherziger zu träumen, als ich es mir vorgenommen habe. Indem ich das Ich hinzugefügt habe und die Unbekannte, wurde es zu einem epischen Drama, wie es mir halt entspricht. Es ist sehr widersprüchlich.
(I actually wanted to call the piece “the innocents. It was going to be a highly polemical, nearly enraged piece, but then there was already a play by that name, which prodded me to dream in a far more big-hearted and epic manner than I had intended. By  adding the “I” & the UNKOWN it became the kind of epic drama as is appropriate for me. The play is very contradictory ” …)
APA: Diesen Widerspruch internalisieren Sie auch in der Beobachterfigur. Sie spalten diese Figur auf in ein dramatisches Ich und ein Erzähler-Ich. ( You split the figture of the I into a dramatic and narrative I. A splt that one keeps finding in the author Peter Handke) Eine Aufspaltung, die man ja immer wieder auch beim Autor Peter Handke bemerkt.
Handke: Natürlich, das ist mein Problem. Aber ich bin immer so größenwahnsinnig, dass ich denke: Mein Problem ist nicht nur meines. Sonst würde ich ja nicht schreiben. (Of course. But I continue to be so grandiose as to think that my problem is exclusively mine. Otherwie I would not write)
APA: Wieso sehen Sie das als Problem? Es könnte ja auch ein Vorteil sein.
Handke: Ein Problem ist für mich ein Vorteil. Ein Problem ist das Fruchtbarste, das es gibt für den Menschen. (A problem is an advantage for me. It is the most fruitful of matters that exist for human beings.”

Nein, nein, ich bin einverstanden mit Ihnen, dass es ein Vorteil ist. Aber mit dem Vorteil muss man auch etwas tun.
APA: „Die Unschuldigen“ ziehen über die Landstraße. Wie unschuldig kann man denn heute überhaupt durch die Welt gehen? (How is it even possible these days to be innocent as one walks through the world)
Handke: Das ist eine philosophische Frage. ()That is a philosophical question.)
APA: Anders gefragt: Fühlen Sie sich mitschuldig am Zustand der Welt?
Handke: Mitleidend eher. Aber ich würde nicht sagen, dass ich mich mitschuldig fühle. Nein! Aber auch nicht unschuldig.  (I would not say that I feel co-responsible now, nor do I regard myself as innocent. The INNOCENTS in my piece aren’t innocent. They are actually the confidety, consciously unconscious ones. I believe it is a mysterious piece It is a pure theater piece. But these days it is also the theater’s problem that one has gotten away from the pure theater pieces. For a time that was appropriate, that one said “anything goes”. Meanwhile the stage has been reached where , because of the “anything goes” actually “nothing goes” any more.” )

In meinem Stück sind die Unschuldigen ja nicht unschuldig. Sie sind eigentlich die selbstbewusst Unbewussten. Ich glaube, es ist ein geheimnisvolles Stück. Es ist ein pures Theaterstück, aber es ist heute auch das Problem des Theaters, dass man weggegangen ist von den wirklich puren Stücken. Eine Zeit lang war das auch richtig so, dass man gesagt hat: anything goes. Jetzt ist aber der Stand erreicht, wo durch dieses „Es geht alles“ einfach nichts mehr geht.
APA: Ist das auch ein Grund, warum Sie gesagt haben: Da vertraue ich mit Claus Peymann die Uraufführung am besten jemandem an, der so viele Texte von mir zu Uraufführung gebracht hat?
Handke: Das ist wieder ein anderes Problem. (lacht)
APA: Ich kann mir vorstellen, dass sich doch auch jede Menge junge Regisseure darum reißen würden, ein Stück von Ihnen uraufzuführen.
Peter Handke: Ja, das wäre mein Traum und mein Wunsch. Ich hätte mir halt gewünscht, dass dieser oder jener Junge ab und zu meine Sachen in die Hand nimmt, in die Luft wirft und schaut, was für Figuren im Raum entstehen.
APA: Die Deutsche Erstaufführung macht Philipp Preuss am Residenztheater. Die wird mit Sicherheit ganz anders aussehen als in Wien. Geht es Ihnen nach zehn Peymann-Uraufführungen nicht schon so, dass Sie die Aufführung förmlich vor sich sehen und ahnen, was kommt?
Handke: (seufzt) Ahnen wäre ja schön! Ich bin ja absolut fürs Ahnen. Aber ahnen und vor sich sehen, wie Sie es sagen, ist ein großer Unterschied! Ich würde vorziehen zu ahnen. Einer meiner Lieblingssprüche ist: Lass Dich überraschen! Überrascht mich! Oder: Der ist für eine Überraschung gut. Das ist meine Ethik.
APA: Ist Claus Peymann für Sie nach wie vor für eine Überraschung gut?
Handke: Ich hoffe! Ihr Wort in Gottes Ohr! Inschallah! Ich freue mich auf die Schauspieler. Ich habe ja mit Theaterregisseuren nicht viel Erfahrung, aber Schauspieler als Beruf ist mir sehr nahe. Zugleich fern und nahe. Das kann ich begreifen und mitleben mit dem Beruf. Aber mit Theaterregisseuren eigentlich nicht so unbedingt (lacht).
APA: Peymann gilt doch als jemand, der Stücke genau liest, dramaturgisch arbeitet, geradezu eine Verehrung für Autoren hat – sind das nicht Argumente, die Sie für ihn einnehmen?
Handke: Er macht das immer ein bisschen plakativ, die Verehrung. Verehrung darf ja nie demonstrativ daherkommen.
APA: Seine ostentative Verehrung Ihnen gegenüber ist Ihnen also unangenehm?
Handke: Unangenehm? Unheimlich! (lacht) Nein, das Machen in der Kunst ist ja ein ernstes Spiel, wie Goethe gesagt hat. Es muss ernst sein, und zugleich muss es Spiel sein. Das Geheimnis der großen Schauspieler ist Ernst und Spiel in einem. (The secret of the great actors is seriousness and playfulness in one. That is why I feel immeasurebley closer to the great actors than to the  dirctors)
 Deswegen fühle ich mich den großen Schauspielern unendlich näher als den Regisseuren. Aber wollen wir sehen. Ich mache natürlich Zweckpessimismus, indem ich scheinheilig dann hoffe, dass es vielleicht doch was wird.

 http://www.unsertirol24.com/2016/01/25/peter-handke-ich-habe-nie-aktuelles-behandeln-knnen/

===========================



 “The play’s the thing to catch the conscience of the King.”
=Part-III of IV=
of
COMMENTS
on Handke’s 2016
Ich & Die Unschuldigen/ The Not-So-Innocent Innocents & I
on the occasion of the
Klaus Peymann’ Burgtheater Premiere
POSTED @:
http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/2016/01/comments-on-handkes-ich-und-die.html
BACKGROUND & REVIEWS
http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/2014/10/die-unschuldigen-ich-und-die-unbekannte.html

INDEX

=III-A=
The play’s the thing to catch the conscience of the King.”
In late Spring 1973 I completed the translation of Handke’s Quodlibet (As you like it), typed it out on the brand-new, amazingly solid Swedish type-writer I had just bought in Savannah to replace the one that had finally suffered irredeemable metal fatigue on the trip halfway around the world. The Hellenic Splendor made landfall in Savannah, Georgia and was welcomed at midnight up the Savannah River by a DEA contingent that stormED aboard & ripped apart the mixed foreign crew’s quarters & then I went shopping in  Savannah & from Charleston, with its amazing fullback fullblack stevedores (that unloaded in one day what it had taken their starved Indian counterparts one week to stuff into the holds) sent the translation off to Handke, complaining about the typewriter’s hard action & not the problems I had had in creating a verbal collage that would function as well as did his PROJECTION SCREEN of verbal hallucinations, to catch the modern king, the audience’S CONSCIENCE.
What had meant to be a three month had turned into a great six month’s trip on the Hellenic Splendor, I had consumed two steamer trunk’s worth of reading material, translated, aside Quodlibet, two volumes worth of Hans Magnus Enzenberger’s essays, intelligent educational company, that I would presently publish as editor at Continnuum Books, and if Continnuum’s publisher Werner Linz had not turned out to be a shit; that is. yet another, though by no means the worst of the “wrong people,” if he had been a real publisher I would have never engaged in the adventure of Urizen Books.

Quodlibet, published in Lake Constance & Other Plays (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) & in Collected Handke Plays Vol. I (Eyre Methuen) is a fairly short text that features an expandable set of actors playing the great whores of this world, CIA agents and the like who walk around the (world) stage mouthing ambiguities. Indeed, the inner of the outer-world projection screen that Quodlibet presents to the creative imagination of the audience works on the principal of
auditory hallucination
and I needed entirely to re-invent this sound collage, the closest to which Handke ever came to Joyce’s Finnegans Wake and what with the then still recent Seymour Hersh revelation of the
My Lai massacre
 I accommodated an allusion to this war crime in the ears of a possible then American audience in the form of a young man’s utterance
“my best lay.”
Quodlibet had its premiere in Zurich and was never played again for the reason that few if any in the audience could of course empathize or identify with any of the characters on stage & I think the only way that Quodlibet might be done successfully – that is, where consciences are possibly tweaked, where agenbite bites inwit - would be for a witty director doing it for an assembled audience of Pentagon and Langley war criminal murderers, drone masters assasssins terrorizers. The witty Rummy could have been persuaded perhaps, he would have appreciated the poetry of it, one of two recent sec defs who were poets (Clinton’s Cohen, was a poet, too).
The scarcity of CIA agents & the like who have defected and turned tables on mother and owned up to the horrible things they have done (we read of drone assassins wearying of their task of decimating wedding parties) may indicate that their like are far too inured, calloused to respond either to  a morally earnest drama or one that avails itself of allusions, subtlety.
However, Quodlibet, shows us - in purest form - what Handke the moralist playwright is about, in general, and not only in his dramas, linguistically, as of his first plays Prophecy and Offending the Audience: He’s a kind of activist Orwell, a disruptive Wittegenstein, a would be Karl Kraus, a moralist of the language, potentially real pain in the ass who disavows the standard ways of doing plays, most of the time, who does not do the well-formed 120 minute one.
The plays of the first period  
http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/2012/07/peter-handke-plays-in-english.html
from PROPHECY to their 1992 summa
THE HOUR WE KNEW NOTHING OF EACH OTHER
are characterized verbally active happenings.
Only one of them – the 1973 THEY ARE  DYING OUT – has a story, although I took a long hard gander at
THE RIDE ACROSS LAKE CONSTANCE
to see whether I might find a story secreted amongst its verbal gymnastics, its Socratic querying that is modeled on Wittgenstein’s Philosophial Investigations.
http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/2012/01/how-handkes-ride-across-lake-constance.html
but I didn’t find a story, although an arc of actions.
Handke’s means in these activist plays are:
a)   Projection screens
b)   Verbal direct address – OFFENDING THE AUDIENCE
c)   Allusion – aside Quodlibet, Cries for Help, too, employs a species of this means.
d)   The serial, Self Accusation, Prophecy, also in grammatical similar formations, Offending the Audience
e)   Direct critique of language – Prophecy. Very much like Susan Sontag’s attack on metaphor.
All these means are summarized in Handke’s second play without words, but one of the greatest reading texts in the language,
THE HOUR WE KNEW NOTHING OF EACH OTHER
A play that cleans your clock by means of the forever changing images, a form of aggressive mesmerization that, surprisingly, unconsciously, more or leas obtrusively breaks down all kinds of defenses by aesthetic means.
Handke’s dramatic endeavors, these happenings as I prefer to understand them, during the first half of his career as a dramatist, afford few occasions for identification and empathy. You cannot empathize with the four speakers who enunciate OFFENDING THE AUDIENCE, the man and woman who speak SELF-ACCUSATION is another matter, although what they self-accuse themselves of is often funnee & ultimately over the top, thus relieving of undue guilt.  
CRIES FOR HELP articulates the young audience’s own neediness, and not in the accustomed pitying or condolence filled manner of the Red Cross. I love that play.
The early Handke is his young generation’s
SURROGATE.
Fear, terror, aside a joy in verbal fun also prevail in Radio Play One
For a piece that discusses the translation of the early pieces see:
http://www.handketrans.scriptmania.com/
To empathize and identify with KASPAR’S verbal education & indoctrination, his tribulations is torturous and humiliating.

Handke at  Princeton 1966
The wordless MY FOOT MY TUTOR’S
ritualized sado-masochism might have cured its author of his sadism, if matters were that simple. Beautifully sinister with its ominous sounds & Colors for Susan musical accompaniment. Take a look at various photos to see how well this plays.
https://picasaweb.google.com/106505819654688893791/PERFDRAMA
RIDE ACROSS LAKE CONSTANCE offers the  odd refracting moments for identification and empathy in its discombobulating procedures: Dreaming, waking, questioning, arguing, the TWINS grabbing for testicles, as so many young girls were starting to do about that time that they could abandon their inhibitions. LAKE CONSTANCE … everyone is looking for an identity, a center.
There is no story…. It is pure happening, that also cleans out your clock, as a good analytic hour will as I would discover in time, these happenings create different states of mind and being state of mind altering are aesthetically freshening.
That leaves the outlier, the comparatively normal
THE ARE DYING OUT
http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/2011/09/they-are-dying-out.html
https://plus.google.com/photos/106505819654688893791/albums/5690247726536556065
which is in the Austrian Nestroy/ Raimund tradition.
See my pieces in reply to Thomas Oberender
&
Klaus Kaspberger
who approach these texts in a similar manner & with whom I have no quarrel but who do not consider the “states of mind” except in so far as they realize that several of these plays create catharses, although they do not specify how & as I suspect only an analyist with knowledge of neurology can what these texts create when they are played
 “happenings”
  a play of any kind is a happening of some kind,

I just happen to think that work that abandons so much of the usual folderol of plays is best approached in this manner.
-------------------- 

III-B=
COMMENTS ON THE
SECOND, POST-CRISIS, HALF OF HANDKE’S DRAMATIC OEUVRE:
1980 to 2016 & onward?


For starters let me post the Ibsenaward statement, it provides a good enough intro to all of Handke & to the post 1980 dramatic scores, emphases mine.
“While Ibsen's dramas amount to a perfect cohesion of form, the dramatist Handke’s touch is one of openness, of the open nature of the play as theatre itself. Yet both artists have much in common, and perhaps this most centrally: their sense of discovery. The ability to be a sensor for the fabric of society. Their remoteness from their own homelands and yet ceaseless work on a possible concept of home and literature that is commensurate to this concept. They are besotted with illusions. Music is both a vital element and a means of knowledge at the same time. And perhaps the ability of both artists also stems primarily from giving voice to structure: the origin lies in their amazement at an observation within the volatile context of life, and they suddenly make this living environment stage-worthy – making it an element of language never before heard in theatre. How a human being perishes and how a form of spiritual enlightenment is bestowed upon him, or when a people’s partisan struggle leads not to liberation, but instead to tragedy – both artists devised continually renewing narratives for such observations on the stage well into old age; in doing so, their literary work in stagecraft was always one step ahead, seemed visionary and proved  their scenic imaginativeness.
By awarding the 2014 Ibsen Award to Peter Handke, this poetic wonder is honoured. This has led to work in formats that were hitherto barely considered possible, be it his “speech-plays” (“Sprechstücke”), his designs for a new “world theatre”, his completely silent pieces or his great monologue dramas. Peter Handke's theatrical world includes the beat and spirit of pop, as well as the lyrical tone of the dramatic poem that aims at the transformation of the listener. And yet dramatist Peter Handke is not an author born of the theatre – he was not an actor, playwright or director, but, as a storyteller, he is an author who simultaneously possesses a flair for destiny and the abstract form through which a power that threatens (or uplifts) mankind is brought to life. And so he was able to develop his own form of theatre – a fresh kind of presentation, artificially and directly confident at the same time.

If Ibsen was perhaps the most exemplary dramatist of the bourgeois period, which has not yet come to an end, then Peter Handke is certainly its most important epic theatrical poet. In all his plays he succeeds in making the reality of the theatre visible, and indeed as a reality that has no desire to produce illusions and does not emulate the world, but is rather a world in itself. And in this world, the dramatist Handke can create an entirely unique blend of magical theatre and thesis plays, family drama and tragedy, as Nestroy or Calderon once did. In his fifty years of writing, he has redefined dramatic literature more often, more surprisingly, and more radically than any other living poet. Yet his work is distinguished by an obvious continuity: the self-evident truths of the theatre, but also our linguistic conventions and power structures have never been a matter of course to him, rather they have been a subject of analysis.

In the process, he has created perhaps the most important epic literature of the theatre after Brecht: His speech-plays to the rhythm of the beat have led to new, allegorical forms of theatre, such as “Kaspar”, or moving tableaux vivants, such as “The Hour We Knew Nothing Of Each Other”, in which Peter Handke had hundreds of characters appear. A classically well-built piece about today’s capitalists, such as “They Are Dying Out”, accompanies modern world theatre plays, such as “Voyage by Dugout” or “The Art of Asking”. For decades, Peter Handke has explored a Slovenian-Carinthian family composition, and thus an autobiographical one, as only literature can succeed in restoring that peace the characters were robbed of in the story; this is dealt with in plays ranging from “Walk about the Villages” to “Preparations for Immortality” to his masterpiece, “Still Storm
”.












=III-B=1
Handke’s second and quite different major period as playwright ensues, well prepared, although without transitional play (unless you regard the so activist as well as poetic HOUR WE KNEW NOTING OF EACH OTHER that quotes no end of fables) with the                       early 80s                  WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES
whose translation at a decisive momet would be a major event in my life
see also
for parts of my postscript to my translation of Villages as well as comments on other Handke translations and the forthcoming   
WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES OR THE SLOG FROM SALVATION TO DAMNATION:
From Godsend to Albatross to  skeleton!”
The play became my heart test, few passed it! The fantasy figure “great fondness” fancied but a single sentence
“the hefty taxes”
And sealed her ultimate consignment.

VILLAGES, great text that became a major event in my life and for which Handke had prepared himself as you can see in his notations in
GESCHICHTE DES BLEISTIFS
History of the Pencil
L’HISTOIRE DE CRAYON
which does not exist in English – despite the fact that Handke’s first volume of diary entries WEIGHT OF THE WORLD was a considerable success in the U.S. and even in mass trade-paperback with Collier/McMillan.













=III-B=2=
The plays of this second period. Subsequent to VILLAGES
are:

THE ART OF ASKING
n Voyage to the Sonorous Land, or The Art of Asking, a cockeyed optimist and a spoilsport lead a group of characters to the hinterland of their imaginations, where they search not for the right answers but for the right  
http://www.suhrkamp.de/theater_medien/das_spiel_vom_fragen_oder_die_reise_zum_sonoren_land-peter_handke_101160.html
The untranslated
Zuruestungen fuer die Unsterblichkeit
REHEARSAL/PREPARATIONS FOR IMMORTALITY
http://www.suhrkamp.de/buecher/zuruestungen_fuer_die_unsterblichkeit-peter_handke_40797.pdf
TRACES OF THE LOST
Which may have been translated for the Opera that Philip Glass based on the the text
http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/2010/03/spuren-der-verirrten-premiere-at.html



VOYAGE BY DUGOUT
http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/2010/06/voyage-by-dugout-play-that-came-out-of.html
UNTIL THE DAY  

SUBDAY BLUES
Untranslated as far as I know

LA CUISINE
In German & French

STILL STORM







THE BEAUTFUL DAYS OF ARANJUEZ



and the now premiering
I & THE COUNTRY ROAD
See
=IV=
For a detailed discussion
As of Mid-February!


Aside the half dozen major plays of Handke’s second, post-crisis period
-VILLAGES, ASKING, IMMORTALITY, CANOE, STORM, COUNTRY ROAD – there are some oddities, unusual ventures,
Only one of them is minor I think, SUBDAY BLUES
Which however plays it appears in the various languages into which it has been translated. I recall writing my enraged schizzohawk to see whether writing rage might produce something interesting, it didn’t not in my case, aside penetrating atonality, it certainly is as authentic as it gets! Handke’s piece, formalized, becomes monotonous & I at least don’t see monotony being in any way productive here, as it can be, repetitiousness can be, vide MY FOOT MY TUTOR. The angry blues singer is salvaged by a woman, indeed a not unrealistic move.

I don’t want to repeat what I said about each of these plays at the page devoted to them to which I link.














PARTS IV BY MID-FEBRUARY

PIECES AND NEWS ABOUT PETER HANDKE'S PLAYS

THIS BLOG IS DEVOTED TO PIECES AND NEWS ABOUT PETER HANDKES PLAYS, IT LINKS WITH THE FOLLOWING SITES:
http://www.handkelectures.freeservers.com
[the drama lecture]

http://www.handkeDRAMA.scriptmania.com
http://www.handkeDRAMA-2.scriptmania.com
WHICH ARE PART OF THE
http://www.handke.scriptmania.com
COMPLEX OF THIRTEEN SITES

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