Peter Handke: Wunschloses Unglück

( EBOOK Wunschloses Unglück ) by Peter Handke – chernov–

It would be very difficult to write anything about this book without spoiling it for anyone who wants to ead it Barely emembered eading this in 1996 back when I ead everything Handke had published Read a yellowed mass market paperback with a cartoon image of the author on the cover Three by Peter Handke Reread the novella in this snazzy 75 pg standalone edition for what felt like the first time eally because Knausgaard ecently mentioned it as a major influence This straightforward yet essentially scene less life story about Handke s mother s suicide gave Knausgaard a blueprint for how to write about his father s slow suicide by alcohol My painful memory of her daily motions especially in the kitchen Otherwise I love Handke s prose and unpredictable movement Loved the dissolution at the end into a string of memories observations uotations statements as in The Weight of the World an all time favorite He mentions going slowly so he doesn t lose his balance and maybe that s what I love about the prose and approach it tightropes across a crack in the cement with the sense that if he missteps what seems solid beneath his feet will give out and eveal itself as a long way down through empty air Like growing up after WWII in Austria his mother s slow dissolution and suicide is internalized it s something that he is his being an inheritance that doesn t express itself as a hyberbolic lie Also great stuff early on about poverty National Socialism penny pinching estraint true love the walls closing in a little by little and over time All of which might sound like dire eading but it s eally an enjoyable uick ead Someday I shall write about all this in greater detail February 16 2020 the I ead of Handke the it seems that the death of his Slovenian mother is the key to the whole edifice In addition to being a masterpiece in its own ight this book helps unlock the mysteries of Repetition and the Moravian Night Clues to his strange and twisted politics are here as well She was she became she became nothingA teenage boy gives his mother the books he s been eading novels by Hamsun Dostoevsky Faulkner and she absorbs them with enthusiasm For the first time in her life she learns to express herself in words However Literature didn t teach her to start thinking of herself but showed her it was too late for thatA gain in freedom or even happiness may ultimately leave you standing face to face with that thing you were successfully able to avoid for yearsThis is one of the saddest books I ve ever ead What does it mean to write about Death not abstract death or death of some invented Other but Death in its most personal intimate self shattering form How when the act of writing of composition is inherently distancing can one write about that which is closest to us The elationship of Life to Death is that of Music to Silence how can we write about the difference between the silence before a note and the silence that followsThe Death of the Mother This is a hackneyed literary trope and a cliche idden mud plain of endless soggy sticky narrative To speak of it is to uote To uote is to dissemble To dissemble is to betray In this short novella only 70 or so pages in length Handke attempts to write about his mother in the weeks after her suicide Tries and fails And yet his failing is a masterpiece It is a work of a writer attempting to controldelineatecontain the ending of this life and not succeeding I urge you to set aside an hour or two one evening and ead this in one unbroken sitting A HYMN TO TRAGEDYIt is a difficult proposition to write a memoir about the death of one s mother and that too when she commits suicide at the age of 51 I have a somber association with that number as my mother too passed away at that age A Sorrow beyond dreams is Handke s poignant account of his mother s life and death Prosaic poetic elliptical and self conscious it is an exacting picture of the shock and grief that await those who have inherited the uins of a suicide Rarely in ecent years has eading a mini masterpiece of just 76 pages had such a macro impact on my psycheThe Austrian writer Peter Handke is one the greatest and most original novelists and playwrights writing in German language today My exposure to his prose dates back to early 90 s when I was impressed with eading his novels like The Left handed Woman and major plays such as The Ride Across Lake Constance When another Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek won Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004 I wondered why they didn t bestow it on Peter Handke a writer much worthy of that prize Jelenik too voiced in an interview that Handke deserved it better than her Btw I ead Jelinek s The Piano Teacher last year and was impressed with her prose too Well Handke may never win a Nobel. Peter Handke's mother was an invisible woman Throughout her life which spanned the Nazi era the war and the postwar consumer economy she struggled to maintain appearances only to arrive at a terrible ecognition I'm not human any Not long after she killed.

As he has been a controversial figure due to his involvement in Balkan Conflict and being a sympathizer of Slobodan MilosevicYou can ead this as a memoir or metafiction of a poor sprightly and hearty woman in Austria full curiosity and zest for life who undergoes slow disintegration first due to the members of her family and the society around her who chain her by not allowing to get education and gain independence and then by the loveless elationships and associated miseries that drain her spirits and will to exist Peter Handke narrates the story of his mother from a totally impersonal and disinterested perspective There are only few places where Handke addresses the woman as My mother especially at the beginning My mother has been dead for almost seven weeks I had better go to work before the need to write about her which I felt so strongly at her funeral dies away and I fall back into the dull speechlessness with which I eacted to the nerves of her suicideHandke adopts for his composition a deliberate formulation based on facts and the way he gets into the different stages in her life may seem like eading a esume of one s life He knows the vulnerability when writing about one s own mother and therefore exerts great estraint in not allowing the words to slip into sentimentality and histrionics His minimalistic approach in narrating her dull life drenched in drudgeries can be perceived from this passage For a woman to be born into such surroundings was in itself deadly But perhaps there was one comfort no need to worry about the future The fortune tellers at our church fairs took a serious interest only in the palms of young men a girl s future was a jokeNo possibilities It was all settled in advance a bit of flirtation a few giggles a brief bewilderment then the alien esigned look of a woman starting to keep house again the first children a bit of togetherness after the Kitchen work from the start not listened to and in turn listening less and less Inner monologues trouble with her legs varicose veins mute except for mumbling in her sleep cancer of the womb and finally with death destiny fulfilled The girls in our town used to play a game based on the stations in a woman s life Tired Exhausted Sick Dying Dead Born in a small Austrian village in the 1920s Handke s mother he keeps her nameless lived in a world constrained by history and convention Unlike many cloistered women in her village Handke s mother valiantly though vainly makes several attempts to streamline her life She uns away from the soundless persecution at home pursues a career at age fifteen bears an illegitimate son Peter Handke from her first love a saving bank clerk who vanishes from her life as uickly as he emerges marries a German army sergeant and after World War II they settle in Berlin where he works as a motor mechanic who then degenerates into a drunkard subjecting her to outine torture She bears a second child aborts a third and grows old before her time In 1948 they flee the eastern sector of the city and eturn to Austria to the house where she was born There she enjoys a brief spell of normalcy picks up eading literature which turns out to be her true solace and involves herself in politics to egain her presence in society Eventually she succumbs to nervous breakdown brought up by the accumulated pain and slow atrophy of her life and finally blows it out with barbiturates Sualid misery can be described in concrete terms Handke writes poverty can only be intimated in symbols The torture of maintaining outward appearances and ituals in this hygienic poverty is a deep undercurrent in the novel From the first she was under pressure to keep up the forms in country schools the subject most stressed for girls was called the outward form and appearance of written work in later life this found its continuation in a woman s obligation to put on a semblance of a united family not cheerful poverty but formally perfect sualor and gradually in its daily effort to up appearances her face lost its soul Christmas necessities were packaged as presents We surprised each other with such necessities as underwear stockings and handkerchiefs and the beneficiary said he had WISHED for just that We pretended that just about everything that was given to us except food was a present I was sincerely grateful for the most indispensable school materials and spread them out beside my bed like presents A Sorrow Beyond Dreams grips us with Handke s unusual techniue of compressed narration that succeeds to impart emotional intensity without emotionalizing the grey universe around her He weaves a kaleidoscope by mixing memories events objects and casual statements Passages are pregnant with irony too Here are few examples In general these memories are. Herself with an overdose of sleeping pillsIn A Sorrow Beyond Dreams her son sits down to ecord what he knows or thinks he knows about his mother's life and death before in his words the dull speechlessness the extreme speechlessness of grief takes hold.

Peter Handke Ê 6 Summary

Inhabited by things than by people a dancing top in a deserted street amid uins oat flakes in a sugar spoon gray mucus in a tin spittoon with a Russian trademark of people only separated parts hair cheeks knotted scars on fingers from her childhood days my mother had a swollen scar on her index finger I held onto it when I walked beside herAnother way of listing would be eually idyllic your aching back your hands scalded in the wash boiler then frozen ed while hanging up the clothes how the frozen washing crackled as you folded it up an occasional nosebleed when you straightened up after hours of bending over the eternal moaning about little aches and pains because after all you were only a woman Women among themselves not How are you feeling but Are you feeling better At home of course she was alone with the FOUR WALLS some of the bounces was still there a hummed tune a dance step while taking off the shoes a brief desire to jump out of her skin And then she was dragging herself around the oom again from husband to child from child to husband and from one thing to anotherFiction these days offers a lot of chaff not in the case of this novel Every paragraph or sentence in this memoir prompts one to pause absorb heave a sigh and then move forward with a lump in one s throat Handke is a master in using syncopated sentences one liners wrenching associations cold enumerations and slots of silences which cumulatively deepen the impact of the tragedyThere is an intentional interlude at page 46 where Peter Handke as writer casts doubts on himself and uestions whether his modus operandi of writing the memoir has any merit The danger of all these abstractions and formulations is of course that they tend to become independent When that happens the individual that gave ise to them is forgotten like images in a dream phrases and sentences enter into a chain eaction and the esult is literary itual in which individual life ceases to be anything than a pretextThese two dangers the danger of merely telling what happened and the danger of a human individual becoming painlessly submerged in poetic sentences have slowed down my writing because in every sentence I am afraid of losing my balance This is true of every literary effort but especially in this case where the facts are so overwhelming and there is hardly anything to think out At the end Handke ecounts his flight home for the funeral and confesses I was beside myself with pride that she had committed suicide as if she had finally availed herself of the only freedom emaining to her It is a stunning line This is followed by two pages of aphoristic observations and his incapacity to separate him from the protagonist in narrating her life It is not true that writing has helped me In my weeks of preoccupations with the story the story has not ceased to preoccupy me Writing has not as I at first supposed been a emembering of a concluded period in my life but merely a constant pretense at emembering in the form of sentences that only lay claim to detachment Even now I sometimes wake up with a start as though in esponse to some inward prodding and breathless with horror feel that I am literally otting away from second to second The air in the darkness is so still that losing their balance torn from their moorings the things of my world fly soundlessly about in another minute they will come crashing down from all directions and smother me In these tempests of dread I become magnetic like a decaying animal and uite otherwise than in undirected pleasure where all my feelings play together freely I am attacked by an undirected objective horrorAnd the last line of the memoir accentuates his sense of incompleteness Someday I shall write about all this in greater detail Considering that this memoir was written in 1972 when Handke was only 31 one marvels at the maturity stylistic virtuosity and thematic integrity he has demonstrated in this magnum Opus Elegant simplicity purity and austerity seldom encountered in prose these days are the hallmarks of this work I have now decided to get all his important works and start my new journey in the postmodern fiction of Handke A Sorrow beyond dreams is a loving portrait of inconsolable grief the story of woman whose lively spirit was crushed not once but over and over again by the miseries of her place and time I underscore what W G Sebald said about Peter Handke The specific narrative genre he developed succeeded by dint of its completely original linguistic and imaginative precision through which in works such as The Goalie s Anxiety or A Sorrow Beyond Dreams the author eports and meditates upon the silent catastrophes that continuously befall the human interior Conclusion Highly ecommended to all eaders of postmodern fiction. Forever And yet the experience of speechlessness as it marks both suffering and love lies at the heart of Handke's brief but unforgettable elegy This austere scrupulous and deeply moving book is one of the finest achievements of a great contemporary write.

Peter Handke is an Avant garde Austrian novelist and playwright His body of work has been awarded numerous literary prizes including the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2019 He has also collaborated with German director Wim Wenders writing the script for The Wrong Move and co writing the screenplay for Wings of Desire