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Peter Handke ✓ 5 Summary

Pens A Sorrow Beyond Dreams the eminent Austrian novelist and playwright Peter Handke's reckoning with his mother's life which spanned the rise of the Nazis World War II and postwar suffering and death Both stark and lyrical full. The half lit room The cream colored paint on the walls reflecting barely enough light to see The tiled floor absent of dirt or dust The cot which lies empty barren and untouched All of these circumstances all of these facts can be taken as a symbol for the hurt pain and utter emptiness Handke s mother felt as she grew to become in her own words nothing And so she was nothing and never would be anything it was so obvious that there was no need of a forecast She already said in my day though she was not yet thirty Until then she resigned herself but now life became so hard that for the first time she had to listen to reason She listened to reason but understood nothing As she raises a child and is married to a man that she doesn t love being beaten habitually and for being the unfortunate gender of a woman she felt nothing any She would laugh while being hit she would smile when she felt depressed and her inner turmoil while being resigned was passionate Handke wrote this right after his mother s suicide and I can feel his love and angst and power within the pages as he struggles to know what to write but eventually puts down raw emotion on paper showing us who his mother was and why she did what she did what was inevitable what was needed When I write I necessarily write about the past about something which at least while I am writing is behind me As usual when engaged in literary work I am alienated from myself and transformed into an object a remembering and formulating machine I am writing the story of my mother first of all because I think I know about her and how she came to her death than any outside investigator who might with the help of a religious psychological or sociological guide to the interpretation of dreams arrive at a facile explanation of this interesting case of suicide but second in my own interest because having something to do brings me back to life and lastly because like an outside investigator though in a different way I would like to represent this VOLUNTARY DEATH as an exemplary caseThe emphasis of capital letters for certain words makes the reader relate to what is being said relate in a way that the sorrow is constantly in the foreground never being forgotten never being set asideThis is her life in 100 pages She was and now IS something never to be nothing again Secret Agent Minister and Deadly Texas Rose yet thirty Until then she resigned herself but now life became so hard that for the first time she had to listen to reason She listened to reason but understood nothing As she raises a child and is married to a man that she doesn t love being beaten habitually and for being the unfortunate gender of a woman she felt nothing any She would laugh while being hit she would smile when she felt depressed and her inner turmoil while being resigned was passionate Handke wrote this right after his mother s suicide and I can feel his love and angst and power within the pages as he struggles to know what to write but eventually puts down raw emotion on paper showing us who his mother was and why she did what she did what was inevitable what was needed When I write I necessarily write about the past about something which at least while I am writing is behind me As usual when engaged in literary work I am alienated from myself and transformed into an object a remembering and formulating machine I am writing the story of my mother first of all because I think I know about her and how she came to her death than any outside investigator who might with the help of a religious psychological or sociological guide to the interpretation of dreams arrive at a facile explanation of this interesting case of suicide but second in my own interest because having something to do brings me back to life and lastly because like an outside investigator though in a different way I would like to represent this VOLUNTARY DEATH as an exemplary caseThe emphasis of capital letters for certain words makes the reader relate to what is being said relate in a way that the sorrow is constantly in the foreground never being forgotten never being set asideThis is her life in 100 pages She was and now IS something never to be nothing again

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Wunschloses Unglück

The Sunday edition of the Kärntner Volkszeitung carried the following item under ‘Local News' ‘In the village of A G township a housewife aged 51 committed suicide on Friday night by taking an overdose of sleeping pills'So o. I came to this slim novella through Maggie Nelson who recommends it in RED PARTS It is the story of Handke s mother s suicide and his rapid attempts to capture it and her life through writing Handke is a strange wonderful writer and I raced through the early part of this with pleasure as he constructed a profile of his mother s life in Germany before her stagnancy set in I was particularly interested in how backgrounded WW2 was Hitler just a voice on the radioThe writing about her death was beautiful as well and strongly reminiscent of that magic scene in THE ARGONAUTS with Harry and his mother Handke s relief and the odd love that explodes out of him when alone with his mother s body was touching and gratifying And yet for all that I liked there are major holes in this work the absent father the step father s abuse some sort of compassion for his mother and I found myself dragging through the middle third What I was expecting to be a one day read took about a week and though I think ASBD is pedagogically fascinating and of great use to writers it struck me as something of a missed opportunity

Summary Wunschloses Unglück

Of love anger admiration and a keen sense of history this slim book reveals Handke at his most lucid and direct It is the most moving and accessible work in his distinguished career; it is indispensable Bill Marx The Boston Glob. My sense of horror makes me feel better at last my boredom is gone an unresisting body no exhausting distances a painless passage of time Peter Handke writes in this distilling memoir about his mother A Sorrow Beyond Dreams is his attempt at reconciling with his mother s suicide his piecing together of the life she lived I didn t intend on reading this book now especially since I just finished Handke s Short Letter Long Farewell However as I arranged my books and thumbed through the first few pages of this short read I was trapped Cover to cover I read it intrigued at how the narrator is able to keep immense distance from such a jarring subject and yet still allow me to see the immediacy of his pain unfold through these pages There are no scenes no attempts at drama and for a subject like this why should there be in fact in some sections there is just the confusion of hysteria Handke s pointed and illuminating prose makes this a captivating read and the beauty of this memoir is its ability to transcend subject and person because merely to relate the vicissitudes of a life that came to a sudden end would be pure presumption The reader is left to gather the details of his mother s life and shape it into story view spoiler She had a strangulated nerve disorder that caused headaches and pain even when she laughed Not only had she had a tough childhood and loveless marriage but her ailment forced her withdrawal from the world and everyday conversation and everything about her became dislocated and she became insensible hide spoiler


10 thoughts on “Wunschloses Unglück

  1. says:

    I came to this slim novella through Maggie Nelson who recommends it in RED PARTS It is the story of Handke's mother's suici

  2. says:

    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

  3. says:

    Briefly In Jeffrey Eugenides introduction readers are told “In fact German has two words for self slaughter Selbstmord which is roughly euivalent to the English “suicide” and Freitod which means literally “free death” and possesses a

  4. says:

    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 relationship of Life to Death is that of Music to Silence; how can we

  5. says:

    The half lit room The cream colored paint on the walls reflecting barely enough light to see The tiled floor absent of di

  6. says:

    February 16 2020 the I read 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 right this book helps unlock the mysteries of Repetition and the Moravian Night Clues to his strange and twisted politics are here as well She

  7. says:

    “My sense of horror makes me feel better at last my boredom is gone; an unresisting body no exhausting distances a painless passage

  8. says:

    Barely remembered reading this in 1996 back when I read 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 really because Knausgaard recent

  9. says:

    Peter Handke has written an elegy for his mother a suicide unlike anything I've read before It is also the story of many women born in Austria between the World Wars when life was not only difficult it was hard even so for women than men Opportunities were few happinesses meager Escape taken if possible but then came the Nazi era the post War years varying levels of hardship marriage family no aspirationsHe ta

  10. says:

    It would be very difficult to write anything about this book without spoiling it for anyone who wants to read it

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