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Peter Handke Richard Arthur Firda

Peter Handke

Richard Arthur Firda

Published June 28th 2010
ISBN : 9780805747720
ebook
170 pages
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 About the Book 

Peter Handke is probably the most versatile and controversial of the postwar generation of German-speaking writers. His status as Austrias most renowned living author - a dubious honor, in his opinion - owes as much to his artistic range (plays,MorePeter Handke is probably the most versatile and controversial of the postwar generation of German-speaking writers. His status as Austrias most renowned living author - a dubious honor, in his opinion - owes as much to his artistic range (plays, novels, a memoir, film scripts, radio plays, poems, and essays) as it does to his reputation for flouting literary and theatrical convention. Handke was only 24 when, in 1966, he challenged the strategic direction of the Gruppe 47 - by then an establishment coalition, of German-speaking writers and artists - and later that year assaulted what he considered the lies of the theater in Publikumsbeschimpfung (Offending the Audience), rejecting the 1960s theatrical norms of illusion, subjectivity, and political indoctrination. In his works of the intervening 27 years Handke has sought to show how visual perception, verbal expression, and memory can distort reality. In this comprehensive assessment of Handkes writing, Richard Arthur Firda attributes the authors international readership (many of Handkes books were translated into English before he turned 40) to his career-long flair for publicity, a talent for sensing the future direction of not only the marketplace but also the avant-garde. Firda maintains that such works as Handkes phenomenally successful Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter (1972- The Goalies Anxiety at the Penalty Kick) have linked him intimately with the European postmodern aesthetic, with the cutting edge of literary experimentation. Although the failure of language as valid communication is a theme common to all Handkes work, Firda argues that Handke in fact uses language as a precision tool - so much so that language would seem the only discernible hero of his explorations. In Kaspar (1968), for instance - perhaps Handkes best-known play - a mute is successfully subjected to speech torture, but his mastery of words does not guarantee lasting control over the objects words signify, and