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Taking Refuge in the Loo

Leland de la Durantaye: Peter Handke, 22 May 2014

Versuch über den Pilznarren: Eine Geschichte für sich 
by Peter Handke.
Suhrkamp, 217 pp., £14.70, September 2013, 978 3 518 42383 7
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Peter Handke im Gespräch, mit Hubert Patterer und Stefan Winkler 
Kleine Zeitung, 120 pp., £15.36, November 2012, 978 3 902819 14 7Show More
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... Peter Handke​ began his career insulting his audience, and it long seemed that he would end it with his audience insulting him. In Insulting the Audience (1966), the play that brought him fame at the age of 23, he called the audience ‘dirty Jews’, ‘Nazi pigs’ and many things besides. Thirty years later, after he took up the cause of Serbian independence, condemned Nato intervention in the former Yugoslavia, compared the Serbs to Jews under the Third Reich, doubted the authenticity of reports of massacres in Srebrenica and elsewhere, received various honours from the Serbian government, and gave a eulogy before a crowd of 20,000 at Slobodan Milosevic’s funeral, the vector of insult was mightily reversed ...

Winking at myself

Michael Hofmann, 7 March 1985

The Weight of the World 
by Peter Handke, translated by Ralph Manheim.
Secker, 243 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 436 19088 5
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... The Austrian writer Peter Handke is so successful and so prolific that, reviewing one of his recent novels, his arch-enemy Marcel Reich-Ranicki, literary editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, ended by crowing at the fact that Langsame Heimkehr bad failed to make it onto the best-seller list. ‘Let no one say there’s no such thing as progress,’ he concluded ...

The Future of John Barth

Michael Irwin, 5 June 1980

Letters 
by John Barth.
Secker, 772 pp., £7.95, May 1980, 0 436 03674 6
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The Left-Handed Woman 
by Peter Handke, translated by Ralph Manheim.
Eyre Methuen, 94 pp., £4.95, April 1980, 0 413 45890 3
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Passion Play 
by Jerzy Kosinski.
Joseph, 271 pp., £5.95, April 1980, 0 7181 1913 4
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... apt theme for a course of lectures on electronics – but where is the sound, or the picture? Peter Handke, the Austrian playwright and novelist, has already won a reputation here, thanks particularly to the film version of The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick. The Left-Handed Woman, written in 1976, is a short, sombre, enigmatic work, a ...

Up from the Cellar

Nicholas Spice: The Interment of Elisabeth Fritzl, 5 June 2008

Greed 
by Elfriede Jelinek, translated by Martin Chalmers.
Serpent’s Tail, 340 pp., £7.99, July 2008, 978 1 84668 666 5
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... postwar renaissance. Thomas Bernhard was the acknowledged leader of the dissident pack, with Peter Handke and the Forum Stadtpark group from Graz representing the next wave of an obligatory avant-garde. Jelinek was at the young end of this group, but gained instant recognition within it. It was her natural mode to épater les bourgeois, starting ...

No more pretty face

Philip Horne, 8 March 1990

Emotion Pictures: Reflections on the Cinema 
by Wim Wenders, translated by Sean Whiteside and Michael Hofmann.
Faber, 148 pp., £12.99, November 1989, 0 571 15271 6
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Scorsese on Scorsese 
by Martin Scorsese, edited by David Thompson and Ian Christie.
Faber, 178 pp., £12.99, November 1989, 9780571141036
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... phone calls to the writer, Sam Shepard. For Wings of Desire Wenders had his old collaborator Peter Handke write nine ‘texts’, including a poem about childhood: but otherwise the film had no script. As Wenders told an interviewer, ‘I said to myself, “The idea came so spontaneously, we must go on like that. We must remain ...

Fraud Squad

Ferdinand Mount: Imposters, 2 August 2007

The Tichborne Claimant: A Victorian Sensation 
by Rohan McWilliam.
Continuum, 363 pp., £25, March 2007, 978 1 85285 478 2
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A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson 
by Frances Welch.
Short Books, 327 pp., £14.99, February 2007, 978 1 904977 71 1
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The Lost Prince: The Survival of Richard of York 
by David Baldwin.
Sutton, 220 pp., £20, July 2007, 978 0 7509 4335 2
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... Boublil and Schönberg, have pounced on the story of Martin Guerre, and Verlaine, Georg Trakl and Peter Handke, not to mention a dozen playwrights and film-makers, have taken up the tale of Kaspar Hauser. These days the celebrity machine has taken over the translation business: Bottom’s dream is acted out on Big Brother. But the allure of the old style ...

Man-Eating Philosophers

Will Self: David Cronenberg, 18 June 2015

Consumed 
by David Cronenberg.
Fourth Estate, 288 pp., £18.99, October 2014, 978 0 00 729915 7
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... not so sure Cronenberg’s filmic output is equal to that of Jean Cocteau, Marguerite Duras or Peter Handke. Part of the problem with creative polymaths is that on exposure to their work in a new medium the viewer, reader or listener can’t help assessing the extent to which their style and methodology has been directly transposed. Cronenberg seems ...

Smirk Host Panegyric

Robert Potts: J.H. Prynne, 2 June 2016

Poems 
by J.H. Prynne.
Bloodaxe, 688 pp., £25, April 2015, 978 1 78037 154 2
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... and proudly conventional writers and critics, such as Ruth Padel, Fiona Sampson, Andrew Motion and Peter McDonald, have found positive things to say. Last year Prynne received a Society of Authors award. The publication of the collected Poems in 1999, an ever fattening volume updated in 2005 and again last year, each time gathering in new collections ...

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