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Taking Refuge in the Loo

Leland de la Durantaye: Peter Handke

21 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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... PeterHandke​ 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 ...

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 PeterHandke 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 ...
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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... a television set, an impressive piece of apparatus, ribbed and dotted with connections and resistances, apt theme for a course of lectures on electronics – but where is the sound, or the picture? PeterHandke, 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 ...

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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... as her daughter’s chaperone. Jelinek was already 22. This was the high-water mark in Austria’s radical postwar renaissance. Thomas Bernhard was the acknowledged leader of the dissident pack, with PeterHandke 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 ...
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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... Wenders approves; and by all accounts Paris, Texas was made this way, with improvisation and constant phone calls to the writer, Sam Shepard. For Wings of Desire Wenders had his old collaborator PeterHandke 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 ...

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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... or another, among them Trollope, Patrick White, Robin Maugham and Julian Symons, just as Dumas, and Boublil and Schönberg, have pounced on the story of Martin Guerre, and Verlaine, Georg Trakl and PeterHandke, 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 ...

Man-Eating Philosophers

Will Self: David Cronenberg

17 June 2015
Consumed 
by David Cronenberg.
Fourth Estate, 288 pp., £18.99, October 2014, 978 0 00 729915 7
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... and Bruce Robinson’s farcical Künstlerroman, The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman. However, I’m not so sure Cronenberg’s filmic output is equal to that of Jean Cocteau, Marguerite Duras or PeterHandke. 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 ...

Smirk Host Panegyric

Robert Potts: J.H. Prynne

1 June 2016
Poems 
by J.H. Prynne.
Bloodaxe, 688 pp., £25, April 2015, 978 1 78037 154 2
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... number of detractors has diminished, and the pitch of the denunciations has (mostly) lowered. Wholly 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 ...

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