However, everything was redeemed with a link to an English-language review at New Books in German. "Die morawische Nacht is a haunting and wonderful book" it says. It certainly sounds better than the baffling Crossing the Sierra de Gredos.
The story of the night involves a journey, a long circling movement from an enclave that might be Kosovo, through Europe and back to its starting point.In fact, it is seventeen years since Methuen published Absence in hardback. There was no paperback. One would have thought Handke's extra-literary notoriety would prompt interest. I wonder if they've even heard of him. Publishers in this country are keen to denounce censorship when it threatens cashing in on Islamophobia yet, when it comes to publishing one of the greatest living writers, silence; censorship is the default position.
Handke, it can be argued, is one of the defining writers of our time, but it's years since a UK publishing house put out anything by him, and that neglect predates his defiant, obstinate defence of the former Yugoslavia.