Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Handke untriumphs

Ah, so Peter Handke has not received the Heine Prize after all. Pierre Joris reports with links and includes his latest insistance that the unforgivable opinions he has been reported as expressing have been put into his mouth.

Perhaps appropriately, I've just finished reading In Time of Need, a stimulating conversation between Reiner Kunze and Mireille Gansel about the German poet Peter Huchel. He had endured two German regimes that sought to control writers. As I'd not heard of Huchel before, nor most of the names referred to in the conversation, it was almost like reading fiction; a sci-fi novel about poets (there's an idea for any blocked genre writers out there).

I say "appropriately" because the general technique of the modern world, of course, is not to place the jackboot across the writer's wrist, but simply to ignore what they write. So, it's almost like the old days!

(I say 'almost' because few people seem interested in what Handke has actually written).

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