Tuesday, March 27, 2007

In the age of Handke

Michael Roloff continues his essay of McDonald destruction, this time discussing the literary side of the American Scholar atrocity. He's also a great advocate of Handke beyond the critical disdain:
Think of Handke as composer with the inclinations of a Cezanne, to create alternative verbal worlds that stand in an unusual relationship to the world that we inhabit. Handke is also a didactician, a kind of activist Wittgenstein. To live in the age of Goethe is many a Germanist's pipe dream, I am glad to live in a world that at least has one Handke. He nourishes me as no other writer does. A few pages of Handke, one good analytic essay, my friends the smart crows and I forget all about the McDonalds of this world.
Elsewhere, and I had meant to mention this yesterday, Alok of Dispatches from Zembla reports on a perplexed reading of Handke's Journey to the Rivers: Justice for Serbia while Antonia of the wonderful flowerville (link now broken) provides the necessary rejoinder.

In my current reading, I've been revising my opinion of Handke's massive My Year in the No-man's-Bay. First time I read it some years ago, boredom reigned. Now it's something like a lucid dream of a world incandescent with signs. By-no-means as great as Repetition, but I can't think of a more beautiful book than that beyond Dante or Proust. Really.


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