Absence

Absence The time is an unspecified modernity the place possibly Europe Absence follows four nameless people the old man the woman the soldier and the gambler as they journey to a desolate wasteland beyond

  • Title: Absence
  • Author: Peter Handke Ralph Manheim
  • ISBN: 9780374527631
  • Page: 186
  • Format: Paperback
  • The time is an unspecified modernity, the place possibly Europe Absence follows four nameless people the old man, the woman, the soldier, and the gambler as they journey to a desolate wasteland beyond the limits of an unnamed city.

    One thought on “Absence”

    1. Pure Wanderlust A taciturn epic Reading it is a pilgrimage in a no man's land like the Zone in Tarkovsky's Stalker. You find out there what you carry inside I have walked the distance twice. Once in the french translation 20 years ago and three years ago in the original German (one of the reasons I have studied the language). I am sure I will return back there. I feel that book calling me already Handke has directed a movie based on this book. I hope to watch it someday

    2. Peter Handke's 1990 novel Absence is perhaps the most dreamlike of his shorter works, a brazenly experimental fiction in which he seems content to let his characters loose and see where fate takes them. The setting is Europe at some unspecified time, though certainly post-World War Two. The four characters (an old man who scribbles cryptic symbols in a notebook, a very young and mostly silent soldier, a man of middle age who is a gambler, and a young woman who may or may not be emotionally unbal [...]

    3. This is written in a style similar to a later Terrence Malick movie. I am not sure what is going on with the switches from third to first person (or present to past tense), but it's a beautiful little book.

    4. Haunting: the mesmerising voice of someone in a depressive state, wandering here and there but not going anywhere

    5. This book reminded me in some ways of Astonishing the Gods by Ben Okri although to be fair it’s been a while since I read it. That book is described as:A young man is transported to an enchanted isle in a quest to discover the secrets of visibility. He finds himself amidst a society of invisible beings who have built a utopia based on a single law, ‘Every experience is repeated or suffered till you experience it properly and fully for the first time.’In the introduction to the new edition [...]

    6. I am a huge Peter Handke fan and consider him one of the most important modern writers since Becket and Camus. I find his vivid but precise prose an endless truce of fascination and this novel, perhaps his most abstract and experimental, was a big influence wile writing my novel The Architect, which has sections written in a kind of detached poetic voice, sort of like the angels inner dialogue in Wings of Desire. In Absence there are several travellers and we weave through their thoughts and imp [...]

    7. Couldn't finish it. And even though not finishing a book haunts meleaving me wondering if the ending would have made itI just didn't think the book was written well enough, or interesting enough to be worthy of finishing it.Handke tries to weave the lives of a few separate characters, but his exact descriptions are unattached like someone who's eaten too much and stares lazily out a train window. I kept asking myself what the hell was going on after every three sentences.

    8. Assez intéressant et énigmatique: il garde ses secrets malgré ma lecture. On suit le voyage des personnages qui se sont liés l'un à l'autre sans que j'aie vraiment compris comment: ils parlent très peu et ne se répondent jamais directement les uns aux autres. L'impression initiale de poésie m'est restée, bien que moins forte que je ne l'espérais.

    9. Very sparse and a little slow. They story of 4 nameless people taking an extended camping trip into the unknown. Handke seems to be interested in how we define the "home" in relation to the "self", but it could have used a little more fleshing out.

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