Download PDF by Peter Handke: Absence

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By Peter Handke

Translation via Ralph Manheim

Amazon description:

The time is an unspecified modernity, where potentially Europe. Absence follows 4 anonymous humans -- the outdated guy, the lady, the soldier, and the gambler -- as they trip to a desolate barren region past the boundaries of an unnamed city.

A very attention-grabbing Library magazine overview, that still turns out a fan of my finally Schopenhauerian view of library maintenance (however, its prejudice opposed to "slim volumes" is eventually undeserved).

From Library Journal
Four characters, pointed out merely because the outdated guy, the lady, the Soldier, and the Gambler, commute to a distant wilderness bordering on an unnamed urban. Seasons swap in a single day, the outdated guy disappears, and the computing device he contains seems to be to the soldier in a dream, yet regardless of evocative prose there's little path right here, in basic terms curious moments and a obscure unease. Handke expects his readers to swallow each one descriptive element during this interminable trip, no matter if it merits curiosity--or has any significance--or now not. In his final novella (at simply over a hundred pages we should always now not overrate those slender volumes), the protagonist's reviews shed a few mild at the book's identify ( Afternoon of A author, LJ 9/1/89). Absence , lamentably, is totally real to its title.
- Peter Bricklebank, urban Coll., CUNY

and a way more neutral review:
From Publishers Weekly
German writer Handke ( Afternoon of a author ) enlarges the recurrent metaphysical preoccupations of his prolific output during this most modern demanding and lucrative novel. The story's 4 anonymous protagonists meander via a surreally disconnected and flattened panorama. An outdated artist, a gambler unaware of himself, a callow soldier whose self-effacing "absence" is a safety opposed to the realm, and a useless girl whose frantic mirror-staring fails to make her current to herself, "roam"--as the novel's epigraph from Chuang Tzusp okay places it--"in the palace of Nowhere, the place all issues are one." As they wander throughout a nearly featureless northern undeniable, the prior, current and destiny develop into one and the characters' insubstantial identities cave in into each other. but if they become aware of legible symbols within the surrounding blankness and browse them with conviction, the panorama springs into recognizable lifestyles and the characters notice their power. during this easily written fantasy, Handke forcefully summons readers to the popularity that the essence of human existence lies within the striving for self-expression even if its excellent attention should always stay elusive.

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Additional info for Absence

Example text

In the middle of the clearing there is a small lake, which at first seems artificial but then— with its islands of rushes and black muddy banks, marked with all manner of anim al tracks— proves to be a bog pool. Only at one point, at the tip o f the moraine, so to speak, can the pool be reached dry-shod over gravel outcrops, and here its water, instead o f presenting an opaque, reflecting surface, is perfectly trans­ parent. T he bright pebbles at the bottom stand out all the more clearly thanks to the glassy streaks in the water of the spring which emerges underground from the moraine and can be followed as it twines its way through the gravel to the lake which it feeds.

W earing mottled com bat fa­ tigues and a steel helmet, he is carrying a rifle with mounted bayonet; at his feet a crackling radiotelephone. His eyes are hidden by the shadow of his helmet. For a long time there are no passersby, only the roaring o f the cars, many trucks am ong them. Then some children pass on their way hom e from school. One of the boys stations him self under the soldier's nose, the tips of his shoes touch­ ing the tips o f the soldier’s boots, and stays there until the soldier’s fingers suddenly start drum m ing on his belt buckle; a m om ent later, the sentry is alone again.

Prepare . . no time . . surrounded . . adequately . . neglected . . bunch . . fit subject . . include . . shatter . . open up . . track down . . deluge. ou trigh t. He starts to run, punching him self in the head, sticking a finger down his throat to no effect, or bending the sam e finger, holding it up to his temple, A B S E N C E : 2 2 and going through the motions of shooting him self over and over again. O nce he even turns off his path and casually rams his forehead against a tree trunk.

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