The genesis of Peter Handke's controversial poetics is investigated through an examination of key Elfenbeinturm essays and ORF Buecherecke manuscripts in which Handke's early literary preoccupations were most evident. From this a coherent and comprehensive view of the theoretical foundations of his literary concerns and practice emerges. This is followed by a detailed analysis of characteristic elements present in Handke's early narrative prose texts: Die Hornissen, Der Hausierer, Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter, Wunschloses Unglueck and the collection of short stories Begruessung des Aufsichtsrats. This investigation of the early texts reveals a common triadic relationship between the highly intrusive foregrounding of the narrative constituent of these texts, the manner in which the literary reality is realized, and their central thematic concern. Handke's rather enigmatic and somewhat neglected early prose works are made very much more accessible through the insights afforded by this book.
The Author: Garvin H.C. Perram was born in 1942. He studied at the University of Newcastle and the University of Klagenfurt. He completed his Ph.D. in German Literature in 1988. He has taught at Klagenfurt University and is currently a Lecturer in German at the University of New England (Australia). His main research interest is the contemporary Austrian Novel.