By Peter Handke
Translation by way of Ralph Manheim
The time is an unspecified modernity, where almost certainly Europe. Absence follows 4 anonymous humans -- the previous guy, the girl, the soldier, and the gambler -- as they trip to a desolate wilderness past the boundaries of an unnamed city.
A very fascinating Library magazine evaluate, that still turns out keen on my eventually Schopenhauerian view of library maintenance (however, its prejudice opposed to "slim volumes" is finally undeserved).
From Library Journal
Four characters, pointed out in simple terms because the outdated guy, the girl, the Soldier, and the Gambler, trip to a distant barren region bordering on an unnamed urban. Seasons swap in a single day, the outdated guy disappears, and the laptop he includes seems to the soldier in a dream, yet regardless of evocative prose there's little path the following, in basic terms curious moments and a obscure unease. Handke expects his readers to swallow every 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 no longer overrate those slender volumes), the protagonist's stories shed a few gentle at the book's identify ( Afternoon of A author, LJ 9/1/89). Absence , regrettably, is totally actual 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 newest difficult and lucrative novel. The story's 4 anonymous protagonists meander via a surreally disconnected and flattened panorama. An previous artist, a gambler unaware of himself, a callow soldier whose self-effacing "absence" is a safety opposed to the area, 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 realize legible symbols within the surrounding blankness and browse them with conviction, the panorama springs into recognizable lifestyles and the characters notice their energy. during this easily written delusion, Handke forcefully summons readers to the popularity that the essence of human existence lies within the striving for self-expression although its ideal cognizance should always stay elusive.
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Additional info for Absence
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. At the end of the track, through a strip of tall grass, whose blades seem to bar the way like swords, the gambler enters an open field of rubble, almost without vegetation, surrounded on all sides by bushes and looking like a disk inserted in the meadows on the edge of the city.
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. At the end of the track, through a strip of tall grass, whose blades seem to bar the way like swords, the gambler enters an open field of rubble, almost without vegetation, surrounded on all sides by bushes and looking like a disk inserted in the meadows on the edge of the city.
T he hedges by the roadside have evergreen, cup-shaped leaves, gleaming far and wide in the light o f a southern sun, and the cone o f rubble on the horizon is traversed by a dried-out, petrified riverbed. As he walks, the soldier puts on dark glasses and undoes the zipper o f his jacket; behind him, far far away, hardly dis tinguishable from the clouds, there is a northern, snowcovered mountain. Her back to the window, whose drawn curtain captures the sun, the young woman is sitting on a suitcase in the attitude she had taken as a child when sitting on the linen chest in her bedroom.
Absence by Peter Handke