By Peter Handke
In his most up-to-date novel, acclaimed writer Peter Handke tells the tale of an Austrian author who explores the area and describes his many severed relationships--ranging from a delicate reference to his son to a failed marriage to a doomed love with a former pass over Yugoslavia. this can be a mysterious, haunting paintings, thought of a bit autobiographical.
"There was once one time in my lifestyles while I skilled metamorphosis."
A novel that starts with a sentence like this and in addition contains a major personality named Gregor evidently has critical goals from the get-go. yet readers of Austrian author Peter Handke's past fiction may anticipate not anything much less. Handke, writer of The Left-Handed lady, gradual Homecoming, and Repetition used to be additionally chargeable for co-writing German director Wim Wenders's magical exploration of fallen angels, Wings of wish. In all of his paintings, plot and personality are subsumed via issues approximately language, which means, and the method of mirrored image. My 12 months within the No-Man's-Bay is one other instance of Handke's own obsessions and his unorthodox literary kind. The plot, resembling it truly is, contains a middle-aged author named Gregor ok. (a nod to Kafka's well-known protagonist within the Metamorphosis) who lives in a Paris suburb. Gregor units out to jot down in regards to the metamorphosis he himself skilled two decades past from lively artist--a molder of fiction--to passive chronicler of the area as he sees it. As he recollects his quite a few amorous affairs, his failed marriage, his courting along with his young children, he additionally struggles with the form of the present novel he's engaged on. now not a ebook to be picked up casually, My 12 months in No-Man's-Bay is not easy, summary, and so intensely introspective as to be sometimes claustrophobic. nonetheless, readers attracted to this sort of meta-fiction will doubtless locate a lot to recognize in Handke's novel.
From Publishers Weekly
"Almost fifty-six now, I nonetheless don't know myself," explains the brooding narrator of Austrian novelist/essayist Handke's (The Jukebox and different Essays on Storytelling) sinuously attractive newest novel, a meditation on twenty years of a writer's existence culminating in a solitary, sobering yr of reckoning. so much lately, Handke wrote a hugely subjective examine the turmoil within the former Yugoslavia (A trip to Rivers); the following, he returns to the customarily stiflingly solipsistic terrain favourite to his readers with an test (admittedly failed) at a "Germanic epic," a trip paintings approximately trips of discovery. discovering definitely the right position to stay appears to be like the foremost preoccupation of his narrator, an ex-lawyer who's fascinated with Roman legislation and the poetry of Friedrich H?lderlin. Ensconced off and on over twenty years in a home in a back-bay suburb of Paris, he has "renounced a lifetime of action," content material now to behave in simple terms as an observer, conserving the "chronicler's distance." He documents discreet tales of his neighbors, spoke of simply via their descriptive namesA"the singer," "the reader," "my son," etc.Ayet unearths that during the top he himself is the main fascinating personality in his narrative. abandoned periodically via his elusive spouse ("the girl from Catalonia") and distrusted by means of his son ("the child"), he spends the ultimate 12 months (1999) on foot, deciding upon mushrooms and composing an appropriate narrative. regardless of reaching moments of stylistic lucidity important of Montaigne, the narrator extra usually comes throughout as gloomy and adversarial. still, a number of trenchant moments of perception make this paintings fascinating and provocative. Winston's translation is impeccable.
Austrian Handke's final U.S. book was once a nonfiction ebook on Yugoslavia, A trip to the Rivers (1997). This novel, basically a mirrored image by means of a author again over the process his lifestyles, strikes with ease one of the tales of his buddies, corresponding to "The Singer" or "The Reader," in addition to the extra intimate and sadder stories of his son, from whom he's estranged, his failed marriage with "The Catalan," and an unsuccessful love affair with a pass over Yugoslavia. yet ultimately, the reader returns to what eventually pursuits the author the main: himself. "I nonetheless wander away the following; and that i locate that every one correct for this zone of mine." it'd be very unlikely for the reader, notwithstanding, to turn into misplaced right here, as Handke lightly publications us together with his awesome prose during the writer's obsessions. This paintings lacks the cool pressure of Handke's past and shorter The Goalie's nervousness on the Penalty Kick (1972) and brief Letter, lengthy Farewell (1974). this can be a novel of natural recognition: quiet, seductive, greatly human, and, finally, deeply memorable. fantastically translated. ---Brian Kenney
From Kirkus Reviews
A writer's ``metamorphosis'' from convinced author right into a passive ``observer and chronicler'' who drops out of the milieu thats sustained him kinds the center of this ponderous, but interesting, impressionistic autobiographical novel via the famous Austrian playwright and fiction author (A trip to the Rivers, 1997, etc.). Handke's narrator, who either is and isn't his writer, is a former attorney became profitable writer whose ambition have been to write down ``a nice tale that may bind jointly and even as completely air out his fellow countrymen, and never purely them.'' realizing himself a failure, he retreats to a distant hamlet (which he dubs an inland ``bay'') close to Porchofontaine, open air Paris. There, he cultivates friendships with numerous humans (among them a talented painter and filmmaker; a lady Friend,'' who's either whatever greater than that and a former pass over Yugoslavia; and a rebellious priest)--all in all likelihood necessary characters in addition to points of his personal inquisitive psyche. Rueful thoughts of separation from his spouse Ana (``the lady from Catalonia'') and son Valentin (whos inherited his father's restlessness) are juxtaposed opposed to different memories of the narrator's previous, political and literary ruminations (we study very much approximately what are possibly Handke's aesthetic ideas and tastes), and--in this cumbersome volume's so much egregious miscalculation--a long sequence of ``observations'' of his ``bay's'' designated geographical and ethnographic good points: It's as though Robinson Crusoe had organize camp close to Walden Pond, met John McPhee and Franz Kafka, and absorbed the former's pursuits and the latter's variety and sensibility. yet a lot of the radical is lots larger than that. The narrator has the wit to problem the sincerity of even his such a lot heartfelt outpourings--which are (or quickly can be) literary expressions. The writing all through is either painstakingly self-conscious and beautifully lucid; we consider in all places the strain of an agile, well-stocked brain insistently scrutinizing itself. now not a simple learn, yet a lucrative one--and arguably an fundamental gloss on Handke's strange and provocative oeuvre. -
One should learn this ebook the best way one reads Walden, even though the quarter during which it's set isn't really completely unoccupied or fully woodsy. it truly is, like Walden, the checklist of a unmarried eye, a solitary soul and a lonely brain. What its awesome, lightly toned notwithstanding advanced prose creates is a awareness, a realization that may take up humans sometimes, yet a lot because it takes in a yard bush, a recognition which could take a seat in a single position, its body's again very easily opposed to a stump, to do not anything there yet detect (and gather sentences) -- the l. a. occasions Sunday booklet evaluate, William H. Gass
Though from time to time intellectually bracing, this may make for beautiful arid interpreting. -- the hot York instances publication assessment, Lee Siegel
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Additional info for My Year in the No-Man's Bay
Hesitate, or bungle, take wrong turnings over and over again; perhaps in this way I will develop an ear for the tensions in your stories that the prettied-up world histories do not have, at least no longer have nowadays, not since War and Peace. And thus I also notice that you, in this respect unlike most of my earlier friends, who long since stopped needing anything, still need something, and for that reason, too, are my friends. to try again with the people on the suburban bus that evening. Iwant No, I did not see any universal law in effect.
The ocean down below had merely blinded her, and the islands meant nothing to her, unlike me. The shrill sound of the cicadas tormented her ears. The light of the limestone karst raged. By a doorpost, all that remained of a house, autumnal sky-blue like the back ground of the Slovenian roadside shrines, she breathed a sigh of relief in passing. His eyes wide, a wooden cudgel over his shoulder, a native came toward me; at second glance I recognized the reader. At least I had been in Dubrovnik before and could then play the role of host in the courtyard of the most obscure tavern.
He had just been informed that his father had died, far down in the south, in a village in the mountains of Montenegro, and he asked to be allowed to go with us to catch the first bus from Dubrovnik to Titograd. Along the way he told us his father had died suddenly, of a heart attack, a construction worker like him, forty years old. Since the son did not seem that much younger, he was asked his age. He was twenty-five; when he was born, his father had barely started his apprenticeship, and his mother had still been in school.
My Year in the No-Man's Bay by Peter Handke