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the nyt continues its campaign against low testosterone levels in male writing

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Interesting: Joel Agee’s roiphes Peter Handke’s new Don Juan: In His Own Words in the NYT this weekend:

For all its engaging and delicate ruminations, and despite its bold, humorous claim to be “the definitive and true story of Don Juan,” the book left me wanting to hear again Mozart’s treatment of the same theme. That music has everything Handke’s prose lacks: brio, verve, declarative intensity, a vast range of emotion and, last but not least, brilliant, joyful virility.

It’s starting to look like a concerted, and very strange, campaign that the NYT is conducting against all manner of literary flaccidity and impotence. Odd. Just ordered the novel anyway. Why isn’t it being published in the UK?

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February 13, 2010 at 12:16 am

Posted in handke

3 Responses

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  1. Judging by the excerpt of the Agee review you post, he suffers from adjectivitis, a much more serious ailment than conjunctities because it will not respond to anti-biotics. The comparisons he makes are just as inapt and inept. I happen to delight in the formal dance Handke performs there, it is as good if not better and lighter than what he does in his THREE ESSAYS [on Tiredness, the Juke Box, and The Day that went well. And if you read what I write about Handke, even though his backer and translator, I have no compunctions about criticizing him when I feel he can be criticized within his own terms, and do a better jof of it than any of the German or American reviewers. I myself have not written about Don Juan so far,
    I have a page devoted to Handke’s DON JUAN @:


    Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society

    This LYNX will LEAP you to my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS

    “May the foggy dew bediamondize your hoosprings + the fireplug
    of filiality reinsure your bunghole! {James Joyce}
    “Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde.” [von Alvensleben]
    “Siena me fe, disfescimi Maremma.” [Dante]
    “Ennui [Lange Weile] is the dreambird that hatches the egg of
    experience.” Walter Benjamin, the essay on Leskov.


    February 13, 2010 at 12:36 am

  2. Yes, I’m excited about Don Juan – the review seems silly to me too…


    February 13, 2010 at 8:23 pm

  3. I thought it was the best review Handke has ever gotten in the NY Times, which i realize is not saying much considering that it has treated him to some of the stupidest and most insulting reviews this side of archangelsk. i have a roundup of the handke reception at my
    and since i decided about twenty years ago to focus exclusively on a developting target – handke and his work – from every imaginable side, there have been unanticipated findings: i.e just looking at the handke reception both for his plays and his prose you notice how entirely incapable is of dealing with “the new” , which allegedly the culture and the whole business community is always championing. how these reviewers are incapable of even descring their own reaction.
    it is a thorougly depressing. and so it never comes to intelligent criticism or consideration of his work, ditto for no end of others of course.

    “As I was saying.” [which is how ‘Ride Across Lake Constance begins] I liked the review quite a bit
    except for that moronic ending, which manifested to me that Agee who is no slouch as a memoirist or translator hadn’t really understood, taken delight, or contemplated what ought really to happen to the reader after that danse. close but not as good as william gass might have been.


    February 13, 2010 at 8:39 pm

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