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Beschreibung des Verlags
An odyssey through the mind and memory of a washed-up writer, from one of Europe’s most provocative novelists, Nobel Prize winner Peter Handke
Mysteriously summoned to a houseboat on the Morava River, a few friends, associates, and collaborators of an old writer listen as he tells a story that will last until dawn: the tale of the once well-known writer’s recent odyssey across Europe. As his story unfolds, it visits places that represent stages of the narrator’s and the continent’s past, many now lost or irrecoverably changed through war, death, and the subtler erosions of time. His wanderings take him from the Balkans to Spain, Germany, and Austria, from a congress of experts on noise sickness to a clandestine international gathering of jew’s-harp virtuosos. His story and its telling are haunted by a beautiful stranger, a woman who has a preternatural hold over the writer and appears sometimes as a demon, sometimes as the longed-for destination of his travels.
Powerfully alive, honest, and at times deliciously satirical, The Moravian Night explores the mind and memory of an aging writer, tracking the anxieties, angers, fears, and pleasures of a life inseparable from the recent history of Central Europe. In crystalline prose, Peter Handke traces and interrogates his own thoughts and perceptions while endowing the world with a mythic dimension. As Jeffrey Eugenides writes, “Handke’s sharp eye is always finding a strange beauty amid this colorless world.”
The Moravian Night is at once an elegy for the lost and forgotten and a novel of self-examination and uneasy discovery, from one of world literature’s great voices.
The Moravian Night is the name of a boat moored on the Morava River, where a gathering takes place in which a writer tells friends the story of a journey he once took through Europe. The book's journey appears to begin in Kosovo. The somewhat unreliable narrator tells his friends of "following the example of the rivers," meandering through Spain, Portugal, and Handke's native Austria, before circling back to the Balkans, which no longer exist the way the storyteller once knew them. He encounters a varied cast of characters. Few places are named, nor does the reader ever know precisely where the narrator is, on land or in the mind, recollecting, philosophizing, dreaming. Further muddling the narrative are the friends the narrator has gathered, who sometimes take up or interrupt the story with their own version of things during the long dark night. At the center is a woman, on the boat and in the story, a mysterious figure lurking, serving, talking, perhaps even orchestrating. In this story where memory and reality battle, Handke (The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick) once again showcases his valuable insight and imagination.