A Sorrow Beyond Dreams
In A Sorrow Beyond Dreams her son sits down to record what h ...more
Briefly: In Jeffrey Eugenides introduction, readers are told, “In fact, German has two words for self-slaughter: Selbstmord, which is roughly equivalent to the English “suicide” and Freitod, which means literally “free death,” and possesses a certain brave, even heroic, connotation.” This puts me in mind of the character of Jessie in Marsha Norman’s unforgettable play, 'night, Mother, a play everyone should see, or read, or watch the Cissy Spacek/Anne Bancroft film. Both the play and Handke’s b...more
It is a difficult proposition to write a memoir about the death of one’s mother, and that too when she commits suicide at the age of 51 ( I have a somber association with that number as my mother too passed away at that age) . A Sorrow beyond dreams is Handke's poignant account of his mother's life and death. Prosaic, poetic, elliptical and self-conscious, it is an exacting picture of the shock and grief that await those who have inherited the ruins of a suicide. Rarely in rece ...more
The relationship of Life to Death is that of Music to Silence; how can we write about the difference between the silence before a note, and the silence that follows?
The Death of the Mother. This is a hackneyed literary tro ...more
He talks of the family and community into which she was born.
For a woman ...more
I don't believe that all books can be reviewed in words, nor do I believe that all should...
When you read a book and the words simultaneously seep into your "everything" inside and it confronts and confounds you on every page, that is all I believe needs to be said.
I think we could cho ...more
"And so she was nothing and never would be anything, it was so obvious that there was no need of a forecast. She already said, "in my ...more
Despite the potential of the plot and its minefield of emotions I found it difficult to connect with this piece, not looking forward to Handke's promise to write about this again "in greater detail,' because for reasons I could not fathom (or could it be th ...more
The book is a memoir of another sad little round of life, and the cover, a photograph by James Casebere called "A Barrel Vaulted Room," is a good match for it. I’m afraid ...more
There is in this book, of course, the outlines of his mother's story, which he narrates in a form that to my mind suggests a writer's journal. And he says as much: "Someday I shall ...more
Peter Handke tells the life story of his mother who grew up in Austria, came of age in Germany between the Great War and World War II, and committed suicide in her early fifties.
In the beginning he uses a child's ...more
But mostly it is a book about grief. The reader is constantly reminded that this is not so much a biography of his mother as it is a way to deal with his loss, to t ...more
Here are lines I liked:
"What she said about books could not have been put into print; she merely told me what had particularly caught her attention. 'I'm not like that,' she sometimes said, as though the author had written about HER. To her, every book was an account of her own life, and in reading ...more
Handke's 'A Sorrow Beyond Dreams' is an almost biography of his mother's life and all the factors that eventually lead to her suicide at middle age.
from childhood to girlhood to motherhood and womanhood and wifehood and loneliness and rigorous attempts at survival, oblivion, overwhelm. In 70 pages Handke attempts to approach social systems and what it's like for the individual within ...more
Peter Handke’s A Sorrow Beyond Dreams (Wunschloses Unglück) is a stroke of genius!
A Sorrow Beyond Dreams is a short story about the suicide of a poor, sad and disillusioned Austrian woman who happened also to be Peter Handke’s mother. The book was written in 1972, shortly after the woman’s death.
This is how the story begins:
The Sunday edition of the Kärnter Volkszeitung carried the following item under ‘Local News’: ‘In the village of A. (G. township), a housewife, aged 51, ...more
I like very much the way this story is written. A thin biography of someone who came to this world with a stigma and left it through the back door. This story tells more than most of those thick biography books about stupid celebrities. And it's a hard one. Not for everyo ...more
Als ich es jetzt aber zum zweiten mal las, fand ich alles viel persöhnlicher. Ich kenne ich nun Leute, die es einfach nur wegen ihren Umstände nicht gut haben und d ...more
It is a small book of just 70 pages and this claims to be the life story of a person (a woman) of the tumultuous times of Austria. The author narrates his own mother's life story as an Exemplary life of a person (female) of her times. And in doing so, the author wants to create not a personal account and an objective account. So what does he do? He collects the details about his mother and then makes formulations of concepts in whi ...more