Peter Handke’s TO DURATION

Copies of the beautiful little book arrived yesterday from Amsterdam (after a long transAtlantic voyage). Scan 2

My translation of Peter Handke’s Gedicht an die Dauer is the first English translation of the poem, published in German in 1986.

Philip Baber instigated the translation, edited and designed the book. It is part of his Cannon Magazine project and can be ordered at their website.

ScanThe poem is an investigation of duration — what it is, how it is (sometimes, surprisingly) achieved, what the task of the writer is in regard to duration.

A couple of pages here.

The poem is strikingly simple, I thought again last night as I read it in this new form. Simple and profound. It is remarkably personal for a writer whose plays and novels and essays draw heavily from his own experience but do so in the third person or from some formal narrative distance. This is a philosophical poem, that rarest sort of philosophy: personal and poetic philosophy.

About Scott Abbott

Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University, 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I'm Director of the Program in Integrated Studies and former Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade), and translations of a book by Austrian author Peter Handke and of a catalogue of an exhibit called "The German Army and Genocide." More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as a watershed scientist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a corrections officer, as university students, and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett and our yellow dog Blue. Some publications at
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