Meditation on a poetic meditation: To Duration by Peter Handke

Source: Meditation on a poetic meditation: To Duration by Peter Handke

About Scott Abbott

I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at
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2 Responses to Meditation on a poetic meditation: To Duration by Peter Handke

  1. Scott Abbott says:

    a thoughtful personal reflection on To Duration


  2. Scott Abbott says:

    A note from Handke translator Michael Roloff:

    I am reading, closely, several times Handke’s newest play, ICH & DIE UNSCHULDIGEN et. (I and the not so innocent innocents” and just used the following quote from it, that could also come from TO DURATION, and which indicates once more that our man Handke within not that many years of leaving his rural environs, which then nauseated him, did an about face:

    “Heute wird sich’s entscheiden, heute lass’ ich’s darauf ankommen. Straße
    der Beständigkeit: Wie ich auf dir, auf deiner Wölbung, doch immer wieder überrascht bin worden, von meiner Vergangenheit – von dem, was ich alles schon erlebt habe! – Ah,
    niemand. Was fur ein Spektakel. Wie sie schimmert, wie sie summt und surrt vor Abwesenheit, meine Landstraße.”


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