The text below from This Space is a small excerpt of a terrific assessment of the work of Peter Handke. I urge you to read Steve’s quest to revive interest in this writer’s work.
When the novel was published by Methuen in 1989, with the paperback of the translation following two years later in the superb Minerva imprint, it completed a series of three consecutive clearing novels: it was preceded in 1986 by Across and by Repetition in 1988. All three are long out of print and a new work by Handke has not been issued by UK publisher since Absence in 1990. Perhaps this fact explains the reason for my sudden need to revive attention for these books and this particular moment twenty years on. The more likely reason is that I want to understand how a quiet, reticent book like The Afternoon of Writer can mean so much more than the overtly worldly and eventful novels that are published instead. How is literary renewal possible?
Whilst I await Across on its journey from a Canadian bookseller, I plan to read The Weight of the World, into which I have dipped but never completed.