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Handke, Peter (born 1942)

The avant-garde Austrian playwright, novelist, poet and essayist Peter Handke is regarded as one of the most influential German-language writers of our time.

“If a people at all today, then a tragic one. And my place is with a tragic people.” In response to the first international’s question: “Aren’t you just so attached to this country because the whole world hates it?” the Greek says: “The country means such a lot to me.” (Peter Handke, "Journey in the Dugout Canoe or the Piece about the Film about the War")

Peter Handke certainly belongs to the most most influential German-language writers of the second half of the 20th century. The dominant theme of his writings is that ordinary language, everyday reality, and their accompanying rational order have a constraining and deadening effect on human beings.

His first play "Offending the Audience" (1966) was labeled as antitheater. In that same year, he made a great impression at a meeting of Group 47, a literary association in Germany after WW II, at Princeton University. During the NATO attack on Yugoslavia in 1999, Handke furiously attacked the Western alliance, both in newspaper essays, books and theatrical plays. Handke collaborated with director Wim Wenders on a film version of his novel "Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter" (The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick) and co-wrote the screenplay for Wenders' "Wings of Desire".

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