Quiet Places: Collected Essays (Paperback)

Quiet Places: Collected Essays By Peter Handke, Krishna Winston (Translated by), Ralph Manheim (Translated by) Cover Image

Quiet Places: Collected Essays (Paperback)

By Peter Handke, Krishna Winston (Translated by), Ralph Manheim (Translated by)


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A career-spanning collection of essays by the Nobel laureate Peter Handke, featuring two new works never before published in English

Quiet Places brings together Peter Handke’s forays into the border regions of life and story, upending the distinction between literature and the literary essay. Proceeding from the specificity of place (the mountains of Carinthia and Spain, the hinterlands of Paris) to specific objects (the jukebox, the boletus mushroom) to the irreducible particularity of our moods and mental impressions, these works—each a novella in its own right—offer rare insight into the affinities that can develop between a storyteller and the unlikeliest of subjects. Here, Handke posits a reevaluation of the possibilities and proper concerns of literature in a style unmistakably his own.

This collection unites the three essays from The Jukebox with two new works: “Essay on a Mushroom Maniac,” the story of a friend’s descent into and ascent from the depths of obsession, and “Essay on Quiet Places,” a memoiristic tour d’horizon of bathrooms and their place in Handke’s life and work. Featuring masterful translations by Krishna Winston and Ralph Manheim, this collection encapsulates the oeuvre of one of our greatest living writers.

Peter Handke was born in Griffen, Austria, in 1942. His many novels include The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, My Year in the No-Man’s Bay, and Crossing the Sierra de Gredos, all published by FSG. Handke’s dramatic works include Kaspar and the screenplay for Wim Wenders’s Wings of Desire. Handke is the recipient of many major literary awards, including the Georg Büchner, Franz Kafka, and Thomas Mann Prizes and the International Ibsen Award. In 2019, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.”

Krishna Winston is the Marcus L. Taft Professor of German Language and Literature at Wesleyan University. She has translated more than thirty books, including five previous works by Peter Handke and works by Werner Herzog, Günter Grass, Christoph Hein, and Goethe.

Ralph Manheim (b. New York, 1907) was an American translator of German and French literature. His translating career began with a translation of Mein Kempf in which Manheim set out to reproduce Hitler's idiosyncratic, often grammatically aberrant style. In collaboration with John Willett, Manheim translated the works of Bertolt Brecht. The Pen/Ralph Manheim Medal for translation, inaugurated in his name, is a major lifetime achievement award in the field of translation. He himself won its predecessor, the PEN translation prize, in 1964. Manheim died in Cambridge in 1992. He was 85.
Product Details ISBN: 9781250862969
ISBN-10: 1250862965
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: April 4th, 2023
Pages: 304
Language: English

"Handke often emphasizes not an event but, rather, a seemingly minor moment, the significance of which the person who experiences it does not even recognize . . . At their most successful, [Handke's stories] convey the impression that they already exist in nature, and the job of the writer is only to excavate them." —Ruth Franklin, The New Yorker

“[Peter Handke] is widening the frontier of personal narrative. Shuttling between fiction and essay, he is making what feels like a new form, a kind of associative philosophical meditation that both maps and manifests the movements of mind . . . Each [essay] is a contained language event.” —Sven Birkerts, The New York Times Book Review

"The persistence of memory, a sense of alienation from oneself, and self-consciousness about one’s writing process all come to the fore in these erudite essays from Nobel Prize winner Handke . . . Handke’s essays are existential and weighty, his writing wordy and winding, and he’s always richly imaginative." Publishers Weekly