Direkt zum Inhalt | Direkt zur Navigation

Sektionen

Peter Handke. A Reception of a Literary Controversy/ Peter Handke. Recepcija jedne književne kontroverze

WHEN OFFENDING THE AUDIENCE FALLS SILENT

There are not that many writers who could boast performing a salto mortale as Austrian writer Peter Handke had done in the Balkans during the 1990s. Handke, who started as a member of a politically active literary circle in Gratz, had an excellent reception in the socialist Yugoslavia in the late 1960s. His play Offending The Audience, directed by Pit Teslić, was staged back then in the courtyard of the University of Belgrade Rectorate, not that long after its Frankfurt premiere. His works were translated sporadically in Yugoslavia during the 1970s, simultaneously in Belgrade, Zagreb and Ljubljana. Handke had a special bond with Ljubljana, where his roots are partly from. The beginning of the 1980s was marked by his more and more pronounced presence on the Yugoslav theatrical and literary scene. In Serbia alone, numerous translations of Handke’s books were published (The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The Left-Handed Woman, Short Letter Long Farewell, Child Story, The Lesson of Mount Sainte-Victoire, etc.), largely owing to the efforts of his translator Žarko Radaković.

However, Handke’s poetic concerns with language as a medium and with the limits of communication present in his early works, start to change significantly in the last decade of the 20th century . Not only did he stop being radical and experimental in his poetics, but he also started being political in a way that would stir controversy on the European cultural scene. His biographers mostly agree that this new phase was “inspired” by the poetical ideas from his early works, and that Handke himself became a victim of his own radical experiments.

When the war broke out in the 1990s, leading to the demise of Yugoslavia, Handke took an “exclusive” stance towards the current affairs of the time, a stance very similar to the views of the Milošević regime in Belgrade. With such an experiment he won the huge sympathy of the Serbian political and cultural elites. On the other hand, European intellectuals were dismayed and rejected such views, joined by intellectuals in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, who understood Handke’s stance as him siding with the Serbian nation in that war. Furthermore, his pro-Milošević stance got radicalized in the years to come. He started visiting Belgrade on a regular basis. In 1996, after the war in Bosnia ended, he published A Journey to the Rivers: Justice for Serbia, the book in which he contested Western media reporting, defending Serbia as a victim of the 1990s war in Yugoslavia. A year later he published a sequel titled A Summary Addendum to a Winter's Journey. Trying to justify his new style, Handke once made an ironic comment about how nobody would read a book that only describes “the streets being empty and the river Drina being cold”.  He was awarded in 2000 with the Karić Brothers Foundation prize.  On that occasion he shook hands with Bogoljub Karić, Milošević’s ally and a tycoon who is still in hiding in Moscow, and described him as a man who “was preserving the traditional values and customs, which give us moral strength to defend all that is sacred to us as human beings.”

Being true to his political/poetical views, Handke returned the Büchner’s Prize in 1999 as a protest against the NATO bombing campaign in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. However, the highlight was definitely Handke’s arrival to Milošević’s funeral, where he delivered a speech, deeply convinced that he was doing the only right thing to do in Europe at that moment. Such acts and gestures made him the most welcomed guest of the Belgrade political elite, which still holds most of the influential decision-making positions in Serbian society. In 2015 Handke was made an honorary citizen of Belgrade. His plays have been running in the KPGT theatre in Belgrade for the last two decades. KPGT’s founder and its only director, (once a great Yugoslav theatre director) Ljubiša Ristić, was another close ally of Milošević and his wife Mira Marković during the 1990s.

Another important aspect of Handke’s reception in Serbia should be mentioned. Already in the 1990s he had started to lose his artistic and intellectual credibility amongst people on the politically progressive and alternative cultural scene in Serbia, as his views made it even harder for the local political opposition to topple Milošević regime and democratize Serbian society. In 2006 the book Should Handke be burned? was published. It is a collection of all relevant critical articles and essays on the life and work of this controversial author. Furthermore, a number of authors started a sort of a “dialogue” with Handke, writing books as a reponse to the views he had sustained over the years. Bora Ćosić is one of those authors, who wrote The Journey to Alaska, his counter-Handke philosophical traveloque in 2006.

Translated by Svetlana Rakocevic

 

About Peter Handke

ELit Blogs:

Peter Handke and His Reception in the German-speaking world
Peter Handke and His Reception in the English-speaking world          coming soon
Peter Handke and His Reception in the French-speaking world           coming soon

 

***

KAD PSOVANJE PUBLIKE UTIHNE

Mali je broj pisaca koji bi se mogli pohvaliti da su napravili salto mortale poput onog koji je devedesetih godina na Balkanu izveo austrijski književnik Peter Handke. Ovaj pisac, koji je ponikao iz angažovane književne grupe u Gracu, doživeo je odličan prijem u socijalističkoj Jugoslaviji, krajem šezdesetih godina, kada je u dvorištu Rektorata Beogradskog univerziteta izvedena njegova predstava Psovanje publike, u režiji Pita Teslića, nemnogo nakon frankfurtske premijere ovog komada. Prevod njegovih dela otpočeo je u Jugoslaviji sporadično tokom sedamdesetih godina, paralelno u Beogradu, Zagrebu i Ljubljani, s kojom je Handke po linijama svog porekla bio u posebnom odnosu. Početak osamdesetih obeležen je njegovim sve intenzivnijim prisustvom na jugoslovenskoj pozorišnoj i književnoj sceni. U Srbiji se u to vreme pojavljuje čitav niz prevoda njegovih knjiga (Golmanov strah od penala, Levoruka žena, Kratko pismo za dugo rastajanje, Detinja povest, Pouka planine Sainte-Victorie, Užas praznine, itd.) za koje je pre svega zaslužan njegov prevodilac Žarko Radaković.
Međutim, Handkeova poetička preokupacija problemom jezika i limitiranošću komunikacije iz rane faze, počinje drastično da se menja u poslednjoj deceniji dvadesetog veka, u kojoj on prestaje da bude samo poetički radikalan, već ozbiljno ulazi u zonu političnosti koja će izazvati velike kontroverze na evropskoj sceni. Njegovi biografi uglavnom se slažu u tome da je ta nova faza uzrokovana poetičkim postavkama iz njegovog ranijeg perioda, tj. da je sam Handke postao žrtva sopstvenih radikalnih eksperimenata.

Naime, od početka rata i raspada Jugoslavije, Handke je zauzeo “ekskluzivan” pogled na aktuelne događaje koji je bio blizak Miloševićevom režimu u Beogradu. Takvim eksperimentom, on je osvojio velike simpatije srpske političke i kulturne javnosti ali i nerazumevanje i otpor ne samo intelektualne evropske javnosti, već i u Hrvatskoj, Bosni i Hercegovini, kao i na Kosovu, gde se takvo istupanje čitalo isključivo u kontekstu opredeljenja za jednu ratnu stranu. Doduše, Handke je iz godine u godinu samo radikalizovao svoj promiloševićevski stav. Postaje sve češći gost Beograda. Godine 1996, nakon završetka rata u Bosni, izlazi njegova knjiga Zimsko putovanje uz reke Dunav, Savu, Moravu i Drinu: Pravda za Srbiju (1996) kojom se obračunavao sa zapadnim medijima, braneći Srbiju kao žrtvu balkanskog rata. Godinu dana kasnije je objavio nastavak ove knjige pod naslovom Letnji dodatak zimskom putovanju. Braneći svoj novi stil, Handke je jednom prilikom ironično komentarisao kako to niko ne bi čitao da je samo pisao o tome „kako su ulice puste i kako je Drina hladna“. Nagradu Fondacije Braća Karić dobio je 2000. Tom prilikom je pozdravio Bogoljuba Karića, inače Miloševićevog tajkuna koji se danas krije u Moskvi, kao čoveka koji „neguje tradicije koje nam daju moralnu snagu za odbranu svega što je sveto čoveku“.

Budući dosledan svojim političkim/poetičkim stavovima, Handke je vratio Bihnerovu nagradu 1999. u znak protesta protiv NATO kampanje na SR Jugoslaviju. No vrhunac je svakako njegov dolazak na Miloševićevu sahranu, gde je održao govor, duboko uveren da čini jedinu pravu stvar u Evropi. Takvi gestovi, učinili su Handkea omiljenim gostom Beograda i miloševićevske elite koja i dan danas zauzima visoke pozicije u srpskom društvu. Handke je 2015. proglašen počasnim građaninom Beograda. Njegove predstave se decenijama već izvode u pozorištu KPGT, čiji je osnivač i jedini režiser Ljubiša Ristić, veliko ime jugoslovenskog teatra, ali isto tako blizak saradnik Miloševića i njegove supruge Mirjane Marković tokom devedesetih godina.

Trebalo bi napomenuti još jednu važnu komponentu Handkeove recepcije u Srbiji. Već tokom devedesetih, on je počeo da gubi svoj umetnički i intelektualni kredibilitet kod srpske opozicije i kulturne alternative, kojoj je njegov politički stav predstavljao još jednu otežavajuću okolnost u nastojanju da sruši Miloševićev režim i izvrši demokratizaciju društva. U Beogradu je 2006. izašla knjiga pod naslovom Treba li spaliti Handkea, u kojoj su skupljeni svi relevantni kritički tekstovi o životu i radu ovog kontorverznog autora. Takođe, jedan deo pisaca je direktno stupio u dijalog sa Handkeom, odgvorivši mu knjigom na ono što je on govorio i zastupao godinama. Jedan od njih je i pisac Bora Ćosić, koji je objavio svoj kontra Handke putopis pod naslovom Put na Aljasku.

About Peter Handke

ELit Blogs:

Peter Handke and His Reception in the German-speaking world
Peter Handke and His Reception in the English-speaking world          coming soon
Peter Handke and His Reception in the French-speaking world           coming soon

Saša Ilić

Saša Ilić, 1972 geboren, ist ein serbischer Schriftsteller. Er lebt in Belgrad und ist Chefredaktionsmitglied von BETON (Beilage der Tageszeitung Danas).

Saša Ilić, born 1972, is a Serbian writer. He lives in Beograd and is member of the editorial board of BETON (literary supplement of the daily newspaper Danas).

Saša Ilić, 1972 geboren, ist ein serbischer Schriftsteller. Er lebt in Belgrad und ist Chefredaktionsmitglied von BETON (Beilage der Tageszeitung Danas).

Saša Ilić, born 1972, is a Serbian writer. He lives in Beograd and is member of the editorial board of BETON (literary supplement of the daily newspaper Danas).

Alle Beiträge von Saša Ilić
Montag Mo 16 16 Mai Mai 05 5 16 2016 Mai Mai 05 5 Montag Mo 16 16 16 2016 12 12 0 00 00 Uhr PM