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Peter Handke

My Day in the Other Country - A Demon Story

(German title: Mein Tag im anderen Land)
ca. 93 pages
Clothbound
2021
Peter Handke
Foto: Peter Handke
© Donata Wenders

Peter Handke, born in 1942 in Griffen (Austria), lives near Paris. His books are translated into more than 35 languages. In 2019, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

»German literature is not conceivable without Peter Handke.« DIE ZEIT

For more information on the author and his works:
www.handkeonline.onb.ac.at
 

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Nobel Prize for Literature 2019

»There is a story in my life that I have never told anyone.«

About

His surroundings see him as a man possessed, »possessed not just by one, but by several, many, even countless demons«. During the day, he, a fruit grower by profession, walks through the village. Quietly he speaks in tongues, a non-existent language, scares the villagers with insults and abuse, with prophesies.

Only his sister stands by him, their parents died a long time ago. She observes him talking to other living beings, animals, and refuses to acknowledge that he sings with the voice of an angel. She follows him, to the lake »with the other country at the opposite bank« – that’s where a man looks at him like »he has never been looked at by anyone before« and that’s when the demons leave his body. After that, he sets out »after a long-drawn-out goodbye, of course, on the journey to the other country across the lake«.

Peter Handke writes about demons that lose their scariness through the gaze of the one who says: »There you are again, my friend!« In that very moment in which the possessed is as he was. He talks about a poetic transformation, a liberation that retains the »ineradicable resistance« aside from the harmonies; for: »Nothing becomes without it. Without it there is nothing but being, being there, and perpetually inanimate existence.«

Praise

»The richness of the Demon Story consists of the virtuosity with which these questions are posed and left unanswered, far beyond the end.« Tilman Spreckelsen, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»My Day in the Other Country is incredibly comical in its reversal of the circumstances and the self-mockery of the figure of the poet.« Paul Jandl, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

»My Day in the Other Country is certainly a testimony to the refreshed joie de vivre of its author. And maybe also a testimony of liberation.« Mladen Gladic, Die literarische Welt

»[There are many] observations that impressively represent Handke's mastrey of description.« Cornelia Geissler, Berliner Zeitung

»The birth of a poet from the spirit of possession ...« Frank Hertweck, SWR

»The story develops a pull, the seemingly eccentric [...] becomes almost physical and one cannot read enough of it.« Lothar Struck, Glanz & Elend

Other publications

Zdeněk Adamec/Zdeněk Adamec (2020)

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Das zweite Schwert/The Second Sword (2020)

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Die Obstdiebin oder Einfache Fahrt ins Landesinnere/The Fruit Thief - or - A simple Trip into the Interior (2017)

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Tage und Werke/Days and Works (2015)

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Versuch über den Pilznarren/Essay on the Mushroom Hunter (2013)

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Versuch über den Stillen Ort/Essay on the Quite Place (2012)

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Die schönen Tage von Aranjuez/The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez (2012)

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Der Große Fall/The Great Fall (2011)

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Immer noch Sturm/Storm Still (2010)

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Bis daß der Tag euch scheidet oder Eine Frage des Lichts/Till Day You Do Part Or A Question of Light (2009)

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Die Kuckucke von Velika Hoca/The Cuckoos of Velika Hoca (2009)

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Die Morawische Nacht/The Moravian Night (2008)

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Kali/Potash (2007)

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Die Tablas von Daimiel/The Tablas de Daimiel (2006)

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Don Juan/Don Juan (2004)

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Der Bildverlust oder Durch die Sierra de Gredos/Crossing the Sierra de Gredos (2002)

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Die Fahrt im Einbaum oder Das Stück zum Film vom Krieg/Voyage by Dugout or The Play of the Film of the War (1999)

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In einer dunklen Nacht ging ich aus meinem stillen Haus/On a Dark Night I Left My Silent House (1997)

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Sommerlicher Nachtrag zu einer winterlichen Reise/Summer Postscript to a Winter Journey (1996)

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Mein Jahr in der Niemandsbucht/My Year In No Man's Bay (1994)

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Versuch über den geglückten Tag/Essay on the Successful Day (1991)

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Versuch über die Jukebox/Essay on the Jukebox (1990)

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Noch einmal für Thukydides/Once Again for Thucydides (1990)

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Versuch über die Müdigkeit/Essay on Tiredness (1989)

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Nachmittag eines Schriftstellers/The Afternoon of a Writer (1989)

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Die Abwesenheit/Absence (1987)

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Gedicht an die Dauer/Ode to Permanence (1986)

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Die Wiederholung/Repetition (1986)

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Der Chinese des Schmerzes/Across (1983)

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Über die Dörfer/Walk About the Village (1981)

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Kindergeschichte/Child Story (1981)

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Die Lehre der Sainte-Victoire/The Lesson of Mont Sainte-Victoire (1980)

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Langsame Heimkehr/The Long Way Around (1979)

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Das Gewicht der Welt/The Weight of the World (1977)

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Die linkshändige Frau/The Left-Handed Woman (1976)

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Die Stunde der wahren Empfindung/A Moment of True Feeling (1975)

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Wunschloses Unglück/A Sorrow Beyond Dreams (1972)

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Der kurze Brief zum langen Abschied/Short Letter, Long Farewell (1972)

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Ich bin ein Bewohner des Elfenbeinturms/I Am an Inhabitant of the Ivory Tower (1972)

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Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter/The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (1971)

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Der Ritt über den Bodensee/The Ride Across Lake Constance (1971)

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Die Innenwelt der Außenwelt der Innenwelt/The Innerworld of the Outerworld of the Innerworld (1969)

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Publikumsbeschimpfung und andere Sprechstücke/Offending the Audience and Other Spoken Pieces (1966)

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Die Hornissen/The Hornets (1966)

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