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Across Paperback – June 15, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (June 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374527644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374527648
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #552,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

One recognizes as pure Handke the scene, atmosphere, voice and tensions of this tale: the minutely observed streets of Salzburg and the countryside beyond; the still, murky air; the brooding, meditative voice; the sense of a violent storm gathering in narrator Andreas Loser's inner spaces. Unaccountably, Loser has knocked down a stranger in the street, taken a leave of absence from his post as teacher of ancient languages and left his family to move to a drab flat in a housing development. Why any of this has happened he cannot fathom. His attention is riveted elsewhere, as for example on the thresholds of structures in archeological digs (thresholds both actual and figurative enthrall him). He sees the "accursed mark" of a swastika painted on a tree and thereupon crosses a threshold in his own mind; running down the perpetrator, he stones him to death. Is he in turn now a criminal? To whom shall he confess his crime? Can he receive absolution? Those who gravitate to the regions where fiction, poetry, imaginative flights and speculative fancy converge constitute Handke's natural audience.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Along with Holderin, Goethe, Schiller, Lessing, Nietzsche, Rilke, and Thomas Mann, Peter Handke is one of the greatest writers EVER to write in the German language. I've included Nietszche here because of his awsome control over the language and not because he is a fiction writer. That having been said, Across is, in my opinion, one of Handke's best books, however there are many others that are very close. Handke is obsessed with the detached observer and this work deals with a man who is fascinated by threshholds and how he goes through a kind of metaphysical transformation into one who has crossed the threshold and perhaps graduated to another level of being. The story is centered around an impartial observer of life who suddenly finds himself beating the crap out of a neo nazi and in this sense coming to "participate" in life. Handke's decriptions of nature and city landscapes are phenomenal in that they evoke with great color and clarity but without any sense of strain caused by forced metaphors or clunky words. There is an effortlessnes and beauty to the entire presentation, which in the hands of a less gifted writer would have come off as heavy and plodding and overdone.
A true masterpiece and what seems so strange is that this man is virtually unknown in America or Briatin. Even at Foyles in London the staff didn't know who I was talking about. Odd for a person who has been involved with famous directors like Wim Wenders...
One of the truly indispensible novels of the century in the German language. Stars? Hmmm. How many stars did the roof of the Cistene Chapel get?
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