Monday, February 15, 2010

A Lettter to Johnathan Gallassi re Handke's DON JUAN

Dear Mr. Gallassi

Below is a letter of mine to the NYTimes Book Review about Agee's piece + a comment I left at the blog "ads without products" 
that is discussing that title.

Meanwile I had a letter from Krishna asking me how I felt about Agee's comment about the translation  and replied that I never make such comments without chapter and verse and that I found two troubling
words and one troubling formulation in her DEL GREDOS.

I wrote FSG and then you requesting a review copy for which you could also charge my account, I made millions for FSG and get biannual royalties.
It has not reached me and I am about to write to your owner in Germany, and Roger Straus who was a cherry picking crook managed to screw me out of half my royalties, but all those people are gone and dead, and so there are no hard feelings to anyone there except perhaps to that little girl who kept Annie Wedekind's e-mail address but never replies as Annie did so perfectly. As a once abandoned child, the irritation that non-response elicits is one sequaelae I expect i will never get over. Especially since I had a grandmother who said "manners is something you are born with." Photo attached. [The year is 1935, that is my Grandfather Werner von Alvensleben in back who already survived the 'night of the long knives, a death sentence and the first of four concentration camps, my father and my mother who both survived their gestapo prisons, and my grandmother, Alexandra von Einsiedel, who came to our place outside Bremen in the last years of the third Reich and was starving herself to die in sympathy with her there pictures closest relatives. You notice me as that dream flitting back and forth between the two rows, look closely, like a humming bird!]

 So if you could send Don Juan and also the Fred Seidel, old friend large chunks of whose Final Solutions I published in another life time at Metamorphosis, and which I asked for half a year ago.


When Joel Agee writes "For all its engaging and delicate ruminations, and despite its bold, humorous claim to be “the definitive and true story of Don Juan,” the book left me wanting to hear again Mozart’s treatment of the same theme. That music has everything Handke’s prose lacks: brio, verve, declarative intensity, a vast range of emotion and, last but not least, brilliant, joyful virility."

 Agee suffers from adjectivitis, a much more serious ailment than conjunctities because it will not respond to anti-biotics. The comparisons he makes are just as inapt and inept. I happen to delight in the formal dance Handke performs there, it is as good if not better and lighter than what he does in his THREE ESSAYS [on Tiredness, the Juke Box, and The Day that Went Well. And if you read what I write about Handke - even though his backer and once translator - I have no compunctions about criticizing him when I feel he can be criticized within his own terms, and do a better of of it than any  German or American reviewer. 

I myself have not written about Don Juan so far,
 I have a page devoted to Handke's DON JUAN @:


2] thought it was the best review Handke has ever gotten in the NY Times, which i realize is not saying much considering that it has treated him to some of the stupidest and most insulting reviews this side of archangelsk. i have a roundup of the handke reception at my
and since i decided about twenty years ago to focus exclusively on a developting target – handke and his work – from every imaginable side, there have been unanticipated findings: i.e just looking at the handke reception both for his plays and his prose you notice how entirely incapable is of dealing with “the new” , which allegedly the culture and the whole business community is always championing. how these reviewers are incapable of even descring their own reaction.
it is a thorougly depressing. and so it never comes to intelligent criticism or consideration of his work, ditto for no end of others of course.

“As I was saying.” [which is how 'Ride Across Lake Constance begins] I liked the review quite a bit
except for that moronic ending, which manifested to me that Agee who is no slouch as a memoirist or translator hadn’t really understood, taken delight, or contemplated what ought really to happen to the reader after that danse. close but not as good as william gass might have been.


Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society

This LYNX will LEAP you to my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS

"May the foggy dew bediamondize your hoosprings + the fireplug
of filiality reinsure your bunghole! {James  Joyce}
"Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde." [von Alvensleben]
"Siena me fe, disfescimi Maremma." [Dante]
"Ennui [Lange Weile] is the dreambird that hatches the egg of
experience." Walter Benjamin, the essay on Leskov.

No comments:

Post a Comment


About Me

My photo
seattle, Washington, United States
MICHAEL ROLOFF exMember Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS: "MAY THE FOGGY DEW BEDIAMONDIZE YOUR HOOSPRINGS!" {J. Joyce} "Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben] contact via my website