Peter Handke - Quiet Places - collected essays

Author: Peter Handke
Translated from the German by Krishna Winston and Ralph Manheim
Title: Quiet Places - Collected Essays Publisher: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux Year: 2022 Link:

Page 37 (Essay on Quiet Places):

... At any rate, when I come upon such places from the time before the smoking ban -- they're more and more rare, by the way -- I see the burn marks as a pattern, and in my role as a member of society, I feel obligated to reflect on them as deeply as I can.

Page 61 (Essay on a Mushroom Maniac):

... In any case, every time he dashed away from his house and the village, crossing meadows, pastures, and cultivated fields, and headed uphill through the last of the orchards to the edge of the woods in order to "listen in" to all the sounds the leaves made -- the edge of the woods consisted mostly of folliage trees -- he did so and undertook that in the awareness of, or, your might say, the illusory belief in, a higher calling.

Page 118 (Essay on a Mushroom Maniac):

Mushrooms as "the last wilderness?" According to my mushroom maniac, this, too, "as clear as the day": in the sense that by now mushrooms were the only growing things on earth that categorically refused to allow themselves to be cultivated, civilized, let alone domesticated, which grew only wild, impervious to human intervention.

Page 168 (Essay on Tiredness):

... Yet a kind of music seems to reach me from there -- the music of clairaudient tiredness.

(clairaudience: (parapsychology) The power to perceive auditory stimuli beyond the realm of normal hearing)

Page 200 (Essay on the Jukebox):

... And now that history was apparently moving along, day after day, in the guise of the great fairy tale of the world, of humanity, weaving its magic (or was it merely a variation on the old ghost story?)

Pages 267-268 (Essay on the Successful Day):

... I am too hard on myself, not indifferent enough about my mishaps with things, too full of demands on the times, too convinced that everything is going to the dogs: I have no standard for the success of a day. Indeed, what with myself and the kinds of things that happen regularly or irregularly, the situation would seem to call for a special kind of irony -- the affectionate kind -- and of humor, of the sort named after the gallows. Who has ever experienced a successful day?

Page 274 (Essay on the Successful Day):

I can say, however, that the idea is indeed an idea, for I didn't think it up or get it from my reading: it came to me in a time of distress, and it came with a power that for me has always carried credibility -- the power of the imagination. Imagination is my faith ....

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