Handke, Peter. Translator, Tess Lewis. “Once Again For Thucycdides”. New York, U.S.A: New Directions Publishing. 1998
Peter Handke is an Austrian writer and activist. He is best known for his screenplays, poetry/prose and controversial political views. “Once Again for Thucycdides is a collection of seventeen “micro-epics” written by Peter Handke on trips around the world. In each journal, Handke concentrates on small things he observes, trying to capture their essence, their “simple, unadorned validity.” What results is a work of qualitative observation and precision. By uncovering the general appearance of random objects i.e. an ash tree, a shoeshine man, hats in a crowd, a boat loading on a pier, ivy growing on a wall, he discovers their inner workings and mystery of existence. His work always alludes to the unknown and these “epics” reveal a narrator obsessed with detail as the scope and variation of the natural world. His work appears relevant to me as his writing style requires, both from himself and the reader, patience. The opposing constructs of the 21st century infrastructure of compressed and rapid imagery. Here Handke physically experiences his surroundings and methodically transcribes a comprehensive observation perceived through the gaze. The slowing of time and the act of noticing are essential in his work.
Bachelard, Gaston. “The Poetics of Space”. Paris, France: Press Universitaires France. 1964