One of those beings for whom Handke can do no wrong because he is a world author, as I agree he is indeed, Siegried Loeffler is her name, and the name Loeffler evokes  images of both soup spoons and rabbit ears, LINKS has it that MORAWIAN NIGHT is drenched in Handlkean self-crititiciism, of a personal not of a literary kind, and in fact up to the point of medium heat the Loeffler has a point. Chief critique here consists of calling  himself a “mama’s boy” who is “cold as a salamander: or used to be when you made the mistake of living with him, as several wives did until they fled! Judgeng by diary entries Handke was a fanatical writer as of early on and even now requires extreme quiet, I have no problem with that and my first marriage I actually had a wife who worked like that as a painter, and she let me just work. Trouble there was that after work I wanteed to have some fun with writer friends and get to know the big city and she was entirely incompetent socisally. Domage,.  I could have spared myself a hundred affairs if she had been the right woman for me all around. In addition to being cold to those about him when he was at work the young Handke appears to have suffereed from alexithemia, which however has ceased; he has become the warmest and most empathetic of beings I noitced the last time we were in touch.
As a “mama’s boy” Handke accuses himself of all the features of a spoiled brat, which in fact in fact he was up to a point since the entire family seems to have realized his talent early on and suppported him best they could, including gruesome step dad Bruno Handke. When I originally met the Handke who had to move at once into the Algogquin I would have never thought he derived from poor circcumstances the very best women, only the very best cocaine would do – I am kidding on the latter score. Handke makes fun of himself as a manufacturer of the best world salad in NOMAN’S  BAY – which raises the question to what is making fn of yourself, calling yourself names self-criticism. As he also does for the kind of little Lord Fauntelroy he was as a child when he and his wish to write ruled the roost – that is a wonderful funnee section in WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES, as is Handke’s self-criticism if you will of what he was like as a young successful moneybags author prodigal son – critiques that are generally as well as specfically applicable.  We also find the the like in STORM STILL that once more unrolls Handke’s childhood family drama. 

2] Question, however, becomes whether such criticism also of self goes very deep? Let us recall that when Freddie Kolleritisch published in MANUSCRIPTE something that was critical of something that Handke had written he was threatened with never getting another piece of Handke, Manuskripte’s star author if he shoul ever do the like again.  Handke is a threatenered, another Mama's boy feature! I.e. Handke may be derisive of certain of his own features – but it is a very different matter if any one else should do so in published writing. Handke as an author responds or does not as the case may be to his editors suggestions – best to my knowledge but also derides them and breaks up with them – Raimund “Rinderhaut” Fellinger! He it appears cusses the hell out of Jochen Jung! Incredible temper tantrum well into near old age! Look at the altercations that Handke and Unseld managed to survive – Unseld,too, in this valuable instance developing a tough skin. As best as I can tell, self-critique is useful and possible it if derives from self-understanding, however coomplex and under what pain acquired.

The first self-criticism appears around page 15 of the translation , where the narrator tells us that the former writer ctd. to be anything but welcoming when his invited friends appear. This is the Handke of old, of the first Paris period in the 70s, when you might schlepp to visit him on the Rue Montmorency or in Clamart & not even be served a glass of water, and he quickly tired of you but expressed the wish that you would call again  as you were leaving. The impulse, born of loneliness, to see a friend, had invariably passed by the time you visited him – he wanted to write again, pr screw a space cadet who had blown in from somewhere. I gather that this changed radically by the time of the 2nd Paris period when Handke became socially adept and gave some fine parties in Chaville. Whereas the changed Handke is obviously easier to take, the early odd Handke – why? An aspect of his autism, arrogagance, lack of empathy at the time? All this is quite wonderfully describe in MORAWIAN NIGHT. 

4] A second of Handke’s self-critiqued faults – impatience - is elaborated at some length in MORAWIAN NIGHT {about p. x} and I witnessed what was a entierely justified instance in 1980, that I elicited by failing to call Salzburg that I would be one train late: I even recall the thought that went through my head when I did not call: He’s gonna be writing like always, it never made a difference, why should it now, and then the impatient Handke was walking towards me as soon as I had left my hotel, and there were a lot of other things I would never have known I had not been so highhanded and charged up as I was then on my way back from  four weeks in Bulgaria via Vienna a stopover in Salzburg, Zurich, Frankfurt, just in time to vote against Reagan in New York in November 1980. See Ein Besuch auf dem Moenchsberg for a full account of this visitL

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