15.21 Peter Handke Kaspar and Other Plays

ISBN 13: 9780809015467

Kaspar and Other Plays

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9780809015467: Kaspar and Other Plays

Kaspar, Peter Handke's first full-length drama--hailed in Europe as "the play of the decade" and compared in importance to Waiting for Godot--is the story of an autistic adolescent who finds himself at a complete existential loss on the stage, with but a single sentence to call his own. Drilled by prompters who use terrifyingly funny logical and alogical language-sequences, Kaspar learns to speak "normally" and eventually becomes creative--"doing his own thing" with words; for this he is destroyed.

In Offending the Audience and Self-Accusation, one-character "speak-ins," Handke further explores the relationship between public performance and personal identity, forcing us to reconsider our sense of who we are and what we know.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

Peter Handke was born in Griffen, Austria in 1942. His many works of fiction include Absence, Across, The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, and Short Letter, Long Farewell.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Kaspar and Other Plays
OFFENDING THE AUDIENCE for Karlheinz Braun, Claus Peymann, Basch Peymann, Wolfgang Wiens, Peter Steinbach, Michael Gruner, Ulrich Hass, Claus Dieter Reents, Rüdiger Vogler, John Lennon  
Rules for the actors  
Listen to the litanies in the Catholic churches. Listen to football teams being cheered on and booed. Listen to the rhythmic chanting at demonstrations. Listen to the wheels of a bicycle upturned on its seat spinning until the spokes have come to rest and watch the spokes until they have reached their resting point. Listen to the gradually increasing noise a concrete mixer makes after the motor has been started. Listen to debaters cutting each other off. Listen to "Tell Me" by the Rolling Stones. Listen to the simultaneous arrival and departure of trains. Listen to the hit parade on Radio Luxembourg. Listen in on the simultaneous interpreters at the United Nations. Listen to the dialogue between the gangster (Lee J. Cobb) and the pretty girl in "The Trap," when the girl asks the gangster how many more people he intends to kill; whereupon the gangster asks, as he leans back, How many are left? and watch the gangster as he says it. See the Beatles' movies. In "A Hard Day's Night" watch Ringo's smile at the moment when, after having been teased by the others, he sits down at his drums and begins to play. Watch Gary Cooper's face in "The Man From the West." In the same movie watch the death of the mute as he runs down the deserted street of the lifeless town with a bullet in him, hopping and jumping and emitting those shrill screams. Watch monkeys aping people and llamas spitting in the zoo. Watch the behavior of bums and idlers as they amble on the street and play the machines in the penny arcades.  
When the theatergoers enter the room into which they are meant to go, they are greeted by the usual pre-performance atmosphere. One might let them hear noises from behind the curtain, noises that make believe that scenery is being shifted about. For example, a table is dragged across the stage, or several chairs are noisily set up and then removed. One might let the spectators in the first few rows hear directions whispered by make-believe stage managers and the whispered interchanges between make-believe stagehands behind the curtain. Or, even better, use tape recordings of other performances in which, before the curtain rises, objects are really shifted about. These noises should be amplified to make them more audible, and perhaps should be stylized and arranged so as to produce their own order and uniformity.  
The usual theater atmosphere should prevail. The ushers should be more assiduous than usual, even more formal and ceremonious, should subdue their usual whispering with even more style, so that their behavior becomes infectious. The programs should be elegant. The buzzer signals should not be forgotten; the signals are repeated at successively briefer intervals. The gradual dimming of the lights should be even more gradual if possible; perhaps the lights can be dimmed in successive stages. As the ushers proceed to close the doors, their gestures should become particularly solemn and noticeable. Yet, they are only ushers. Their actions should not appear symbolic. Late-comers should not be admitted. Inappropriately dressed ticket holders should not be admitted. The concept of what is sartorially inappropriate should be strictly applied. None of the spectators should call attention to himself or offend the eye by his attire. The men should be dressed in dark jackets, with white shirts and inconspicuous ties. The women should shun bright colors.  
There is no standing-room. Once the doors are closed and the lights dim, it gradually becomes quiet behind the curtain too. The silencebehind the curtain and the silence in the auditorium are alike. The spectators stare a while longer at the almost imperceptibly fluttering curtain, which may perhaps billow once or twice as though someone had hurriedly crossed the stage. Then the curtain grows still. There is a short pause. The curtain slowly parts, allowing an unobstructed view. Once the stage is completely open to view, the four speakers step forward from upstage. Nothing impedes their progress. The stage is empty. As they walk forward noncommittally, dressed casually, it becomes light on stage as well as in the audience. The light on stage and in the auditorium is of the same intensity as at the end of a performance and there is no glare to hurt the eyes. The stage and the auditorium remain lighted throughout the performance. Even as they approach, the speakers don't look at the audience. They don't direct the words they are speaking at the audience. Under no circumstance should the audience get the impression that the words are directed at them. As far as the speakers are concerned, the audience does not yet exist. As they approach, they move their lips. Gradually their words become intelligible and finally they become loud. The invectives they deliver overlap one another. The speakers speak pell-mell. They pick up each other's words. They take words out of each other's mouths. They speak in unison, each uttering different words. They repeat. They grow louder. They scream. They pass rehearsed words from mouth to mouth. Finally, they rehearse one word in unison. The words they use in this prologue are the following (their order is immaterial): You chuckleheads, you small-timers, you nervous nellies, you fuddy-duddies, you windbags, you sitting ducks, you milquetoasts. The speakers should strive for a certain acoustic uniformity. However, except for the acoustic pattern, no other picture should be produced. The invectives are not directed at anyone in particular. The manner of their delivery should not induce a meaning. The speakers reach the front of the stage before they finish rehearsing their invectives. They stand at ease but form a sort of pattern. They are not completely fixed in their positions but move according to the movement which the words they speak lend them. They now look at the public, butat no one person in particular. They are silent for a while. They collect themselves. Then they begin to speak. The order in which they speak is immaterial. The speakers have roughly the same amount of work to do.  
You are welcome.  
This piece is a prologue.  
You will hear nothing you have not heard here before. You will see nothing you have not seen here before. You will see nothing of what you have always seen here. You will hear nothing of what you have always heard here.  
You will hear what you usually see. You will hear what you usually don't see. You will see no spectacle. Your curiosity will not be satisfied. You will see no play. There will be no playing here tonight. You will see a spectacle without pictures.  
You expected something. You expected something else perhaps. You expected objects. You expected no objects. You expected an atmosphere. You expected a different world. You expected no different world. In any case, you expected something. It may be the case that you expected what you are hearing now. But even in that case you expected something different.  
You are sitting in rows. You form a pattern. You are sitting in a certain order. You are facing in a certain direction. You are sittingequidistant from one another. You are an audience. You form a unit. You are auditors and spectators in an auditorium. Your thoughts are free. You can still make up your own mind. You see us speaking and you hear us speaking. You are beginning to breathe in one and the same rhythm. You are beginning to breathe in one and the same rhythm in which we are speaking. You are breathing the way we are speaking. We and you gradually form a unit.  
You are not thinking. You don't think of anything. You are thinking along. You are not thinking along. You feel uninhibited. Your thoughts are free. Even as we say that, we insinuate ourselves into your thoughts. You have thoughts in the back of your mind. Even as we say that, we insinuate ourselves into the thoughts in back of your mind. You are thinking along. You are hearing. Your thoughts are following in the track of our thoughts. Your thoughts are not following in the track of our thoughts. You are not thinking. Your thoughts are not free. You feel inhibited.  
You are looking at us when we speak to you. You are not watching us. You are looking at us. You are being looked at. You are unprotected. You no longer have the advantage of looking from the shelter of darkness into the light. We no longer have the disadvantage of looking through the blinding light into the dark. You are not watching. You are looking at and you are being looked at. In this way, we and you gradually form a unit. Under certain conditions, therefore, we, instead of saying you, could say we. We are under one and the same roof. We are a closed society.  
You are not listening to us. You heed us. You are no longer eavesdropping from behind a wall. We are speaking directly to you. Our dialogue no longer moves at a right angle to your glance. Your glance no longer pierces our dialogue. Our words and your glances no longer form an angle. You are not disregarded. You are not treated as mere hecklers. You need not form an opinion from a bird's or a frog's perspective of anything that happens here. You need not playreferee. You are no longer treated as spectators to whom we can speak in asides. This is no play. There are no asides here. Nothing that takes place here is intended as an appeal to you. This is no play. We don't step out of the play to address you. We have no need of illusions to disillusion you. We show you nothing. We are playing no destinies. We are playing no dreams. This is not a factual report. This is no documentary play. This is no slice of life. We don't tell you a story. We don't perform any actions. We don't simulate any actions. We don't represent anything. We don't put anything on for you. We only speak. We play by addressing you. When we say we, we may also mean you. We are not acting out your situation. You cannot recognize yourselves in us. We are playing no situation. You need not feel that we mean you. You cannot feel that we mean you. No mirror is being held up to you. We don't mean you. We are addressing you. You are being addressed. You will be addressed. You will be bored if you don't want to be addressed.  
You are sharing no experience. You are not sharing. You are not following suit. You are experiencing no intrigues here. You are experiencing nothing. You are not imagining anything. You don't have to imagine anything. You need no prerequisites. You don't need to know that this is a stage. You need no expectations. You need not lean back expectantly. You don't need to know that this is only playing. We make up no stories. You are not following an event. You are not playing along. You are being played with here. That is a wordplay.  
What is the theater's is not rendered unto the theater here. Here you don't receive your due. Your curiosity is not satisfied. No spark will leap across from us to you. You will not be electrified. These boards don't signify a world. They are part of the world. These boards exist for us to stand on. This world is no different from yours. You are no longer kibitzers. You are the subject matter. The focus is on you. You are in the crossfire of our words.  
This is no mirage. You don't see walls that tremble. You don't hear the spurious sounds of doors snapping shut. You hear no sofas squeaking. You see no apparitions. You have no visions. You see no picture of something. Nor do you see the suggestion of a picture. You see no picture puzzle. Nor do you see an empty picture. The emptiness of this stage is no picture of another emptiness. The emptiness of this stage signifies nothing. This stage is empty because objects would be in our way. It is empty because we don't need objects. This stage represents nothing. It represents no other emptiness. This stage is empty. You don't see any objects that pretend to be other objects. You don't see a darkness that pretends to be another darkness. You don't see a brightness that pretends to be another brightness. You don't see any light that pretends to be another light. You don't hear any noise that pretends to be another noise. You don't see a room that pretends to be another room. Here you are not experiencing a time that pretends to be another time. The time on stage is no different from the time off stage. We have the same local time here. We are in the same location. We are breathing the same air. The stage apron is not a line of demarcation. It is not only sometimes no demarcation line. It is no demarcation line as long as we are speaking to you. There is no invisible circle here. There is no magic circle. There is no room for play here. We are not playing. We are all in the same room. The demarcation line has not been penetrated, it is not pervious, it doesn't even exist. There is no radiation belt between you and us. We are not self-propelled props. We are no pictures of something. We are no representatives. We represent nothing. We demonstrate nothing. We have no pseudonyms. Our heartbeat does not pretend to be another's heartbeat. Our bloodcurdling screams don't pretend to be another's bloodcurdling screams. We don't step out of our roles. We have no roles. We are ourselves. We are the mouthpiece of the author. You cannot make yourself a picture of us. You don't need to make yourself a picture of us. We are ourselves.Our opinion and the author's opinion are not necessarily the same.  
The light that illuminates us signifies nothing. Neither do the clothes we wear signify anything. They indicate nothing, they are not unusual in any way, they signify nothing. They signify no other time to you, no other climate, no other season, no other degree of latitude, no other reason to wear them. They have no function. Nor do our gestures have a function, that is, to signify something to you. This is not the world as a stage.  
We are no slapstick artists. There are no objects here that we might trip over. Insidious objects are not on the program. Insidious objects are not spoil-sports because we are not sporting with them. The objects are not intended as insidious sport; they are insidious. If we happen to trip, we trip unwittingly. Unwitting as well are mistakes in dress; unwitting, too, are our perhaps foolish faces. Slips of the tongue, which amuse you, are not intended. If we stutter, we stutter without meaning to. We cannot make dropping a handkerchief part of the play. We are not playing. We cannot make the insidiousness of objects part of the play. We cannot camouflage the insidiousness of objects. We cannot be of two minds. We cannot be of many minds.We are no clowns. We are not in an arena. You don't have the pleasure of encircling us. You are not enjoying the comedy of having a rear view of us. You are not enjoying the comedy of insidious objects. You are enjoying the comedy of words.  
The possibilities of the theater are not exploited here. The realm of possibilities is not exhausted. The theater is not unbounded. The theater is bound. Fate is meant ironically here. We are not theatrical. Our comedy is not overwhelming. Your laughter cannot be liberating. We are not playful. We are not playing a world for you. This is not half of one world. We and you do not constitute two halves.  
You are the subject matter. You are the center of interest. No actions are ...

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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Descripción Hill Wang, United States, 1970. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. Kaspar, Peter Handke s first full-length drama--hailed in Europe as the play of the decade and compared in importance to Waiting for Godot--is the story of an autistic adolescent who finds himself at a complete existential loss on the stage, with but a single sentence to call his own. Drilled by prompters who use terrifyingly funny logical and alogical language-sequences, Kaspar learns to speak normally and eventually becomes creative-- doing his own thing with words; for this he is destroyed. In Offending the Audience and Self-Accusation, one-character speak-ins, Handke further explores the relationship between public performance and personal identity, forcing us to reconsider our sense of who we are and what we know. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780809015467

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Descripción Hill Wang, United States, 1970. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. Kaspar, Peter Handke s first full-length drama--hailed in Europe as the play of the decade and compared in importance to Waiting for Godot --is the story of an autistic adolescent who finds himself at a complete existential loss on the stage, with but a single sentence to call his own. Drilled by prompters who use terrifyingly funny logical and alogical language-sequences, Kaspar learns to speak normally and eventually becomes creative-- doing his own thing with words; for this he is destroyed.In Offending the Audience and Self-Accusation, one-character speak-ins, Handke further explores the relationship between public performance and personal identity, forcing us to reconsider our sense of who we are and what we know. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780809015467

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Descripción Hill Wang, United States, 1970. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reissue. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Kaspar, Peter Handke s first full-length drama--hailed in Europe as the play of the decade and compared in importance to Waiting for Godot--is the story of an autistic adolescent who finds himself at a complete existential loss on the stage, with but a single sentence to call his own. Drilled by prompters who use terrifyingly funny logical and alogical language-sequences, Kaspar learns to speak normally and eventually becomes creative-- doing his own thing with words; for this he is destroyed. In Offending the Audience and Self-Accusation, one-character speak-ins, Handke further explores the relationship between public performance and personal identity, forcing us to reconsider our sense of who we are and what we know. Nº de ref. de la librería BZE9780809015467

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