The Ride Across Lake Constance and Other Plays [NOOK Book]


This volume of Handke's plays includes two full-length and four shorter plays by the young Austrian playwright.  The first of the full-length plays, The Ride Across Lake Constance, is one of Handke's best-known works.  It deals directly with one of Handke's favorite themes: the realities of theater itself, independent of the offstage world, and the way language (dialogue) and objects (props) operate in the skewed world of the stage. Therein it anticipates They Are Dying Out, Handke's most ...
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The Ride Across Lake Constance and Other Plays

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This volume of Handke's plays includes two full-length and four shorter plays by the young Austrian playwright.  The first of the full-length plays, The Ride Across Lake Constance, is one of Handke's best-known works.  It deals directly with one of Handke's favorite themes: the realities of theater itself, independent of the offstage world, and the way language (dialogue) and objects (props) operate in the skewed world of the stage. Therein it anticipates They Are Dying Out, Handke's most recent full-length play, which is also in this volume.  In some ways more conventional than many of Handke's plays, They Are Dying Out presents one of his most fascinating protagonists, Quitt, a businessman who first induces a group of colleagues to set up a monopoly and then torpedoes the scheme. The four short plays that round out the book--Prophecy, Calling for Help, Quodlibet, and My Foot My Tutor--were written between 1966 and 1969, before The Ride Across Lake Constance (1971), and show Handke moving from the experimental mode of his early work toward the richness and complexity that have marked him as the most important dramatist since Becket; they bear witness to the truth of Richard Gilman's observation that "in Handke's theater, language, exposed, assaulted, wrestled with, driven to limits, and pursued still further, begins to take on, like the color returning to the cheeks of a nearly hanged man, the signs of a strange and unexpected resurrection."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466807761
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 10/1/1976
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 258
  • File size: 294 KB

Meet the Author

PETER HANDKE was born in Griffen, Austria, in 1942. His many works include The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, My Year in No-Man’s Bay, On a Dark Night I Left My Silent House, and Crossing the Sierra de Gredos, all published by FSG.
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Read an Excerpt

The Ride Across Lake Constance
Where to begin? Everything is out of joint and totters. The air quivers with comparisons. No word is better than the other, the earth booms with metaphors ...--OSIP MANDELSTAM 
Four speakers ( A, B, C, D) 
AThe flies will die like flies. 
BThe ruttish dogs will snuffle like ruttish dogs. 
CThe pig on the spit will scream like a pig on the spit. 
DThe bull will roar like a bull. 
AThe statue will stand like a statue. 
BThe chickens will scurry like chickens. 
CThe madman will run like a madman. 
DThe lunatic will howl like a lunatic. 
AThe mangy dog will roam like a mangy dog. 
BThe vulture will circle like a vulture. 
CThe aspen leaves will quiver like aspen leaves. 
DThe grass will quiver like grass. 
ABThe house of cards will tumble like a house of cards. 
ACThe bombs will strike like bombs. 
ADThe ripe fruit will fall from the trees like ripe fruit. 
BCThe water on the hot stone will hiss like water on a hot stone. 
BDThose who are doomed to die will stand like those who are doomed to die. 
ABCDThe stuck pig will bleed like a stuck pig. 
AThe average person will behave like an average person. 
BThe bastard will behave like a bastard. 
CThe man of honor will behave like a man of honor. 
DThe opera hero will behave like an opera hero. 
AThe stepchild will be treated like a stepchild.The miracle worker will be awaited like a miracle worker.The freak will be stared at like a freak.The Messiah will be longed for like the Messiah.The milch cow will be exploited like a milch cow.The lepers will be shunned like lepers.Hell will be hated like hell.The shroud will be spread out like a shroud.The mad dog will be shot like a mad dog. 
BThe fool will prattle like a fool.The parrot will prattle like a parrot.The roaches will scurry from the light like roaches.The snow in May will vanish like the snow in May.The child will be happy like a child.The miracle will happen like a miracle.The corpse in the pool will swell up like a corpse in a pool.The thunderclap will be like a thunderclap. 
CDThe trooper will swear like a trooper.The frog will leap like a frog.Lightning will flash like lightning.The thief will sneak off like a thief.The horse will eat like a horse.The school child will hide like a school child.The splash in the water will be like a splash in the water.The slap in the face will be like a slap in the face.The viper will strike like a viper. 
BCDThe wounded horses will rear up like wounded horses.The jockey will be alert like a jockey.The huskies will howl like huskies.The Jew will haggle like a Jew.The fish will wriggle on the hook like a fish on a hook.The open wound will fester like an open wound.The virgin will put on airs like a virgin.The choirboy will walk like a choirboy.The sailor will walk like a sailor.The Spaniard will walk like a Spaniard.Gary Cooper will walk like Gary Cooper.Donald Duck will walk like Donald Duck. 
AThe wet poodle will stand there like a wet poodle.The poor sinner will stand there like a poor sinner.The cow will stand before the new barn door like a cow before a new barn door.The rooster on the dungheap will stand like a rooster on a dungheap. 
ABThe felled tree will crash like a felled tree.The maniac will fight like a maniac.The cat will slink around the hot soup like a cat around hot soup.The dogs will hide from the thunderstorm like dogs hiding from a thunderstorm. 
The roaring lion will stalk about like a roaring lion.The wildfire will spread like wildfire. 
ABCThe hyenas will howl like hyenas.The nightwatchman will yawn like a nightwatchman.The conspirators will whisper like conspirators.The reeds in the wind will rustle like reeds in the wind.The ostrich will bury its head in the sand like an ostrich.The grass widow will tremble like a grass widow.The rat will sleep like a rat.The dog will die like a dog. 
ABCDThe shoe will fit like a shoe on a foot. 
AThe plague will spread like the plague. 
BThe rose will smell like a rose. 
CThe swarm of bees will buzz like a swarm of bees. 
DYour shadow will follow you like a shadow. 
AThe tomb will be silent like a tomb.The monument will stand like a monument. 
BA man will rise up like a man.The cliff will stand in the surf like a cliff in the surf. 
CThe cloudburst will approach like a cloudburst.The ants will bite like ants. 
DThe tidal wave will swell like a tidal wave.The flock of frightened sheep will scatter like a flock of frightened sheep. 
AThe sand will run through your fingers like sand. 
BIn the theater you will feel like a theatergoer. 
COne egg will resemble another as one egg another. 
ABCA scream will issue from the mouth of the crowd as out of one mouth. 
DThe organ pipes will stand like organ pipes.The trumpets of the Last Judgment will ring out like the trumpets of the Last Judgment.The revelation will be like a revelation. 
CThe mole will tunnel through the lawn like a mole. 
BThe voice from another world will sound like a voice from another world. 
AThe avalanche will hurtle like an avalanche.Those who have lost their senses will behave like people who have lost their senses. 
ABThe prophet will make faces like a prophet.The angels will speak as with angels' tongues.The moth will flutter to the light like a moth to the light.The barn door will be open like a barn door. 
ABCThe scales will fall from your eyes like scales falling from your eyes.The foreign body will be spewed out like a foreign body.The rats will leave the sinking ship like rats leaving a sinking ship.God will step before mankind like God. 
ABThe bear will sleep like a bear. 
AThe wall will stand like a wall. 
DThe cornfield will rustle like a cornfield. 
DCAfter the rain the mushrooms will mushroom like mushrooms after the rain. 
DCBThe nutshell will rock on the water like a nutshell on the water. 
DCBAThe migratory birds will flock like migratory birds.Those who walk on a cloud will walk as if on a cloud.Those who are struck by thunder will be like thunderstruck people.Those who are in seventh heaven will feel as if they were in seventh heaven.Those stung by a scorpion will leap up like those who are stung by a scorpion. 
ADEbb and flood will alternate like ebb and flood.The fish in the water will flit about like fish in the water.Water and fire will be compatible like water and fire.Day and night will be as different as day and night. 
BYou will live in clover like someone living in clover. 
CThe dream will seem to you like a dream. 
BEternity will seem to you like an eternity. 
ABCDBut the fish in the sea shall be plentiful like fish in the sea.But the sand at the shore shall be plentiful like sand at the shore.But the stars in the heavens shall be plentiful like stars in the heavens.But the people on earth shall be plentiful like people on earth. 
AAnd the rabbits will multiply like rabbits. 
BAnd the germs will multiply like germs. 
CAnd the poor will multiply like the poor. 
DAnd a man like you and me will be a man like you and me. 
ADaily bread will be needed like daily bread. 
BBlood will be red like blood. 
CThe wind will be swift like wind. 
DPoison will be yellow like poison. 
AMolasses will be sticky like molasses. 
BThe fool will be gentle like a fool. 
CLife will be complex like life. 
DThe sieve will be holey like a sieve. 
AThe ultimate things will be unutterable like ultimate things. 
BThe razor's edge will be sharp like a razor's edge. 
CThe universe will be infinite like a universe. 
DThe picky eater will be skinny like a picky eater. 
AThe barrel will be round like a barrel. 
BThe nigger will be uppity like a nigger. 
CThe father will be to the son as father to son. 
DThe ride in the jalopy will be bumpy like a ride in a jalopy. 
AThe Pope will be infallible like the Pope. 
BThe novel will be fantastic like a novel. 
CThe movie will be unreal like a movie. 
DThe needle in the haystack will be hard to find like a needle in a haystack. 
AThe night will be silent like the night. 
BSin will be black like sin. 
CThe soul will be inexhaustible like the soul. 
DThe well will be deep like a well. 
AThe sponge will be wet like a sponge. 
BThe poet will be dreamy like a poet. 
CThe others will be entirely like the others. 
DDeath will be inevitable like death. 

The morrow will be inevitable like the morrow.B 
The amen in the prayer will be inevitable like the amen in the prayer. 
CSomething will be as inevitable as only something can be inevitable. 
DThe peacock will be proud like a peacock. 
ABCDAnd the transformed will feel like those transformed.And those who are turned into pillars of salt will stand there like ones turned into pillars of salt.And those who are struck by lightning will fall like ones struck by lightning.And the spellbound will listen like spellbound people.And the paralyzed will stand like paralyzed people.And the beckoned will come like beckoned people.And the lame will stand like lame people.And those struck by thunder will stand there like thunderstruck people.And the sleeping will walk like sleepwalkers.And those who have been called but not chosen will stand there like ones called but not chosen.And the substitutes will feel like substitutes.And the people by the mirror will look at themselves like people in front of the mirror.And the newborn will feel like the newborn.And the beaten will feel like beaten people.And those who have been swallowed up by the earth will be like ones swallowed up by the earth. 
AThe reality will become reality. 
BThe truth will become truth. 
ABThe ice will freeze like ice. 
ABCThe ends will stand on end. 
ABCDThe bottom will plunge to the bottom. 
ABCNothingness will become nothing. 
ABThe ashes will turn to ashes. 
BThe air will turn to air. 
AThe dust will turn to dust. 
DThe weasel will be weasel-faced.C The feather will be feather-light.B Acid will be acid-fast. A Chalk will be chalk-white. D Butter will be butter-soft. C Lightning will be lightning-fast. B The hair will be a hairsbreadth thin. A Death will be deadly dull. D The dead will be deathly pale. C The dying will feel deathly ill. B Pitch will be pitch-black. A The heart will be heartsick. D The skin will be skin-deep. C The bloodsucker will be bloodthirsty.B The threads will be threadbare. A The stone will be stone-hard. ABCD Every day will be like every other. 
Translated by Michael RoloffCopyright © 1966, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1973 by Suhrkamp Verlag
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