OVERRIDE

Moment of True Feeling

Peter Handke

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

At the beginning of Peter Handke's novel, Gregor Keuschnig awakens from a nightmare in which he has committed murder, and announces, "From today on, I shall be leading a double life."  The duplicity, however, lies only in Keuschnig's mind; his everyday life as the press atache for the Austrian Embassy in Paris continues much as before: routine paperwork, walks in the city, futile intimacies with his family and his mistress.  But Keuschnig is oblivious to it all, merely simulating his previous identity while he searches for a higher significance, a mystical moment of true sensation which can free him from what the novel calls life's "dreadful normalcy."  Convinced that, if he fails, life's meaning will be revealed to him only when it is too late, he looks for portents everywhere.
 
Keuschnig's search takes him through all of Paris.  At every step, his feelings are interwoven with acute observation of its streets, buildings, cafes, parks, sky.  It is an intimate and evocative journey, in a city that is at once supportive and familiar, strange and provocative.

At the beginning of Peter Handke's novel, Gregor Keuschnig awakens from a nightmare in which he has committed murder, and announces, "From today on, I shall be leading a double life."  The duplicity, however, lies only in Keuschnig's mind; his everyday life as the press atache for the Austrian Embassy in Paris continues much as before: routine paperwork, walks in the city, futile intimacies with his family and his mistress.  But Keuschnig is oblivious to it all, merely simulating his previous identity while he searches for a higher significance, a mystical moment of true sensation which can free him from what the novel calls life's "dreadful normalcy."  Convinced that, if he fails, life's meaning will be revealed to him only when it is too late, he looks for portents everywhere. Keuschnig's search takes him through all of Paris.  At every step, his feelings are interwoven with acute observation of its streets, buildings, cafes, parks, sky.  It is an intimate and evocative journey, in a city that is at once supportive and familiar, strange and provocative.

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A Moment of True Feeling
Who has ever dreamed that he has become a murderer and from then on has only been carrying on with his usual life for the sake of appearances? At that time, which is still going on, Gregor Keuschnig had been living in Paris for some months, serving as press attaché at the Austrian embassy. He, his wife, and their four-year-old daughter Agnes occupied a dark apartment in the 16th arrondissement. The building, which dated from the turn of the century and reflected the bourgeois comfort of the period, had a stone balcony on the second floor and a cast-iron balcony
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Peter Handke

  • 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.
  • Peter Handke Lillian Birnbaum
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Moment of True Feeling

Peter Handke

  • e-Book

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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