Kaspar is a play written by Austrian playwright Peter Handke. It was published in It was Handke's first full-length drama and was hailed in Europe as the "play of the Decade". Kaspar is loosely based on the story of Kaspar Hauser.
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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.
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Kaspar and Other Plays by Peter Handke ,. Michael E. Roloff Translator. This play 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 Of This play 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. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 3.
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Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Kaspar and Other Plays. Jul 01, Matthieu rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Anyone who'd be willing to read it.
Shelves: thoroughly-enjoyed , theatre. Speech torture. View all 22 comments. Jul 01, Bryan "They call me the Doge" rated it liked it Shelves: books-i-own-and-have-read , books-i-read-in , drama. Handke's is a name that I had heard of but knew next to nothing about when I picked up this short book of plays at some library sale or another. After finishing, I did some cursory research on his career i. None of that has much to do with this earlier work, I suppose, done in the mid 60s--but it seems that the controversy has almost completely obscured his literary work.
There was nothing on the Wikipe Handke's is a name that I had heard of but knew next to nothing about when I picked up this short book of plays at some library sale or another. There was nothing on the Wikipedia page about these three plays at all. And that might also be because of their relative merit in the overall body of his work--since these three early plays Offending the Audience , Self-Accusation , and Kaspar , he's had a long career, and these might be considered an acquired taste now, especially the last.
They are plays in the sense that they are performed in a theatrical setting, but Handke is intent on obliterating all dramatic conventions as a kind of meta-commentary to go along with the text of the play itself.
It seems very sixty-ish to me--a kind of shout at the audience to wake-up, that these plays are about no longer acting as if conventions are truth, about not accepting conventions as necessary, about getting down to the Real. I like this paragraph from the book's back matter, in the introduction to Handke and Kaspar : "As completely unrealistic as Kaspar is, the plays substance--the programming of a theater creature by entirely theatrical means, and his eventual discovery of the artificiality of who he is and what he has been taught--could hardly be a more pertinent metaphor for our time, particularly for the young.
I don't know a lot about theater--My suspicion is that this kind of experimental theater had its day and dramatists are on to other subjects now. Maybe not--there's a YouTube video of an adaptation of Offending the Audience that looks fairly recent. I haven't watched it all, but it seems to conform to the general idea of Handke's piece. Anyway--about the plays themselves: I enjoyed the first two, which are actually labeled as 'Speak-ins', where the actors directly address the audience though I thought Offending the Audience made its point fairly quickly and then went on and on about it.
Kaspar did not make a lot of sense to me, even with the gloss of that paragraph I quoted above. Sometimes I thought I caught a glimpse of what Handke was trying to say, but I was never sure--perhaps something along the lines of how the social goal is to bring us out of ignorance into conformity, but not to proceed past that point.
Just a guess. I've been trying to read a lot more drama lately--Pirandello, Ionesco, Stoppard--and some of it seems effective and some not. I haven't read enough to make any conclusive judgments, but Handke was interesting enough if dated, here to read more of his when I come across it. Oct 10, Stian Larsen rated it it was amazing. I feel shamed. Raped, in a good way, dirty, offended, facefucked with words, sentences and words, ramming nonsense down my throat, exhausting body, mind, eyes, mind, through constant repetition making words meaningless and meaningfull at the same time.
Everything is nonsense and at the same time nothing. Some say Handkes plays are like Becketts but without the humour. I say they are darker, yes, actually. Here are no hope, but that might not even be important to Handke. This is a dissertation of I feel shamed.
This is a dissertation of words and voice through the instrument of theatre. I cant really say anything else than read it, watch it, enjoy it, hate it. Nov 24, Damien Leri rated it liked it. But I really like "Self accusation". Dec 24, Peter Sprengelmeyer rated it really liked it.
Not sure what I think about theater that does not conform to the standard idioms. I would love to see this preformed, as I also do not know what one loses in reading vs seeing it acted out. But it is funny, irreverent, and poignant. I need to read more Handke and see where his thinking goes, as I know that his politics moved off kilter as well. Nov 27, Perifian rated it liked it Shelves: reference , plays.
Lots of dancing about architecture. Some cool ideas, lots of poor execution. Did have some wow moments, though. Will read his other stuff eventually. Would rather watch a ten-hour Sharits flick that sit in on a performance, though.
Sep 19, Kimley rated it really liked it Shelves: 20th-century , german. Incredible examination of language, sounds and the way we communicate.
Having only read Kaspar, I would love to actaully see it performed! May 31, InternetRex rated it it was amazing. I really only read Offending the Audience. Kelley Graham rated it liked it Jun 27, Oliver rated it liked it Sep 15, Paul Rodriguez rated it liked it Sep 05, Matthew Taylor rated it it was amazing Apr 22, Anthony rated it really liked it May 30, Elaine Foster rated it it was amazing Aug 13, Shane rated it liked it Nov 24, Diana rated it really liked it Aug 07, Sandra rated it really liked it Nov 16, Charles rated it really liked it Nov 06, Annie Cole rated it it was amazing May 23, Bill Yarrow rated it it was amazing Jun 07, Dayna rated it liked it May 31,
Kaspar and Other Plays
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. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.
Theater: Handke's ‘Kaspar’ Is Staged in Brooklyn
The more I see and read of Peter Handke the more and more ready I am to accept the common European view that he is one of the most important young playwrights of our time. This is in no sense a play in the ordinary, or even the extraordinary, sense. There is always the lingering suspicion that Handke might be playing a very elaborate practical joke on the audience. Indeed to appreciate the play at all —especially the beginning —requires a certain act of faith on the part of the audience. And yet just as, say, it is very evident that Jackson Pollock was not merely scribbling haphazardly on canvas, or that Merce Cunningham is only joking when he means to be, so it is with Handke. The man is an original artist.
Kaspar - review
Y ou wouldn't go to Austrian playwright Peter Handke's play, inspired by the story of the 19th-century teenager discovered in Nuremberg who had been raised in isolation and who could speak only one sentence, for a fun night out, any more than you would go to see King Lear expecting a feel-good factor. This is not an easy watch — it's cerebral, dourly Germanic, and downright slippery, as if you've been thrown into a linguistic plunge pool. There were times during these two hours when I wanted to beg for mercy before I died from being talked to death. While there's no escaping that Handke could have said what he's got to say with more brevity, what he says is interesting: language may not free us as we imagine it does, but actually imprisons us. The white space of this new pop-up venue works very well to create a feeling of a clinic where the bewildered Kaspar, whose legs initially fold beneath him like a foal, is a suitable subject for experimentation.