THIS BLOG FOCUSES, FIRST, ON THE QUESTION WHY THE SERBIANS AND MILOSEVIC WERE MADE EXCLUSIVELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DISINTEGRATION AND THE CRIMES COMMITTED DURING THE DISINTEGTRATION. I.E. IT IS QUESTION OF HOW AND WHY SUCH A HUGE MAJORITY OF WESTERN NEWS CONSUMERS ARRIVED AT THAT CONCLUSION AND THEN ACTED UPON IT IN A VARIETY OF WAYS, ONE OF THEM BEING ATTACKS ON THE ANYTHING BUT A PERSONAL SAINT, PETER HANDKE'S WORK, REALLY GANGED UP ON THE WORK.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

CONSEQUENCES







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-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Daily Poems - 12.05.2010
 
 


  http://handke-yugo.blogspot.com/2010/05/consequences.html


 



 
http://handke-yugo.blogspot.com/2010/05/consequences.html

CONSEQUENCES


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of this blog at the end
 



Given a reception whose overall stupidity is commemorated, if that is the word, at:


once the Yugoslav controversy was on and Susan  Sontag pronounced in inimitable high priestess fashion "Handke is finished here" [for disagreeing and saying matters in his own words, and of those in that world he was the only one to whom one might have listened if only for his life-long acquaintance with the region] the decimation was on:

1] First came the NYRB with its goon, a certain J.L Marcus, worst piece ever to appear in its pages, see
http://handke-discussion.blogspot.com/


for the job I did decimating him point by overall idiotic, ignorant point. At the time, in 1995, I contacted Robert Silvers with whom I was on quite friendly the occasional lunch terms back in my days in NY and who knew of my Handke project, and not long before he ran the Marcus piece I had sent him what turned out to be the heart of my project, a piece that I walked out of myself on the dusty paths in the St. Monica preserve, it concerned being and it was informed by the slow surf as it pounds the beaches in the south facing Malibu, slow deep waves that originated in the storms way off in the South Pacific. Bob Silvers said he really liked it and that they nearly took it - perhaps he was just being kind, my editor at the St. Monica review Jim Krusoe, which ran an upshot of the piece [with Wings of Desire as its focus], written in the same long periods, cut it down to slightly more consumable  sausage slices, and the L.A. Times like the piece, but there are no reader with that kind of patience. Bob then refuses to run my initial comment on Marcus, and at that time I only addressed Marcus literary idiocies since I myself had not completed puzzling out Handke's intervention in the matter or how right or wrong everyone had been on that score, or the general score of responsibility for the disintegration of Yugoslavia. Moreover, the NYRB had run perfectly fine pieces by Frank Kermode and Michael Wood early on, not going as deep as the scholars eventually would... but it was not time for that yet. N0, the "humanity hyenas" will have their way. If you don't chime in with their jackal chatter they will toss you out of the Salon. Amazing actually, on the part of Robert Silvers, and I think Barbara Epstein and Elizabeth Hardwick were still alive at the time. Worst editing job ever, too, by the vaunted Robert Silver; and if it is a Susan Sontag novel we will find a goon to do a puff piece, however Susan appears not to have been puffed up into being convinced of her worth as a novelist by that puffery, she used to say "in Europe they know" - in Europe she is not known as a novelist either, but as a wonderful essayist of a particular academic kind, who knew how novels worked but lacked the muse! Susan Sontag was a lot of things, but she was not an artist, no matter how hard she tried and willed it. She was a great appreciator and enthusiast and discoverer and articulator of that - that is a great deal, but as an artist she can't hold a finger nail paring to Handke.

Scott Abbott's letter to the New Republic on the occasion of their running the Peter Schneider review of "Journey to the Rivers"- the controversy exported in the same words some thousand miles to the west by a slicky if ever there was one - which appears on the same page as the Schneider review does here [the reception page] also was not published, I imagine by Mr. Wieselthier.

Basically, the humanity hyenas are a pack, I was at the  edge of it as a publisher and once fell for one of its prize objects, Dr. Mikhail Stern's THE USSR VERSUS DR. MIKHAIL STERN. It was published by Gallimard and our sales manager and the co-publisher really wanted to do it, I was cooler, the book looked too clean to me: accused of taking one goose and one duck for providing testosterone shots to underdeveloped Ukrainian boys? When the translation was done Dr. Stern wanted to have it even cleaner and have that goose excised, his peasant son came by to get paid a second time, in no time Dr. Stern was parading in the Ukrainian Day down or up Fifth Avenue, the CIA supplied him with his second book as he crossed the border from Hungary into "freedom" in Austria: "The Sex Life in the Soviet Union" - Dr. Stern went on to open a clinic in Israel.

At Christmas 1949 in Berlin, about 3/4 of a year before I came to the U.S., I saw my stepfather, a then Captain U.S. Army CIC/ OSS start the financing of something called the KAMPFGRUPPE GEGEN DIE UNMENSCHLICHKEIT, that had been founded by a certain Rainer Hildebrandt, of future Museum Checkpoint Charlie fame. Rainer had been in a Nazi concentration camp, he and my mother were friends from their days as members of the Rote Kapelle which was dismantled by the Nazis already in 1942, lots of relatives had their heads chopped off; eventually my mother survived her stint in a Gestapo prison in Berlin - at that point the milk of human kindness was flowing cleanly still I would say, but when Rainer realized that the Soviets were using the same camps that the Nazis had used, he started his KAMPF GRUPPE [FIGHTING ORANISATION/ GROUP] which then did a lot of sabotage work in the DDR... financed by the CIA: at that point human right started to become perverted and part of Cold War propaganda... and it has not stopped yet. It became part of the anti-Serbian, anti-Milosevic  anti-Handke campaign in this country.

Many of the very distinguished people I met during the meetings in behalf of support of Dr. Mikhail Stern seemed genuine, and I expect that most of them also were equally outraged out of the goodness of their hearts at what they found out about Serbia and so on through the news services. So the question becomes one of making these good hearts a bit more intelligent?

The consequences for Handke were/ are that even now, nearly 20 years later, reviewers in the lower echelons, the Village Voice, the Faster Times via Book Forum have bought into the defamation of Handke - because it transpired in the NYRB. Incompetent, stupid reviewers, camp followers. It would of course have been wonderful if Handke had been an angel and had behaved like one! Say as the salon-faehige Habermas would have if he had taken Handke's position.

And then there are the truly vicious jackals, such as Michael McDonald of "The American Interest" and Stephen Schwartz of the Weekly Standard, human rights hyenas of the far right who use that rallying cry for the sake of imperial conquest. Abetted by a sweet dummy who runs artsdaily off in Christchurch, Dennis "The Mutton" Dutton,  That is the story in a nutshell. 

OH yes, and how utterly ignorant Susan  Sontag then turned out to have been despite all that self-display in Sarajevo then became evident in 1999 in the chief Serbian hunting magazine in the United States, the New York Times very own Sunday magazine, with its whip Roger Cohen,see the open letter to David Rieff on the pages of the  
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http://handke-yugo.blogspot.com/2010/05/consequences.html
 handke-yugo blog.
 
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[19] http://handke-yugo.blogspot.com/2010/05/dear-mrrs-sulzberger-kelleret-al-i.html [20]





--
 .MICHAEL ROLOFF
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Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society

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3 comments:

franzangst said...

Mike you are forgetting some of the consequences: for example an idiot who claims to teach writing but evidently is unable to read, such as Neil Gordon, in the New York Times can treat Handke and his work like a dog:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/books/review/Gordon-t.html?_r=1&sq=neil%20gordon%20handke&st=cse&adxnnl=1&scp=1&adxnnlx=1273888846-5dThJak/wGpM24ZgG44NhA

Scott Abbott said...

Michael,
I've told you this story before, and it's a complicated one, but at least one aspect of it was related to general public rejection of Peter and his writing about the former Yugoslavia.

The literary journal Conjunctions had in mind a Thomas Bernhard play in translation and my translation of Voyage by Dugout.

I worked closely and well with Brad Morrow, the editor. He liked the play, he said, and had lots of good suggestions for the translation.

Near the end of the process, he asked if I could write an introduction that would give some context to the play and that would help insulate the journal from critique from, for example, Susan Sontag.

I've sent you what I wrote, but it evidently didn't help enough, and the play was never published.

There were surely additional reasons for not publishing, including the fact the the two plays were very long. Publishing them both in the same volume would have made it massive.

And finally, my translation was still pretty rough at that point and perhaps Brad Morrow just decided there was still too much work to be done on it.

The current translation, which I would be happy to send personally to any of your readers, is, thanks to a lot a work and some of your own suggestions, much better.

I continue to look for a publisher.

SUMMA POLITICO said...

As to consequences in the bush leagues of reviewing and reception, there is no end to it of course. That is why the NYRB Marcus was so damaging - only because it appeared under that aegis. And then people take their cue there and don't take the trouble to do their own reading, or actually know how to report a reading experience. Amazing that something that is so badly written might have appeared there.

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MICHAEL ROLOFF http://www.facebook.com/mike.roloff1?ref=name Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS: http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html "MAY THE FOGGY DEW BEDIAMONDIZE YOUR HOOSPRINGS!" {J. Joyce} "Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben] contact via my website http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html