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Title: Outer world and inner world : socialisation and emancipation in the works of Peter Handke
Author: Linstead, Michael
ISNI:       0000 0000 8407 5819
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1985
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This thesis centres on three groups of texts by Handke, which investigate particular types of mediation between outer and inner world, reality and consciousness. The figure of Kaspar in Kaspar, Josef Bloch in Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter and Handke's mother in Wunschloses Ungluck are all subjected, to a greater or lesser extent, to processes of socialisation, in that pressures from the outer world - language, perception patterns and social roles respectively - prescribe and mould their inner world, robbing each of freedom of action and thought. In each of the groups there are also texts by Handke, which propose and explore ways of overcoming these coercive forces. They all attempt however to transcend their mediating function by concentrating on and investigating the power of a 'magical' or 'mystical' 'directness' of experience and expression, rather than confronting these forces within a social context. There is therefore a basic antagonism between society and the individual, public and private, running throughout Handke's writing, whereby both are presented as conflicting blocks in a static relationship, rather than in a dialectic of mutual influence. This antagonism stretches also into the area of literary method. As well as models of socialisation, many of Handke's books are also concerned with models of the literary representation of reality. Hence, this thesis devotes its opening chapter to an investigation of Handke's early literary theory and practice. It also attempts to place that theory in a twentieth century context, incorporating consideration of the Russian Formalists, the 'Wiener Gruppe', Alain Robbe-Grillet and Dieter Wellershoff. The fifth chapter deals with the recently published tetralogy Langsame Heimkehr, where the movement to 'emancipation' as transcendence (rather than confrontation and change) reaches its climax in the homage to the extra-social 'innocence' of the child and the proclamation of the 'Spirit of the New Age'. The final chapter attempts to place Handke within twentieth century Austrian and West German writing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PT Germanic literature