Monday, September 20, 2010

What is Kaspar?

Do you ever wonder what the world would be like if you were the lucky owner of one (and only one) sentence?


“You are the lucky owner of a sentence which will make every impossible order possible for you and make every possible and real order impossible for you.”  

A terrifyingly comic play, a poetic meditation on language, identity, home(lessness), memory, and theatre. Also called “a speech torture”, Kaspar reconstructs the life on stage of Kaspar – the theatre figure and sometimes clown inspired from Kaspar Hauser, “riddle of his times” and of history, a mysterious speechless foundling who appeared in a German town in 1828 after sixteen years spent outside of all human society. Handke’s Kaspar shows young Kaspar, an autistic adolescent and owner of one (and only one) sentence, entering the stage and being made to speak by uncannily seductive Prompters. Subjected to the Prompter’s logical and alogical linguistic feats, Kaspar learns to use and live with language – until s/he is brought to order and social conformity. 

“Already with my first sentence I was trapped.”  


Peter Handke (1942-) is an Austrian playwright, novelist, poet, and screenwriter, whose dramatic work has shaped theatre and the way we think about theatre art in the last century.

“Mr. Handke …  one of the most original and provocative of contemporary writers.” (Lawrence Graver, New York Times)

“Unmistakably one of the best writers we have in that self-discovering tendency in contemporary writing we have chosen to call post-modernism. His plays and novels have steadily and splendidly put to the test many of our essential presumptions about the nature of reality and art.” (Malcolm Bradbury)

Handke is one of the “makers of modern drama” who has “written the most interesting plays since Beckett” and who “is carrying on more resolutely than anyone I know of that effort to renew drama, to combat its tendency to inertia and self-repetition” (Richard Gilman)

“It’s not often you come across writing that resounds with the undeniable sense that a writer’s life hangs in the balance” (Sam Shepard, Vanity Fair)"

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