The Moravian Nights (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Peter Handke
Jan. 24, 2017
The friends of a mysterious “former writer” are summoned to his home, a houseboat riding on a Balkan river, for a midnight meal. The houseboat’s owner is a version of the author, Peter Handke, considered one of post-World War II’s most important German language writers. The Moravian Night dispenses almost altogether with conventional plot and becomes a meditation on time and change as the “former writer” wanders the ruined palace of memory and a continent he barely recognizes. The novel casts a sardonic eye on the “general homogenization” of the world and the dismal tides that have swept away what the writer once knew, including an entire nation, Yugoslavia, whose cause Handke stubbornly adopted.