(Sidharth Vardhan’s review of
‘The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick’
a novella by 2020 Nobel Peter Handke
Novella first published in 1970
Review first written on January 5 2020
(2 / 5))
The self-destruction of a soccer goalie turned construction worker who wanders aimlessly around a stifling Austrian border town.
An expelled goalie murders a woman randomly, walks around anxiously observing random observations and… that is all about it. Camus’ Stranger was a book in its own league and so I won’t compare this to it. What is more, Camus’ Stranger wasn’t this dumb. In Sartre’s Nausea too, the protagonist was a white middle-aged European man but that man too was struggling with intuitive observations. Clezio’s ‘The Interrogation’ is yet another book and one that seems to most resemble this one most – of a narration bothered by too many observations. My point is White European men and later-Nobel-laureates writing about white men seeing things too clearly wasn’t exactly revolutionary at the time of writing the book.
All three books by Peter Handke I have read seem to achieve a no more than a superficial resemblance to greatness without having anything much to say and do.
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Copyright – Sidharth Vardhan