1971-1980DramaGermanyHerbert Vesely

Herbert Vesely – Der Kurze Brief zum langen Abschied aka Short Letter to the Long Farewell (1978)

Here is a Peter Handke Adaptation from the 70s featuring Geraldine Chaplin and Music by Brian Eno.
about the novel:
In ”Short Letter, Long Farewell,” a German playwright is pursued by his wife, an actress, who wants to kill him. They scramble across the United States – Providence, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Tucson, northern Oregon – to California, where they meet the director John Ford, who utters sage advice that enables them to part in peace. The novel is full of vivid snapshots of American characters and scenes, and the idiosyncratic mixture of narrative, interior monologue, natural description and cultural themes and cliches is a brilliant concoction.

Early novella from Peter Handke – the German enfant terrible who had a great run in the 1970s similar to fellow countrymen Herzog, Fassbinder, and his pal Wim Wenders. Partly European-in-existential-crisis story (eh), but it’s also equally a road trip, love story, and revenge narrative with a handful of unsettling Hitchcockian elements.

It’s like “Goalie’s Anxiety” with a more ruminative first person narrator and more genre trappings, although they’re ultimately less important.

The book is deeply about the iconography of America with the story opening in Rhode Island and winding throughout the country. Some insights prove dated, some still relevant. It includes several nice digressions on the films of John Ford and has a substantial appearance by Ford himself in the last chapter of the book!

The tone and pacing is leisurely like an early 70s film but the prose is beautifully precise, unearthing startling observations every few paragraphs. Excellent essay about it by Greil Marcus in “Dustbin of History,” too

589MB | 1h 30m | 512×384 | avi



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