A Sorrow Beyond Dreams

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A Sorrow Beyond Dreams
AuthorPeter Handke
Original titleWunschloses Unglück
TranslatorRalph Manheim
Publisher1972 Residenz Verlag
1975 (English)

A Sorrow Beyond Dreams (German: Wunschloses Unglück) is a 1972 semi-autobiographical novella by the Austrian writer Peter Handke. It is based on the life of Handke's mother.


Thomas Curwen of the Los Angeles Times wrote in 2003: "Mental illness is a phrase you won't find in Handke's account of his mother's death, yet it surely waits in the wings. ... While the pleasure, if this is the word, of reading Handke comes from the existential assumptions of his story, it is important to realize that suicide -- the reality, as opposed to the idea (which Camus seemed to savor) -- is not an existential dilemma. It is the final, tragic outcome of a psychiatric illness. Yet how prepared are we for this knowledge?"[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Curwen, Thomas (2003-01-05). "Choosing against life". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-03-17.