A Sorrow Beyond Dreams

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A Sorrow Beyond Dreams
Author Peter Handke
Original title Wunschloses Unglück
Translator Ralph Manheim
Country Austria
Language German
Publisher 1972 Residenz Verlag
1975 (English)
Pages 98

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.