|Kaspar (1967) [Play]|
by Peter Handke
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(From the publisher):
, Peter Handke's first full-length play, is the story of an autistic adolescent who finds himself at a complete existential loss on the stage, with but a single sentence to call his own. This sentence, too, is exorcised from him by the prompters who, to brainwash him, use terrifyingly funny logical and alogical language-sequences that are drilled into Kaspar until he speaks "normally." As he learns the language, Kaspar also learns to arrange the stage props. The words begin to coincide with reality, and Kaspar learns to manipulate both. But Kaspar has learned too well—he becomes creative and begins "doing his own thing" with words; for this he is destroyed.
As completely unrealistic as Kaspar is, the play's substance—the programming of a theater creature by entirely theatrical means, and his eventual discovery of the artificiality of who he is and what he has been taught—could hardly be a more pertinent metaphor for our time, particularly for the young.
Original title: Kaspar
Genre: Drama and Plays→ German