Peter Handke: Die morawische Nacht [The Moravian Night]

(1640 words)
  • Scott Abbott (Rheinisch-Westfalische TH)

Evoking The Arabian Nights in his title and again in his first sentence (“Every country has its Samarkand and its Numancia”), Peter Handke's narrator links this story to legendary tales told by characters who must keep telling stories to escape danger. There is no plague here, as in Boccaccio's Decameron, but the houseboat moored on the Morava River is compared to Numancia, the last place of refuge for Spanish Celts from the Roman Empire; and on this night “between the wars”, the narrator joins others on a houseboat for a night of storytelling by the boot's owner, an ex-author back from a lengthy journey through Europe. In the telling of stories through the night and in the recounting of stories about the …

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Abbott, Scott. "Die morawische Nacht". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 December 2008
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]