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By Mei Jia | China Daily | Updated: 2019-10-14 08:11

Tokarczuk's books Primeval and Other Times.[Photo provided to China Daily]

As Handke said in a 1970 interview that his "point was to use words to encircle the audience so they could free themselves through heckling".

Yet, as he stressed in his China visit, he was not that much an experimental and avant-garde writer, because he regarded the play as a "classical" work in the style of Aristotle: "So, in this sense, I'm a writer in the classical tradition."

Hu Wei, who teaches and studies German language and literature at Peking University, says that Handke "is a legend and a misfit who doesn't readily belong to anything".

"I'm always breaking rules or boundaries," Handke says during his visit.

Born in 1942 in Austria to a Slovenian mother, he was closer to his mother's family growing up.

His mother's suicide cast a heavy shadow on him. In 1972, he created A Sorrow Beyond Dreams: A Life Story, a semi-autobiographical novella based on her life.

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