"Because the snow was white and because snow was the first white I saw, I called everything white snow. I was given a handkerchief that was white, but I believed it would bite me because the white snow bit my hand when I touched it, and I did not touch the handkerchief, and when I knew the word snow I called the handkerchief snow: but later, when I also knew the word handkerchief, when I saw a white handkerchief, even when I uttered the word handkerchief, I still thought the word snow, because of which I first began to remember.
But a brown or gray handkerchief was not snow, just as the first brown or gray snow I saw was not snow, but the first gray or brown that I saw, for example animal droppings or a sweater. But a white wall was snow, and just as much as absolutely everything became snow when I looked into the sun for a long time, because I then saw only snow.
Finally I even used the word snow, out of curiosity, for something that was not white, to see whether it would turn to snow because of my uttering the word snow, and even if I did not say the word snow I was thinking it and remembered at every sight if not the snow itself at least the word snow. Even while falling asleep or while walking along a country lane or while running in the dark I kept saying the word snow all the time.
But finally I reached the point where I no longer believed not only words and sentences about snow, but even the snow itself when it lay there in front of me or was falling, did not believe any more and held it neither for real nor as possible, only because I no longer believed the word snow."
The dominant theme of the avant-garde Austrian playwright, novelist, poet, and essayist PETER HANDKE's writings is that ordinary language, everyday reality, and their accompanying rational order constrain and deaden human beings. Kaspar is about how language speaks through, controls and destroys its speaker.
Performed at the Little Theatre, N.C.P.A., under the auspices of CHAURAHA, an interactive inter-disciplinary arts forum for the presentation of work in an informal environment.