One of this novel's minor but telling peculiarities is the narrator's extreme reluctance to resort to proper names, and to describe the book in its own preferred style would be to avoid for as long as possible any mention of the author's name or the title of his book. True, we learn (or seem to learn) from the first sentence that the main character bears the last name of Sorger, but in German this is as good as allegorical—Sorger means one who takes care or has cares—and the man's given name in any case doesn't come up for some fifty pages. The place in which the man is working will elicit a description of almost naturalistic precision, but its name is likewise withheld for many pages, as is the disciplinary title attached to his work: a patient and reverent bestowal of attention that involves, above all, "the search for forms," and resembles geology.
And, of course, this fascinates me as I work on an essay all about the concept of names and naming, which I've mentioned briefly before: the essay will be crafted entirely out of quotes from any and every source, something I've been wanting to do for a couple of years, but hadn't found fitting subject matter until I started doing the name drop posts here. Then when I read that Walter Benjamin had wanted to write an essay this way, too, I experienced that simultaneous disappointment and inspiration that someone had had this idea way before I did.
It appears that namelessness runs through most of Handke's books. I'm going to be checking into his work asap.