Found guilty

Whether walking on the side or in the middle of the street, I always felt myself appraised, judged, found guilty by the Austrian crowd, the Austrian majority, and time and again I accepted their verdict, though with no idea of what I was guilty of. What a relief to be walking down a street, convinced that some member of the eye-trapper gang must be studying me from the side, and then to look up and see nothing but the vacant eyes of a doll in a shop window.

On this Yugoslavian street there was no majority, and accordingly no minority, but only a varied and yet harmonious bustle such as, apart from the small town of Jesenice, I have known only in big cities. And here, for the present, I was the foreigner, to whom, in the streets of Carinthia beyond the mountains, I have always been grateful, because he distracts attention from me, but who here had his place in the crowd, among the people of the street.

— Handke, Repetition (tr. Manheim)

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