One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Sunday, August 10, 2014

From Thomas Bernhard's "The Loser"

Re Thomas Bernhard's "ovular logic": still enjoying it. Only now it'll have to be in smaller bites: Summer is over (too soon).

*

Excerpt #1:
The trip from Vienna to Chur took thirteen hours, Austrian trains are a disaster, their dining cars, assuming there is one, serve only the worst food. A glass of mineral water set in front of me, I planned to reread after twenty years Musil's The Confusions of Young Torless, which however I didn't manage, I no longer tolerate stories, I read a page and can't read further.

Excerpt #2:
The mind, wherever it makes its claims felt, is finished off and locked up and of course immediately branded as mindless, he said, I thought while looking up at the restaurant ceiling. But everything we say is nonsense, he said, I thought, no matter what we say it is nonsense and our entire life is a single piece of nonsense. I understood that early on, I'd barely started to think for myself and I already understood that, we speak only nonsense, everything we say is nonsense, but everything thing that is said to us is also nonsense, like everything that is said at all, in this world only nonsense has been said until now and, he said, only nonsense has actually and naturally been written, the writings we possess are only nonsense because they can only be nonsense, as history proves, he said, I thought.

Excerpt #3:
Glenn, whom even today people assume to have had the weakest constitution, was an athletic type. Hunched over his Steinway, he looked like a cripple, that's how the entire musical world knows him, but this entire musical world is prey to a total misconception, I thought. Glenn is portrayed everywhere as a cripple and a weakling, as the transcendent artist his fans can accept only with his infirmity and the hypersensitivity that goes along with this infirmity, but actually he was an athletic type, much stronger than Wertheimer and me put together, we realized that at once when he went out to chop down an ash tree with is own hands, an ash tree in front of his window, which, as he put it, obstructed his playing.
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