So, Thomas Bernhard: Old Masters
At this point, I think I can soundly proclaim that Bernhard is one of my favourite writers. Despite writing in a formulaic manner, his writing is still fresh. Old Masters
and The Lime-works
are quite alike in their characters and form. An old man, a maniac of an old man, against the world somewhere in Austria, ranting obsessively about things to someone (in the case of Old Masters
, Atzbacher, a "Private Scholar") about an assortment of topics, such as philosophy, music, art, and modernity.
Nothing much happens in the novel, all of it takes place on a single afternoon in the Kunsthistorische Museum
in Vienna (Which I actually saw when I went to the Naturhistorische Museum
, so I got the picture quite well). Of course the scope of the novel is larger, because the protagonist, Rege, a Musikphilosoph
for lack of a better term, keeps recounting his experiences with death, survival, music, Austrian politics and humanity's cultural decline.
These opinions take on the form of a Bernhardian rant
, seamlessly connecting each and every opinion of Reger into one long winded wall of text that keeps raging on.
I'd say Bernhard is what's happen if a Kafka character decided to "man the fuck up
" and turn the whole Kafkaesque world upside down. The protagonists in Bernhard's works combat the absurdity of modern existence through their own insane absurdity and self-absorbed manias.
I did a little experiment, and I read out aloud some of the book. I felt genuinely angry and mad by the time I stopped. Another testament to just simply how natural and elemental Bernhard's prose is.
It's scary how Reger's opinions can be insanely uncomfortable to the average man, while also sometimes being painfully true.
I watched a short excerpt from an interview with the author, and he talks just the way he writes.
Overall, 10/10, would recommend. A great book by a great author. >>27777
I read it in Hungarian.