Old Masters: A Comedy (Phoenix Fiction)

By Thomas Bernhard, Ewald Osers

In this exuberantly satirical novel, the coach Atzbacher has been
summoned via his pal Reger to satisfy him in a Viennese museum. whereas
Reger gazes at a Tintoretto portrait, Atzbacher—who fears Reger's
plans to kill himself—gives us a portrait of the musicologist: his
wisdom, his devotion to his spouse, and his love-hate courting with
art. With ordinarily acerbic wit, Bernhard exposes the
pretensions and aspirations of humanity in a singular right now pessimistic
and unusually exhilarating.

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I do actually think that the Kunsthistorisches Museum is the one safe haven left to me, Reger stated, i must visit the previous masters that allows you to live on, accurately to those so-called outdated masters, who've lengthy, that's for many years, been abhorrent to me, simply because essentially not anything is extra abhorrent to me than those so-called previous masters the following on the Kunsthistorisches Museum and outdated masters in general, all outdated masters, it doesn't matter what their names are, it doesn't matter what they've got painted, Reger acknowledged, and but it really is they who retain me alive. I stroll during the urban and that i imagine that i will not endure residing during this urban to any extent further and i not just can't undergo town from now on yet that i will not undergo the total global and as a result the full of mankind to any extent further, as the global and all mankind have in the meantime develop into so ghastly that quickly they'll not be bearable, at the very least no longer for somebody corresponding to me. For a guy of mind simply as for a guy of sensitivity like me the realm and mankind will quickly not be bearable, think me, Atzbacher. I now not locate during this international and between those humans something that I delight in, he stated, every little thing during this international is dull-witted and every little thing during this mankind is simply as dull-witted. This global and our mankind have now reached a level of dull-wittedness which somebody like myself can now not find the money for, he stated, the sort of individual can now not reside in any such international, the sort of individual can now not coexist with one of these mankind, Reger acknowledged. every little thing during this international and in our mankind has been dulled right down to the bottom point, Reger acknowledged, every little thing during this international has reached the sort of measure of public chance and base brutality that i'm discovering it virtually most unlikely to head on residing even for a unmarried day at a time during this international and in our mankind. this sort of measure of low dullwittedness had no longer been inspiration attainable even via the main clear-sighted thinkers in heritage, Reger stated, now not through Schopenhauer, no longer via Nietzsche, let alone Montaigne, Reger stated, and as for our impressive international poets, our poets of mankind, what they've got envisioned for the realm and for mankind when it comes to horror and decline is not anything in comparison to the particular nation at the present. Even Dostoyevsky, one in every of our best clairvoyants, defined the longer term basically as a ridiculous idyll, simply as Diderot merely defined a ridiculous idyll of the longer term. Dostoyevsky's poor hell is so innocuous in comparison with the single within which we discover ourselves at the present time that we purely consider a chilly shiver operating down our spines once we ponder it, and a similar applies to the hell envisioned and pre-described by way of Diderot. the only, from his Russian and West-Eastern perspective, not more foresaw or expected or pre-described this absolute hell than his Western counter-thinker and counterwriter Diderot, Reger acknowledged. the realm and mankind have arrived at a country of hell, reminiscent of the realm and mankind have by no means prior to arrived at all through historical past, that's the fact, Reger stated. What those nice thinkers and those nice writers have pre-described is a favorable idyll, Reger stated, them all, whereas believing that they have been describing hell, in basic terms defined an idyll, a definitely idyllic idyll in comparison to the hell during which we now exist, Reger acknowledged.

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