The Loser: A Novel

By Thomas Bernhard

Thomas Bernhard used to be the most unique writers of the 20th century. His formal innovation ranks with Beckett and Kafka, his outrageously cantankerous voice remembers Dostoevsky, yet his present for lacerating, lyrical, provocative prose is incomparably his own.One of Bernhard's such a lot acclaimed novels, The Loser facilities on a fictional dating among piano virtuoso Glenn Gould and of his fellow scholars who suppose forced to give up their musical objectives within the face of Gould's incomparable genius. One commits suicide, whereas the other-- the obsessive, witty, and self-mocking narrator-- has retreated into obscurity. Written as a monologue in a single outstanding unbroken paragraph, The Loser is a super meditation on good fortune, failure, genius, and status.

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He and Bach lived during this condo in the United States till his dying. He used to be a enthusiast approximately order. every little thing in his condominium was once order. while I first walked throughout the door with Wertheimer, I needed to contemplate his notion of strength of will. once we have been inside of he didn’t ask us, for instance, if we have been thirsty yet sat down at his Steinway and performed for us these passages from the Goldberg diversifications that he had performed in Leopoldskron the day prior to his departure for Canada. His process used to be as excellent because it was once then. At that second i noticed that nobody else on the earth may possibly play like that. He sank into himself and commenced in. begun low and performed upwards, so that you could communicate, unlike all of the others, who performed from the pinnacle down. That used to be his mystery. For years I tormented myself with the query even if it was once correct to go to him in the United States. A pitiful query. first and foremost Wertheimer didn’t are looking to, i eventually talked him into it. Wertheimer’s sister was once opposed to her brother vacationing the world-famous Glenn Gould, whom she thought of harmful for him. Wertheimer ultimately prevailed over his sister and got here with me to the US and to Glenn. again and again I stored telling myself, this is often our final likelihood to determine Glenn. i really was once awaiting his demise and that i had completely desired to see him back, pay attention him play, i assumed as I stood within the resort and inhaled the inn’s fetid aroma, which was once all too typical. I knew Wankham. I constantly stayed during this resort whilst i used to be in Wankham, while I visited Wertheimer, for the reason that I couldn’t stick with Wertheimer, he couldn’t tolerate in a single day site visitors. I searched for the innkeeper, yet every little thing used to be nonetheless. Wertheimer hated having site visitors remain in a single day, abhorred them. visitors usually, of any type, he bought them and paid them compliments, they have been slightly within the door prior to they have been out back, now not that he might have complimented me out the door, I knew him too good for that, yet after a couple of hours he most well-liked me to vanish instead of remain and spend the evening. I’ve by no means spent the evening at his residence, it by no means may have happened to me, i assumed, preserving a pointy lookout for the innkeeper. Glenn was once a big-city individual, like me by the way, like Wertheimer, at backside we enjoyed every little thing approximately sizeable towns and hated the rustic, which besides the fact that we exploited to the hilt (as we did town, by the way, in its personal way). Wertheimer and Glenn had ultimately moved to the rustic as a result of their in poor health lungs, Wertheimer extra reluctantly than Glenn, Glenn on precept, due to the fact he ultimately may possibly now not post with humans as a rule, Wertheimer due to his non-stop coughing suits within the urban and since his internist informed him he had no likelihood of surviving within the sizeable urban. For over 20 years Wertheimer chanced on safe haven along with his sister on the Kohlmarkt, in a single of the most important and most opulent flats in Vienna. yet eventually his sister married a so-called industrialist from Switzerland and moved in together with her husband in Zizers bei Chur. Of all areas Switzerland and of each person a chemical-plant proprietor, as Wertheimer expressed it to me.

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