All Words Suddenly Become Ridiculous: On Three Recent Translations of Thomas Bernhard

Now in the January 2013 issue of Hyperion: On the Future of Aesthetics

“Every lover of Bernhard’s writing becomes, at some point, a missionary. We want to convert people to his circular logic, infect them with the bruised beauty of his mordantly comic rant; we want everyone to comprehend that Bernhard is not only dark, but deeply human and irresistibly funny; that he’s not a pessimist, a cynic, or a misanthrope, but a relentless observer whose tender heart is encased in a prickly shell of invective: against hypocrisy, against stupidity, against duplicity in all its forms. We zealous lovers of Bernhard want to tell you all about the hypnotic pull of a passionate mind navigating whirlpools of obsessive repetition as it revolves around and around what cannot be expressed in words; we want to describe to you, in detail, how this mind finally succeeds in articulating the most elusive and elementary truths of the human condition. How the syntactical force of his prose conjures the compulsive patterns — evasion, self-deception, internalization, projection, idealization — thought undergoes as it seeks to conceal from itself what it already, all too well, knows.”


Published in issue 7–1 of Hyperion: On the Future of Aesthetics. 

Senior Editors: Andrea Scrima and Carole Viers-Andronico.

To view the PDF: Hyperion Bernhard 2013

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