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av Thomas Bernhard

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
605928,567 (4.03)22
Instead of the book he's meant to write, Rudolph, a Viennese musicologist, produces this tale of procrastination, failure, and despair, a dark and grotesquely funny story of small woes writ large and profound horrors detailed and rehearsed to the point of distraction. "Certain books—few—assert literary importance instantly, profoundly. This new novel by the internationally praised but not widely known Austrian writer is one of those—a book of mysterious dark beauty . . . . [It] is overwhelming; one wants to read it again, immediately, to re-experience its intricate innovations, not to let go of this masterful work."—John Rechy, Los Angeles Times "Rudolph is not obstructed by some malfunctions in part of his being—his being itself is a knot. And as Bernhard's narrative proceeds, we begin to register the dimensions of his crisis, its self-consuming circularity . . . . Where rage of this intensity is directed outward, we often find the sociopath; where inward, the suicide. Where it breaks out laterally, onto the page, we sometimes find a most unsettling artistic vision."—Sven Birkerts, The New Republic… (mer)

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» Se även 22 omnämnanden

Picked this up as Karl Ove Knausgaard was raving about it (either in an interview or one of his books, I forget) and can definitely see the influence Bernhard had on him. I loved parts - particularly the ranty sections - but it developed into a bit of a slog. Good approximation of the creative process in general though. ( )
  arewenotben | Jul 31, 2020 |
For the life of me, I can't recall the year I read this one, I suppose that the appropriately fitting gray period in my life between 1999 and 2001 allowed this one to serve as a mirror for my own confused meandering. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
http://msarki.tumblr.com/post/79383376331/concrete-by-thomas-bernhard

It is almost impossible to write a critical review of a book I read almost twenty years ago and now am attempting to read again after having been philosophically and physically altered so dramatically from the person I was way back then. In 1996 I was a first-year student of the infamous fiction-writing teacher [a:Gordon Lish|232097|Gordon Lish|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1267719924p2/232097.jpg] and it was he who had informed me of the great work of Thomas Bernhard. I did not keep a journal from that period so I am hard-pressed to remember my first Bernhard introduction, but I would hazard a guess it was [b:Wittgenstein's Nephew|92578|Wittgenstein's Nephew|Thomas Bernhard|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1328874373s/92578.jpg|89281]. This book, Concrete, most likely followed in relatively good speed as I am wont to devour, in great measure, anything I discover myself extremely interested in. Bernhard was, and still is for me, one of these delicacies.

For several years now I have claimed Concrete as my favorite of all the Bernhard novels. That is not true for me today. Recently I read again the brilliant short novel [b:Yes|92572|Yes|Thomas Bernhard|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1238384600s/92572.jpg|2957340] and found that to be a better read for me than Concrete. One may also add [b:Extinction|162612|Extinction|Thomas Bernhard|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1238384069s/162612.jpg|25436242], [b:Frost|12203|Frost|Thomas Bernhard|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1388692585s/12203.jpg|1244054], and quite possibly even [b:Woodcutters|92576|Woodcutters|Thomas Bernhard|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1328874375s/92576.jpg|1588962] to that growing list of novels I find to be far superior to my first-acquired Bernhard favorite.

… When we really know the world, we see it is just a world full of errors.

The main character in Concrete was himself a musicologist and is now a procrastinator to the extreme. He does not it seems continue to compile detailed notes in which to refer to when he finally sits down to compose his master work. He tells us this proposal is based on his favorite composer Mendelssohn Bartholdy, a study he has been planning on writing for going on ten years. The more the name Mendelssohn Bartholdy is mentioned the more it begins to have its poetical qualities. Its specific repetitions reminds me of an almost David Letterman intensity. Fact is, Rudolf the narrator, has written nothing but notes that he casually mentions near the end of this book that proved, I guess, to provide the substance of the novel Concrete I am holding in my hands. Daily, without fail, Rudolf prepares his materials precisely on his desk enabling him in his effort for the sitting down to it, the beginning of his work, but then something always keeps him from composing that first sentence. He knows if he could just write it he would be well on his way. His reasons for not forming that first sentence on the page are in fact numerable (and mounting), and humorous enough if a fellow writer with the same difficulty just so happens to be reading this.

I do not have the same problem Thomas Bernhard so adequately portrays in this novel. "Writer's block" is a condition I do not prescribe to, nor do I believe in. A writer writes, she revises and edits, and often destroys the work that seemed at first to have had so much promise. I think that when I was first introduced to this book I harbored enough of my own difficulties on the page to collect some solace in a character with the same problems as I. But the more I worked and perfected my craft the less trouble I had with beginnings as I new that this was the best place to start. Often the first words get pushed to somewhere near the middle, or even to the end, and sometimes nowhere at all. But in order to have something to revise one must have something in which to work with. In many cases almost anything will do, though it helps to be severe in one's editing.

I still love Concrete but I have lost the same affinity for it I had so many years ago. As I mentioned at the top of the page there are just so many other Bernhards to read and enjoy that this novel for me no longer stands as the very best of all of them. Extreme anxiety, neuroticism, incessant O.C.D, intolerance, suicide, insanity, and procrastination are at times quite entertaining and funny when looked at through the eyes of Thomas Bernhard, but I have learned through the years that I need more than these large doses of these rather unseemly human conditions in order to keep me satisfied. I like a bit more story in my favorite Bernhards. I generally storm through the very best of his work, but I found this novel on second read to be lacking in the generous spirit I have discovered in reading certain others. But please, do not confuse this review as something negative. Thomas Bernhard is in my book simply the best. There is no other who could possibly replace him. ( )
  MSarki | Jan 24, 2015 |
http://msarki.tumblr.com/post/79383376331/concrete-by-thomas-bernhard

It is almost impossible to write a critical review of a book I read almost twenty years ago and now am attempting to read again after having been philosophically and physically altered so dramatically from the person I was way back then. In 1996 I was a first-year student of the infamous fiction-writing teacher [a:Gordon Lish|232097|Gordon Lish|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1267719924p2/232097.jpg] and it was he who had informed me of the great work of Thomas Bernhard. I did not keep a journal from that period so I am hard-pressed to remember my first Bernhard introduction, but I would hazard a guess it was [b:Wittgenstein's Nephew|92578|Wittgenstein's Nephew|Thomas Bernhard|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1328874373s/92578.jpg|89281]. This book, Concrete, most likely followed in relatively good speed as I am wont to devour, in great measure, anything I discover myself extremely interested in. Bernhard was, and still is for me, one of these delicacies.

For several years now I have claimed Concrete as my favorite of all the Bernhard novels. That is not true for me today. Recently I read again the brilliant short novel [b:Yes|92572|Yes|Thomas Bernhard|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1238384600s/92572.jpg|2957340] and found that to be a better read for me than Concrete. One may also add [b:Extinction|162612|Extinction|Thomas Bernhard|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1238384069s/162612.jpg|25436242], [b:Frost|12203|Frost|Thomas Bernhard|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1388692585s/12203.jpg|1244054], and quite possibly even [b:Woodcutters|92576|Woodcutters|Thomas Bernhard|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1328874375s/92576.jpg|1588962] to that growing list of novels I find to be far superior to my first-acquired Bernhard favorite.

… When we really know the world, we see it is just a world full of errors.

The main character in Concrete was himself a musicologist and is now a procrastinator to the extreme. He does not it seems continue to compile detailed notes in which to refer to when he finally sits down to compose his master work. He tells us this proposal is based on his favorite composer Mendelssohn Bartholdy, a study he has been planning on writing for going on ten years. The more the name Mendelssohn Bartholdy is mentioned the more it begins to have its poetical qualities. Its specific repetitions reminds me of an almost David Letterman intensity. Fact is, Rudolf the narrator, has written nothing but notes that he casually mentions near the end of this book that proved, I guess, to provide the substance of the novel Concrete I am holding in my hands. Daily, without fail, Rudolf prepares his materials precisely on his desk enabling him in his effort for the sitting down to it, the beginning of his work, but then something always keeps him from composing that first sentence. He knows if he could just write it he would be well on his way. His reasons for not forming that first sentence on the page are in fact numerable (and mounting), and humorous enough if a fellow writer with the same difficulty just so happens to be reading this.

I do not have the same problem Thomas Bernhard so adequately portrays in this novel. "Writer's block" is a condition I do not prescribe to, nor do I believe in. A writer writes, she revises and edits, and often destroys the work that seemed at first to have had so much promise. I think that when I was first introduced to this book I harbored enough of my own difficulties on the page to collect some solace in a character with the same problems as I. But the more I worked and perfected my craft the less trouble I had with beginnings as I new that this was the best place to start. Often the first words get pushed to somewhere near the middle, or even to the end, and sometimes nowhere at all. But in order to have something to revise one must have something in which to work with. In many cases almost anything will do, though it helps to be severe in one's editing.

I still love Concrete but I have lost the same affinity for it I had so many years ago. As I mentioned at the top of the page there are just so many other Bernhards to read and enjoy that this novel for me no longer stands as the very best of all of them. Extreme anxiety, neuroticism, incessant O.C.D, intolerance, suicide, insanity, and procrastination are at times quite entertaining and funny when looked at through the eyes of Thomas Bernhard, but I have learned through the years that I need more than these large doses of these rather unseemly human conditions in order to keep me satisfied. I like a bit more story in my favorite Bernhards. I generally storm through the very best of his work, but I found this novel on second read to be lacking in the generous spirit I have discovered in reading certain others. But please, do not confuse this review as something negative. Thomas Bernhard is in my book simply the best. There is no other who could possibly replace him. ( )
  MSarki | Jan 24, 2015 |
Readers already familiar with Thomas Bernhard's work should likely find Concrete to be one of his easier to read novels. As with other Bernhard narrators, this one, an ailing and curmudgeonly musicologist, has failed to produce anything "concrete" following his years of painstaking research. In this case, the topic of interest is composers, in particular Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Largely self-taught and independently wealthy due to an inheritance, the narrator lives alone at his family's estate, where he is frequently visited by his socialite sister, who vexes him to no end. The main components of the novel are as follows: a long diatribe about his sister; a period of contemplation on whether to go to Palma de Mallorca for the winter; an excruciating series of preparations and hesitations once the decision has been made; and finally a lengthy anecdote about a young woman he encountered two years ago in Palma. The entire narrative (or "notes," as he calls them) was written once he arrived in Palma. Most of Bernhard's usual themes are represented, including critiques on all things Austrian (or Western, or Human, depending on how one chooses to read them). The book weighs in at only around 47,000 words, and Bernhard's flowing musical prose style carries the reader steadily through to the end. ( )
  S.D. | Jan 17, 2015 |
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Bernhard, Thomasprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
McLintock, DavidÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Instead of the book he's meant to write, Rudolph, a Viennese musicologist, produces this tale of procrastination, failure, and despair, a dark and grotesquely funny story of small woes writ large and profound horrors detailed and rehearsed to the point of distraction. "Certain books—few—assert literary importance instantly, profoundly. This new novel by the internationally praised but not widely known Austrian writer is one of those—a book of mysterious dark beauty . . . . [It] is overwhelming; one wants to read it again, immediately, to re-experience its intricate innovations, not to let go of this masterful work."—John Rechy, Los Angeles Times "Rudolph is not obstructed by some malfunctions in part of his being—his being itself is a knot. And as Bernhard's narrative proceeds, we begin to register the dimensions of his crisis, its self-consuming circularity . . . . Where rage of this intensity is directed outward, we often find the sociopath; where inward, the suicide. Where it breaks out laterally, onto the page, we sometimes find a most unsettling artistic vision."—Sven Birkerts, The New Republic

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