Lucy and Todd

Thomas Bernhard

In Stuff We Like on October 5, 2011 at 11:16 am

‘The healthy have never had patience with the sick, nor, of course, have the sick ever had patience with the healthy. This fact must not be forgotten. For naturally the sick make far greater demands than the healthy, who, being healthy, have no need to make such demands. The sick do not understand the healthy and the healthy do not understand the sick. This conflict often proves fatal.’

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  1. While Thomas Bernhard used to remain silent during our lunchtime walk, which to me had long become a habit, one day from the start he had a need to talk to me. Like people who for a long time have said nothing and suddenly feel it to be a terrible lack, as something alarming to themselves and the whole of society linked to them, he explained to me all at once, agitatedly, that, really, he always wanted to speak, but could not speak. I was no doubt familiar with the circumstance, that there are people, in whose presence it is impossible to speak and in my presence, it was so difficult for Thomas Bernhard to say anything that he was afraid of every word, he did not know why, he could investigate it, but such an effort would probably vex him over far too long a period of time. Especially now, looking at his most recent posthumous mention on the internet, under the pressure of hundreds of eyes, all of them hostile to his discipline, under the pressure of the ever coarsening publishing industry, the thought of talk continues to afford him vexation. “I permit myself absolutely nothing now,” he said, “I consist one hundred per cent only of my personal difficulties,” he said. “And I detest Innsbruck as I detest the internet,” he said. And then he pushed my computer over.

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