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Old Masters


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Old Masters is Bernhard's third book published in 1985.  It's not long and like the other two, Woodcutters and The Loser - all three books are about the arts - is written in one long paragraph with no breaks and no chapters.  There is, however, punctuation which makes it readable.  It's billed as devilishly funny which I didn't experience and is the story of a long friendship between two, by this time, old men.  From Amazon "Reger, a music critic, has sat on the same bench in front of a Tintoretto painting in a Viennese museum, thinking and railing against contemporary society, his fellow men, artists, the weather, even the state of public lavatories. His friend Atzbacher has been summoned to meet him, and through his eyes we learn more about Reger - the tragic death of his wife, his thoughts of suicide and, eventually, the true purpose of their appointment."  It is pessimistic and rancorous and basically consists of an old man railing against the world after the death of his wife. Reger does vent about philosophers, including a now famous rant about the German philosopher Heidegger. This is a satire novel.  

 

It's very good, Bernhard's writing is always amazing but I did not see the humour in it and it did come across as very similar to the other two, but that may be why they are classed as a trilogy. 

 

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