A testify to your failures | Thomas Bernhard, 1986

A testify to your failures | Thomas Bernhard, 1986

In one of your speeches you once said: “We have to report about nothing but the fact that we are wretched.” Do you write in order to testify to your failures?

No, I do everything for myself. All people do so. Whether they are rope-dancing or baking bread or conducting a train or whether they are stunt pilots. Though stunt pilots have performances where people look up. While he flies beautifully they wait for his fall. It’s the same with writers. But other then the stunt pilot, who is dead when that happens, the writer will also be dead but will always start again. There is always a new performance. The older he gets the higher he flies. Until one day you can’t see him any longer and ask: “Strange, why doesn’t he fall down?”

Writing delights me. That’s nothing new. That’s the only thing that still supports me, that will also come to an end. That’s how it is. One does not live forever. But as long as I live I live writing. That’s how I exist. There are months or years when I cannot write. Then it comes back. Such rhythm is both brutal and at the same time a great thing, something others don’t experience.

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