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Ja par Thomas Bernhard
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Ja (original 1978; édition 1978)

par Thomas Bernhard (Auteur)

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3531255,361 (4.08)18
The narrator, a scientist working on antibodies and suffering from emotional and mental illness, meets a Persian woman, the companion of a Swiss engineer, at an office in rural Austria. For the scientist, his endless talks with the strange Asian woman mean release from his condition, but for the Persian woman, as her own circumstances deteriorate, there is only one answer. "Thomas Bernhard was one of the few major writers of the second half of this century."—Gabriel Josipovici, Independent "With his death, European letters lost one of its most perceptive, uncompromising voices since the war."—Spectator Widely acclaimed as a novelist, playwright, and poet, Thomas Bernhard (1931-89) won many of the most prestigious literary prizes of Europe, including the Austrian State Prize, the Bremen and Brüchner prizes, and Le Prix Séguier.… (plus d'informations)
Membre:W.G.Sebald
Titre:Ja
Auteurs:Thomas Bernhard (Auteur)
Info:Suhrkamp
Collections:Votre bibliothèque, Nachlassbibliothek-Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach, LITERATURE
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Mots-clés:German and Austrian literature

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Oui par Thomas Bernhard (1978)

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» Voir aussi les 18 mentions

Affichage de 1-5 de 12 (suivant | tout afficher)
This is what a love story looks like once it's been thoroughly Bernhardised: much better, in other words, than your average love story, but perhaps not as good as your average Bernhard novel. It's great fun to watch the standard "I was feeling hopeless and depressed but then I met a fascinating woman and we both felt great and I performed great works and she did too" narrative given a more realistic conclusion, and waiting for it to reach that conclusion was enjoyable. But there's not much else going on other than a grim and glorious riposte to the famously affirmative conclusion of Joyce's Ulysses: while Molly Bloom (spoiler alert!), orgasmically affirms life and love, Bernhard's version of Molly affirms suicide. And it's just as affirmative.

Also, it's way more fun to refer to this book as Ja, said with a toothy Austrian accent. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
Ik ben een grote fan van de Spaanse schrijver Javier Marias. Ik heb gemerkt dat voor diens Proustiaanse schrijfstijl onder meer Thomas Bernhard als inspiratiebron wordt opgegeven. Van Bernhard las ik alleen nog maar “De neef van Wittgenstein”, en toen zag ik de link niet direct. Maar met dit ‘Ja’ is het me wel duidelijk geworden. Bernhard start deze middellange monoloog met een onmogelijk lange zin van maar liefst 6 bladzijden. En dergelijke stunts keren geregeld terug. Heel spitsvondig en af en toe echt briljant geformuleerd. Maar ik merkte vrij vlug dat er in de zinsconstructies regelmatig iets haperde: Bernhard durft wel eens onnatuurlijke verspringingen maken en zinsdelen combineren waar inhoudelijk een punt tussen hoort. Dat zal je bij Marias niet gauw tegenkomen. Het lijkt me dus dat Marias absoluut het stijlproçédé van Bernhard geperfectioneerd heeft en natuurlijker maakt.
En dan is er de inhoud. In essentie is dit verhaal kort samen te vatten, zonder al te veel van de intrige weg te geven: de verteller is op een dood punt in zijn leven gekomen, houdt er duidelijk suïcidale gedachten op na, maar ontdekt dan iemand – een Iraanse vrouw die al 40 jaar getrouwd is met een drukdoende Zwitserse architect-ingenieur - die er duidelijk nog slechter aan toe is en er ook consequent naar handelt. Waar we onze verteller aanvankelijk onze sympathie lijkt op te wekken voor zijn ‘Geisteskrankheit’, blijkt hij in vergelijking met een Iraanse maar een zwakke zielenpoot. Wie Bernhard een beetje kent, weet dat hij geen opbeurend verhaal mag verwachten, zelfs niet in een boekje dat de titel ‘Ja’ draagt. Even dacht ik dat die ‘ja’ een echo is van Penelope Bloom’s fenomenale slotakkoord in Ulysses van James Joyce. Maar achteraf blijkt het net het tegendeel daarvan te zijn.
Ook in dit boekje, zoals eerder in ‘De neef van Wittgenstein’ kan Bernhard het niet laten om scherp af te geven op de bekrompen wereld om hem (vooral de Oostenrijkse uiteraard), en de zinloosheid van het bestaan. Hij heeft alle recht om dat te doen vind ik, maar zijn boodschap begint zelfs al na de 2de keer redelijk afgezaagd te worden. De monoloog van de sociaal geïsoleerde verteller zit ook vol voortdurende herhalingen, die erg op de zenuwen werken. Maar al bij al, als je de nihilistische ondertoon erbij neemt en je over de wat inconsequente stijl kan heen zetten, dan is dit een best lezenswaardig boekje. Niks meer, niks minder. Ik prefereer nog altijd Marias. ( )
  bookomaniac | Jul 26, 2019 |
When Endings Ruin Books

By this I don't mean bad endings, I mean endings of any kind. What makes Bernhard so compulsively readable are his uncontrolled compulsions--hatred, misanthropy, disappointment, a perennially renewable feeling of outrage at the primitive, evil, selfish, filthy, animal-like characteristics of his fellow Austrians. The endlessness of his outrage is parallel to other authors' endlessnesses, for example Beckett's existential horror, or Swift's revulsion about bodies. And whatever is endless and can also be narrated needs not to have an ending.

Bernhard's "Gargoyles" is his best in this regard because it is almost bewilderlingly poorly structured: it is built around an unexpected monologue that ends, not because the speaker falls silent, but because the book has a last page.

"Yes" is a typical--by which I mean hypnotically self-involved and rigorously negative--Bernhard novel until page 121 in the English translation, because that is when we learn why a certain Swiss person bought a property for himself and his partner in the worst possible place (a sodden cold meadow that gets no sun and is only accessible through a cemetery): he wanted revenge on his partner of forty years. Then, a couple of pages later, we learn how the partner, a Persian woman, comes to understand the narrator's desperate state (he is a "failed" person, and suicidal), and she rejects him. And then she goes to live in the unfinished house the Swiss man had started to build for them. And then she stops eating. And then she kills herself.

Should I have done the usual thing and put "spoiler alert" at the top of these notes? (I know that on Goodreads people can do that even without the author of the review agreeing to it.) I don't think so. Bernhard novels are structured in such a way that they do not have "plots" with "suspense" or "endings." Their entire point, in that regard, is the hopelessness of the desire for endings or solutions, for finality, for what's now called closure. They are driven by a narrator--an implied author--who knows that endings cannot be anything more than fictions, and who struggles, in each book and between books, to understand what writing might be when it does not end. This is ostensively the case in much of Bernhard's fiction, and it is said by the narrator early on in "Yes": it's necessary, he says, to keep trying to accomplish something even though you know you cannot finish and if you do finish what you have accomplished will be a failure.

The best of Bernhard's work enacts this cannibalistic despair in spectacular fashion. This book fails to enact it, which means, in Bernhard's own logic, that it actually ends: it has a plot, which has a resolution (in fact, multiple resolutions, as if it protests too much about its own closure). And therefore, in a way that is entirely inverted from the normal understanding, it has events that can be called spoilers. And yet: if your reading is at all spoiled by what I wrote in the third paragraph, you are entirely misreading Bernhard: you're hoping that at his best he is one of the Austrian bourgeois that he hated so poisonously--and in this book, right at the end, he nearly is.

As a postscript I might add that the reason this book is driven toward such neat resolutions is its author's resolution to write directly about his thoughts of suicide: a subject that is always among the most difficult to put into fiction.
1 voter JimElkins | Jul 10, 2018 |
http://msarki.tumblr.com/post/77901892389/yes-by-thomas-bernhard

Not enough praise has been accorded regarding the story-telling talents of Thomas Bernhard. There have been more than enough remarks referring to his long tirades and vitriol as well as his use of the long-sentenced paragraph and repetitive phrase. In this novel Yes not only does the reader come to a clear understanding of story, there is also a distinct and memorable feeling for this extreme setting and its inhabitants. By book's end it is obvious this novel has a quite wonderful and clever plot.

The narrator of Yes remains nameless. He is a depressive sort, a scientist who for almost every reason has found it impossible to work and has thus locked himself up inside his musty old home for the better part of the last three months. It is only upon meeting this Persian woman, the female half of a Swiss couple planning to build a drab concrete structure on an equally dismal plot of low-lying land far enough out of town in which they would certainly have to stock up on survival provisions when the wet season begins. Meanwhile the Swiss couple are holed up in the only inn the village can boast of. It so happens the same inn is also in need of repair and vigorous cleaning. So despair, unsurprisingly it seems, is the norm in this part of the Austrian countryside.

The narrator, as scientist, claims his main conflict has been caused by his lung disease. Previously he lived and worked in the city and seemed to have no trouble thinking and getting on with his study. But his doctor insisted the narrator move to the country where he could breathe clean air and his lung disease could perhaps be held in check enough so he could live. But his living without pursuing the activities so detrimental to his mind makes him question why he would want to stay alive anyway. He says he struggles mentally over ending it all through suicide, but for reasons I am sure the narrator will eventually explain he could not bring himself to do it.

Typically, to ward off his yearly complaint of depression, which in general begins each October of every year, the narrator indulges himself with either the works of philosopher Schopenhauer or composer Schuman, or both, in order to save himself. But this particular year neither genius helps him to keep his darkness at bay and he finds himself engaged in the most unreceptive and unresponsive state of "not-being-able-to-bear-it-any-longer". With this terrible discovery he rushes out of his dismal prison and runs through the wood to Moritz's to "pounce on him" with his insanity and "wounding him" in the most "shameless manner." This regrettable scene is almost immediately interrupted by the arrival of the afore-mentioned Swiss couple knocking at the door of the realtor Moritz. In this scene it is almost as if the narrator no longer exists as the conversation centers around the new home the Swiss couple is planning to build on the pitiful lot Moritz has sold them.

There is no comprehension at all for the narrator over how this intelligent, successful, and well-traveled Swiss couple who after spending four decades together could actually decide to settle into retirement to this small village on a piece of ground that Moritz has had listed for sale for as many years as the couple spent together roaming the world as the Swiss engineer built power stations. It was also remarkable to the narrator how his best friend Moritz had never once mentioned the Swiss couple even after working with them over the last several months. But the narrator is immediately taken by the seemingly intelligent Persian woman who remains silent and indifferent throughout the entire meeting as the Swiss does all the talking and deciding over the design and construction to take place on this water-logged property.

Suffice to say, the narrator pursues a friendly non-sexual relationship with the Persian woman who is staying at the local inn while the Swiss finishes the last power station he is constructing in Venezuela and as he also travels to Switzerland to procure for their new home the desired quality of building materials that are impossible for him to find in Austria. The Persian woman is available for the narrator to visit with over a cup of tea at the inn or a pleasant walk in the forest glade. It is of great relief for the narrator to have found this woman in his life and to have someone who is intelligent to talk to and who is also familiar with the work of his most-loved composer and philosopher, Schuman and Schopenhauer.

It has been stated more than once in critical reviews by others that Bernhard fails to develop his characters. I find this not to be true. Of all the characters in this novel brought to our attention by the halfway mark I am most impressed with the innkeeper's wife who the narrator masterfully illustrates for us her incessant need to spy and eavesdrop, spread gossip and judgments throughout her awful little town.

What has occurred during the past few weeks is suddenly becoming clear, and it becomes bearable because I am trying, by putting these notes on paper, to make it bearable, and these notes have no other purpose than to record in writing my encounter with the Swiss couple and more particularly with the Persian woman and thereby to find relief and thereby possibly to open up once more an approach to my studies.

Upon my recent discovery and further involvement in the works of another great writer, Hungarian-born Ágota Kristof, I not only learned but also came to believe in her talent as a writer. She was as well an interesting, hard-working person of note. Kristof spent most of her life living in French-speaking Switzerland and it was there she herself discovered the work of the great Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard. Yes just so happened to be her very first and favorite title of all his entire body of work. She mentioned in her short memoir The Illiterate how while reading Yes the first time she had never laughed so much or so hard in her life, so much so that she lent this book to several friends who upon returning it admitted their failing at reading it all the way to the end. They all claimed the book was too 'demoralizing' and 'unbearable'. All of them to a fault failed to see any of the 'comic' side to Thomas Bernhard that Ágota Kristof was so taken with. For me, this was my second time around with Thomas Bernhard's Yes. I loved it even more this visit and it passed the test of my further review and more intense gaze. There is nobody like Bernhard no matter how hard others try, and sometimes succeed, in crafting a suitable read that might even be possibly compared to his work at times. Yes, the ending is quite unforgiving but the journey getting there is worth the ultimately lessened, or lessoned, discomfort and pain.

This novel begins as a mystery, but plenty of clues are left scattered along the way and the trail remains certainly well-marked throughout relieving the little fear one might have for getting lost. Yes is also definitely a story about relationships. How significant it is to have and maintain at least one friend in which to talk to. The novel is more importantly, I think, a history of one's usefulness and what can happen when you find you are no longer needed and sadly begin to feel used-up. ( )
  MSarki | Jan 24, 2015 |
My first experience with Thomas Bernhard has left me wanting more and half way through I ordered two more of his books. While a short book, this took me several days to read because of the stream of consciousness and the beautiful language that encompasses the mind of the author/narrator. I felt while reading as if I was taking a leisurely stroll through the mind of the main character. I found the stream of consciousness fascinating and wondered if this was because of the translation or, if a more interesting concept, that it was deliberate on the part of the author in trying to explain the main character's mental illness.

I have " discovered" another author I love and want to read everything by him. Should you read this? My answer is a heartfelt YES! ( )
  allgenresbookworm | Jun 23, 2014 |
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Der Schweizer und seine Lebensgefährtin waren gerade bei dem Realitätenvermittler Moritz aufgetreten, als ich diesem zum erstenmal die Symptome meiner Gefühls- und Geisteserkrankung nicht nur anzudeuten und schließlich als eine Wissenschaft klarzumachen versuchte, sondern dem Moritz, dem mir zu diesem Zeitpunkt wahrscheinlich tatsächlich am nächsten stehenden Menschen urplötzlich auf die rücksichtsloseste Weise die nicht nur angekränkelte, sondern schon zur Gänze von Krankheit verunstaltete Innenseite meiner ihm bis dahin ja nur von der ihn nicht weiter irritierenden und also in keiner Weise beunruhigend berührenden Oberfläche her bekannten Existenz nach außen zu stülpen ins moritzsche Haus gekommen war und ihn allein durch die unvermittelte Brutalität meines Experiments erschrecken und entsetzen mußte, dadurch, daß ich an diesem Nachmittag von einem Augenblick auf den anderen vollkommen ab- und aufdeckte, was ich das ganze Jahrzent meiner Bekanntschaft und Freundschaft mit dem Moritz vor ihm verborgen, ja schließlich nach und nach die ganze Zeit vor ihm mit mathematischer Spitzfindigkeit verheimlicht und unaufhörlich und unerbitterlich gegen mich selbst vor ihm zugedeckt hatte,
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The narrator, a scientist working on antibodies and suffering from emotional and mental illness, meets a Persian woman, the companion of a Swiss engineer, at an office in rural Austria. For the scientist, his endless talks with the strange Asian woman mean release from his condition, but for the Persian woman, as her own circumstances deteriorate, there is only one answer. "Thomas Bernhard was one of the few major writers of the second half of this century."—Gabriel Josipovici, Independent "With his death, European letters lost one of its most perceptive, uncompromising voices since the war."—Spectator Widely acclaimed as a novelist, playwright, and poet, Thomas Bernhard (1931-89) won many of the most prestigious literary prizes of Europe, including the Austrian State Prize, the Bremen and Brüchner prizes, and Le Prix Séguier.

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