Saturday, October 13, 2007

who owns Thomas Bernhard?

This echoes Cynthia Ozick's essay on Anne Frank, 'Who owns Anne Frank' because I think certain authors provoke needs for posession, cravings and raging reactions. Why is that? What (narcissistic or even genuine identification) makes one claim a writer to be on one's side, to defend him/her, to protect and keep in a private and secure haven?

This is from 'A kid', part of Bernhard's (autobiographical) pentalogy. I like how he describes his grandfather, a figure that, he says, was crucial to his life and development as a writer:

"He didn't always allow me to accompany him in his promenades, most of the time he wanted to be alone and not be bothered. Specially when he was in the middle of an important work. I can't afford any distraction, he would say then. But when he allowed me to accompany him, I was the happiest of men. During those walks it weighted over me in principle a prohibition of talking that only rarely lifted me. When he needed to make a question or I to him. He was the person who illuminated me the most, the first, the most important, finally the only one."

No comments: