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Title: Yes
Author: Thomas Bernhard
Publisher: Published 1991 by Quartet Books (first published 1978)
ISBN: 9780704327702
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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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. 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.

45 review for Yes

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    There is no comparison to Thomas Bernhard's literary genius, which spins a fragile web of thoughts and emotions, never finished, never clear, always difficult, heavy, undefined and vague, despite the eternally running, circling sentences, and in this web his characters are stuck, as much prisoners in the maze of his language as in their own plots, if they even dare to have them, somewhere underneath the anger that the author shares with the world, through his inimitable voice of ineffable truth, There is no comparison to Thomas Bernhard's literary genius, which spins a fragile web of thoughts and emotions, never finished, never clear, always difficult, heavy, undefined and vague, despite the eternally running, circling sentences, and in this web his characters are stuck, as much prisoners in the maze of his language as in their own plots, if they even dare to have them, somewhere underneath the anger that the author shares with the world, through his inimitable voice of ineffable truth, hidden behind complicated constructions of repetitive patterns, that mostly lead to destruction, or extinction, but sometimes explode in an expected, yet surprising ... affirmative ... yes ... !

  2. 4 out of 5

    David

    Hey, everyone! I finished a book! I realize that this is approximately the equivalent of crying out, 'I got laid!' at a brothel, but there you have it. I've been reduced to this. For the past eighteen months or so I've been a non-reader—a demographic I'm not generally comfortable consorting with—or, at best, a half-assed reader; I'll read forty pages of this and set it down—and then thirty pages of that and set it down. My home is a ruins of literary misadventures. I hate to be the philanderer w Hey, everyone! I finished a book! I realize that this is approximately the equivalent of crying out, 'I got laid!' at a brothel, but there you have it. I've been reduced to this. For the past eighteen months or so I've been a non-reader—a demographic I'm not generally comfortable consorting with—or, at best, a half-assed reader; I'll read forty pages of this and set it down—and then thirty pages of that and set it down. My home is a ruins of literary misadventures. I hate to be the philanderer who blames his serial infidelities on his humdrum spouse for reasons of her humdrumness, but none of the books I've trysted with have given me the (metaphorical) blowjob that rocked my moribund world. So I've looked elsewhere for gratification. Instead of reading, I found myself doing bizarre things, like watching The Call starring Halle Berry in a fright wig as a renegade 911 operator. For a while, I blogged—as we all must, sooner or later—but there are only so many screeds you can write about petty annoyances before you start sounding like Seinfeld's standup routine. But then... (Speaking of screeds!) I decided to revisit my old buddy Tommy 'The Parade Rainer' Bernhard—he of the obsessive, misanthropic tirade fame. With his despondent novella Yes, Bernhard once again satisfies my narcissism by creating a literary figure I can relate to. (I should actually say 'a literary figure I can relate to to some extent' so that nobody calls the people with the straitjackets.) The Unnamed Narrator (hereafter, UN) of Yes is a thoroughly miserable and fucked-in-the-head scientist who, in my amateur diagnosis, suffers the combined effects of obsessive thinking, social isolation, and chronic negativity, mainly directed outward as a handy excuse for his own dysfunction. On the verge of a total and perhaps irreparable breakdown he visits his acquaintance Moritz, the town real estate agent, in order to spill his guts and thereby to purge his accumulated craziness. (Anyone who—in the midst of some personal trauma or drunken state—has revealed too much about himself, at great length, to another person knows how humiliating such a fit of exhibitionism can be. Desperation makes fools of us.) UN does find some relief in vomiting up all his masticated neuroses for Moritz, but there is a far greater consequence of his visit: He meets the Swiss couple, or more specifically the Persian Woman. The Swiss couple—actually a Swiss power plant mogul and his Persian companion—has recently purchased an otherwise unsaleable land parcel from Moritz on which to build their new home. The UN becomes fixated on the Persian woman, who says nothing at the meeting and appears sullen. The meat of the novella concerns the unusual and ephemeral 'friendship' (if that's the right word) between the Persian woman and UN. They take walks mainly. Sometimes in silence. They both like Schumann and Schopenhauer. They both hate the backwoods Austrian town that fate has delivered them to. I think Yes is maybe Bernhard's bleakest work that I've yet encountered. The title itself—that little affirmation—is wonderfully ironic because in the context of the novella, it's anything but affirmative in the absolute sense. As usual, Bernhard gives voice to pessimism—a hopelessness so dire and maddened that it can't help but be humorous. Bernhard's narrators may reject society at large; they may feel persecuted or misunderstood; they may even resort to morbid self-pity at times. But Bernhard, distinct from his narrators, appreciates the absurdity of these kinds of outlooks. The human psyche—repetitious, obsessed, self-perpetuating—reveals its grimly comic aspect when it's literalized into plain language. And that's exactly what Bernhard's novels do: they translate the dysfunctional mind into (yes) screeds that at once sympathize with the human condition and riff on its follies.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Eddie Watkins

    While I do not consider myself a nihilist, I nevertheless have a deeply personal response to Thomas Bernhard’s novels, which leads me to believe, especially while either immersed in one of his novels or while recovering from one, that I am at heart a nihilist, at least of a stripe, and that Bernhard has the ability to reveal my hidden self to me. This would be appropriate as I have long felt that one of the strongest (and only indirectly addressed) themes running through Bernhard’s prose is the While I do not consider myself a nihilist, I nevertheless have a deeply personal response to Thomas Bernhard’s novels, which leads me to believe, especially while either immersed in one of his novels or while recovering from one, that I am at heart a nihilist, at least of a stripe, and that Bernhard has the ability to reveal my hidden self to me. This would be appropriate as I have long felt that one of the strongest (and only indirectly addressed) themes running through Bernhard’s prose is the theme of possession, of obsessions that cross the line into the realm of flat out unconscious possession, and if there is anything that each of us is unconsciously possessed by it is our hidden (truer, more powerful) selves. We are possessed by ourselves and we spend a large part of our lives trying to unravel and understand the nature of this possession. It is really all the adventure a person needs, and Bernhard’s novels chart the ever-shifting labyrinths of this adventure. So perhaps the reason I have a deeply personal response to his novels is not due to his nihilism, which is really more of a surface phenomenon (relatively) in his works, but rather to this deeper elucidation of the ins and outs of being subject to one’s (invisible) inner self, of being possessed by a force within us that we either wrestle with forever, or submit to, where even submission doesn’t necessarily lessen the struggle. That Bernhard’s prose is able to enter this inner realm of personal experience, of perpetual struggle and mystery (wrestling with angels), where life not only feeds on itself but also where it is sourced (which is why even with his nihilism reading him can be such a life-affirming experience), is testament enough of his power and greatness.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Guille

    El narrador de este texto es un Woody Allen sin gracia o con esa gracia especialísima que emana de una narración atropellada, caótica, repetitiva, neurótica, circular hasta la náusea (solo le faltaba el tartamudeo, pero eso quizás hubiera sido pasarse). La anécdota del texto (absolutamente brutal) se circunscribe a las diez últimas páginas, todo lo demás es prácticamente un retrato del narrador a través de su escritura. Y esta escritura, al igual que me pasó con El malogrado, hipnotiza, a pesar El narrador de este texto es un Woody Allen sin gracia o con esa gracia especialísima que emana de una narración atropellada, caótica, repetitiva, neurótica, circular hasta la náusea (solo le faltaba el tartamudeo, pero eso quizás hubiera sido pasarse). La anécdota del texto (absolutamente brutal) se circunscribe a las diez últimas páginas, todo lo demás es prácticamente un retrato del narrador a través de su escritura. Y esta escritura, al igual que me pasó con El malogrado, hipnotiza, a pesar de ser, o posiblemente por ser, exagerada, repulsiva, cansina, pero también por ser conmovedora de tan sincera, primitivamente provocativa, un grito tan furibundo contra todo y todos pero sobre todo contra sí mismo que enternece leerle. Bernhard, como sus personajes, es de ese tipo de personas que piden a la vida lo que la vida no les puede dar y no se resignan; reclaman y reclaman sin obtener, claro está, respuesta alguna; un tipo herido, sufriente, que se desespera y que, al igual que el narrador de este libro, escribe Sí para no tener que decir Sí. Y eso que nosotros salimos ganando. Tras esta segunda lectura, Bernhard entra con muchísima fuerza en mi lista de escritores ultrapreferidos, aunque soy consciente de que cada lectura solo será un capítulo más a añadir a su único libro. “Por inútil que sea, y por temible y desesperado que sea, hay que probar siempre de nuevo cuando tenemos un tema que nos aflige siempre y siempre con la mayor obstinación y no nos deja en paz. Aun sabiendo que nada es seguro y que nada es completo, debemos, aun en medio de la mayor inseguridad y de las mayores dudas, comenzar y perseguir lo que nos hemos propuesto, si siempre renunciamos antes de haber empezado, caemos en definitiva en la desesperación y en definitiva y finalmente no salimos ya de esa desesperación y estamos perdidos”

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cosimo

    Incondizionatamente “D'altra parte, come nel corso della mia vita so ormai senza ombra di dubbio, proprio i pensieri assurdi sono i pensieri più chiari e i più assurdi sono anche i più importanti”. Uno studioso di scienze naturali è infermo sul piano psicoaffettivo e non riesce più a dedicarsi al proprio lavoro mentale e intellettuale; con l'intenzione di salvarsi, va dall'amico Moritz, agente immobiliare, per rovesciare vergognosamente su di lui la vita interiore e nel momento della confessione s Incondizionatamente “D'altra parte, come nel corso della mia vita so ormai senza ombra di dubbio, proprio i pensieri assurdi sono i pensieri più chiari e i più assurdi sono anche i più importanti”. Uno studioso di scienze naturali è infermo sul piano psicoaffettivo e non riesce più a dedicarsi al proprio lavoro mentale e intellettuale; con l'intenzione di salvarsi, va dall'amico Moritz, agente immobiliare, per rovesciare vergognosamente su di lui la vita interiore e nel momento della confessione si imbatte in una coppia di clienti, un ingegnere di centrali elettriche geniale e la sua compagna persiana, che ha sacrificato la propria vita per far crescere il talento del compagno. Così, il protagonista si illumina e ritrova sé stesso, si allontana dall'idea di lasciare la vita, e ritrova la forza di dedicarsi ai suoi studi sugli anticorpi e alle amate musica e filosofia, con Schopenauer e Schumann. Inizia a frequentare la straniera di Shiraz quotidianamente e a passeggiare tra boschi di larici conversando di estremi e vividi sogni e di innamoramenti culturali e artistici. Ma la donna, abbandonata dal marito, inizia a sentirsi sempre peggio, a trascurarsi, a lasciarsi andare all'idea della distruzione di sé, in un vortice di crudeltà; lascia l'albergo e va a vivere in una casa funesta disperandosi tra sonniferi e degrado. La profonda solitudine intersoggettiva aggredisce il sottile guscio emotivo di ogni individuo e porta con sé istinti di morte, al quale l'essere nella sua debolezza cede con un fatale sintomo affermativo, un sì che è resa al dolore in una regione che è nemica dello spirito e assassina del sentimento. Bernhard scrive i suoi temi, la noia esistenziale e l'impotenza vitale; l'isolamento e la rivelazione, l'estenuante e terribile autoanalisi, la volontà di fallire, la brutalità dell'angoscia. A dare senso alla vita è la faccia interiore di un'esistenza offesa, l'inquietante e anarchica lotta contro di sé e contro gli altri, all'ultimo e ingiurioso e silenzioso sangue.

  6. 4 out of 5

    M. Sarki

    http://msarki.tumblr.com/post/7790189... 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 no http://msarki.tumblr.com/post/7790189... 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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Szplug

    After all, there is nothing but failure. Yes, as another GR reviewer posited, is generally held to be one of Bernhard's minor works, but it is a perfectly-executed short piece markedly positioning itself within the transition from the earlier TB of Correction and The Lime Works to the mature period of Old Masters and The Loser. The narrative style, mental torment, personality debilitation, circular reasoning, and objective loathing/subjective despair are all in place from the previous (and much l After all, there is nothing but failure. Yes, as another GR reviewer posited, is generally held to be one of Bernhard's minor works, but it is a perfectly-executed short piece markedly positioning itself within the transition from the earlier TB of Correction and The Lime Works to the mature period of Old Masters and The Loser. The narrative style, mental torment, personality debilitation, circular reasoning, and objective loathing/subjective despair are all in place from the previous (and much longer) books—but Yes tempers it all with a more measured and more, dare I say, hopeful element to balance against the bilious raging and torrential word-wounding that abounds within the monologic structure of fiction from Austria's finest razor-edged writer. For one thing, the inevitable life's work that the narrator has been fixedly laboring at—in this case, a scientific study of antibodies in nature—whilst announced right out of the starting gate (together with the requisite plaint of suffering a persistent illness, though the meddling kinsman fails to make an appearance) quickly takes a back seat; indeed, other than the applicability between this study and the thematic progression of the novel, the unnamed narrator's prime obsession proves a secondary element of what the bi-paragraphical story is: a leanly brilliant, compactly sprung and, as always, harrowingly relatable working out of the terrible burdens inflicted upon an intelligent-but-splintered mind brought into being by an implacably hostile natural world during a period of prevailing nihilistic emptiness and immersed within the inescapable-because-omnipresent isolation that comprises the ultimate reality of that which we comprehend as our bounded existence. As Bernhard sees it, we must be careful about what we wish for; must understand, as he does, that nothing comes up or about without a price; that what excites us, what we love is but a mirror image of that which appalls us, that which we loathe; that our busy and frenzied existence, ever-seeking and -obtaining new interests and passions and goals cannot effectively mask the understanding, innate to human existence, that all such desires represent but bright, gaudy colours painted upon an enervating and bleaching whiteness. Whatever we achieve or feel will, in time, become pale, wan, etiolated, listless, be recognized for the absurdity it is, the hollowness it is built around, the nothingness it points towards, the futility it represents. We must understand this and position within such knowledge the apparent solution of suicide. We must perceive this siren song of release and that we can stop-up our ears to it with human interaction, anchor ourselves against its pull with select individuals who ameliorate our condition—and that this buttressing potentiality can be reversed, sending us hurling towards self-abnegation at an unstoppable, irrecoverable speed. Everything is both necessary and superfluous, inviting and repulsive, healing and dangerous, helpful and murderous. Paradoxes abound. There truly is no way out of this conundrum of a reality that bruises after it caresses and reveals every rainbow as leading to a copper pot of rancid shit. Ceiling, floor, all four walls are spiked and slowly moving in—how shall we find the means to occupy our minds enough that this fact will withdraw into the background sufficient to allow us to set out to achieve something, anything. That all sounds a bit florid, true, but—as any fan of Tommy B. knows well—it's a lithe and limber prose that the maestro trots out, delineating it all in a controlled sluicing of words that turns on a dime to head in a differing, but related, direction. Aside from the Austrian countryside and the antagonistic, antipathetic bucolic denizens who inhabit it and make it such a miserable place to domicile for intellectuals and/or foreigners—though, of course, the city is just as bad in its own inherent constitution—the cast of Yes is but a handful: the nameless narrator; his real-estate agent friend and existential rock Moritz; and a couple comprising a power-plant designing Swiss and his Persian lady friend who, as the book opens, have purchased a waterlogged parcel of land, parked between towering mountain and dim forest, on which to construct an unfriendly, concrete slab in which to pass the remainder of their years now that the Swiss' final project is nearing completion. The appearance of this oddly-balanced pairing at the very moment when the narrator has reached the nadir of his mental illness, wallowing in a paralyzing despair, locked away from all contact with the outside world for several months, serves as an invigorating tonic for him—vanquishes (temporarily) the miasmatic winds that have smothered his ambition and quenched his energy, and propels him into a renewed appreciation for and desire to once more read his beloved Schopenhauer, listen to his cherished Schumann, and pick up where he left off with his scientific study. What is it about the couple that produces such an effect? It is the presence of the Persian woman, whose taciturn and idiosyncratic personality portends of a beneficial potentiality as a walking partner for future excursions, an intelligent and commiserative being upon which to unload oneself, disburden oneself of the bleak psychic accumulations of a sustained depression. Where will this ambulatory relationship proceed to? What secrets will it unveil, what dark avenues of the lugubrious Austrian woodland will the pair trod whilst using each other as sounding boards? Read it and see. The Persian woman presents a nice addition to the Bernhardian fictional method, as does the placid Moritz and his brief-but-pertinent placement in relation to the narrator. The latter himself is one of the more compelling of the author's textual conscious creations, providing a typically bleak assessment of life's many-sided failures, fatuousness and futility while yet managing to overcome the inevitability of following such morbid thoughts to their logical conclusion. Indeed, this faceless voice demonstrates a wisdom to limn his despair, a nuance to his condemnations that adds an extra poignancy to the flow. Schopenhauer's Will to Existence and concept of an aesthetically-attuned Genius are the first-class passengers here within its textual vessel, struggling to prevail against the rising tide of lung-filling pessimistic despair and its attendant brush strokes that coat all a Cimmerian slate. I always find Bernhard hitting me right where it hurts, digging at that scab and describing the wound in nauseatingly accurate detail. He doesn't get everything right, of course, but there's much that rings all too true. Is it the fact that it is carried to such extremes that makes it easier to bear? The humor within the bile that allows it to more readily sink in? That the puzzle's pieces are variegated sufficiently that makes the final assembled image so captivating to behold? I think yes.

  8. 5 out of 5

    RandomAnthony

    Holy Jesus Fuck, Yes is excellent. Now, I'm not sure if you'll like it because you've got to get accustomed to Bernhard's style. He'll extend a sentence, via dependent clause, for pages on end. No chapter breaks, either. Hell, no paragraph breaks. But once you get in a groove with Mr. Bernhard, whoa, he's through the roof good. Yes is told entirely from the perspective of a mostly-socially isolated scientist who encounters a Persian woman while unloading his psychological ills on to a friend. The Holy Jesus Fuck, Yes is excellent. Now, I'm not sure if you'll like it because you've got to get accustomed to Bernhard's style. He'll extend a sentence, via dependent clause, for pages on end. No chapter breaks, either. Hell, no paragraph breaks. But once you get in a groove with Mr. Bernhard, whoa, he's through the roof good. Yes is told entirely from the perspective of a mostly-socially isolated scientist who encounters a Persian woman while unloading his psychological ills on to a friend. The woman and the narrator walk through the woods and talk. Uh, not much more happens than that, but please don't lump this book into a pile of experimental horseshit or whatever. The narrator tells the story, along with internal, insightful and often self-critical monologue, in a 135 page sitting. Yes is about solitude, creating meaning, and remaining honest with yourself, even if that honesty is fucking depressing. It's not a cheery book; it's an honest book. The depressed and neurotic will recognize themselves in Yes. Sometimes I feel like novels of this nature are categorized as depressing and European which, I suppose, they are, but they're so much more than that. I picture the narrator in a therapist's office; this novel elucidates the painful and difficult to articulate in order to acknowledge its presence because, if you don't, you're fooling yourself. So I guess, and I don't mean to sound all special or anything, that I found Yes more refreshing than depressing. I don't believe the novel's meant to inspire or deject the reader as much as to pull a sheet off the window and expose the room to the light. I reject the term nihilism with Bernhard. Yes is more like an exploration of difficult, stimulating truth. I get the feeling Yes is not one of the author's major works, but I could be wrong. Just before the new year I stumbled upon the novel in a used book store. Before that I'd never heard of it. This is my third Bernhard, I think, and so far my favorite, although I suppose that reaction might connect to this afternoon's finishing of the book. I loved it, though, except, maybe, for a page or two at the very end. I imagine you've already decided whether or not you're the Bernhard type; if you are, put Yes on priority.

  9. 4 out of 5

    trovateOrtensia

    Soltanto un burlone come Bernhard poteva intitolare Sì un'opera così radicalmente pervasa da nichilismo. Questo è uno dei libri di Bernhard (l'altro è Cemento) cui apporrei una fascetta con stampato a lettere ben visibili: "Tenere lontano dalla portata di chi ha familiarità con l'ala oscura della depressione". Noi cerchiamo senza sosta di scoprire dei retroscena e non facciamo un solo passo avanti, soltanto complichiamo e ingarbugliamo ancor più ciò che è già complicato e ingarbugliato. Cerchiamo Soltanto un burlone come Bernhard poteva intitolare Sì un'opera così radicalmente pervasa da nichilismo. Questo è uno dei libri di Bernhard (l'altro è Cemento) cui apporrei una fascetta con stampato a lettere ben visibili: "Tenere lontano dalla portata di chi ha familiarità con l'ala oscura della depressione". Noi cerchiamo senza sosta di scoprire dei retroscena e non facciamo un solo passo avanti, soltanto complichiamo e ingarbugliamo ancor più ciò che è già complicato e ingarbugliato. Cerchiamo un colpevole del nostro destino, che quasi sempre, se siamo onesti, possiamo definire unicamente come sventura. Ci rompiamo la testa su cosa avremmo potuto fare diversamente o meglio e su cosa possibilmente non avremmo dovuto fare, perché ci siamo condannati, ma non porta a niente. La catastrofe era inevitabile, diciamo poi, e ci concediamo un periodo, anche se breve, di quiete. Poi ricominciamo da capo a porci domande e ci rodiamo e rodiamo fino a che siamo diventati di nuovo mezzi pazzi."

  10. 5 out of 5

    Oscar

    La prosa de Bernhard produce un extraño efecto en el lector. Más que repetitiva, yo diría que es cíclica. Como si de una pieza de música se tratara, Bernhard nos va contando una historia para volver sobre sus pasos e ir profundizando sobre lo ya contado; y lo que parecían simples detalles pasan a convertirse en parte fundamental de la novela. De esta manera quedas atrapado en esta particular tela de araña que tan bien ha urdido Bernhard. A ello contribuye también los escasos puntos y aparte, que La prosa de Bernhard produce un extraño efecto en el lector. Más que repetitiva, yo diría que es cíclica. Como si de una pieza de música se tratara, Bernhard nos va contando una historia para volver sobre sus pasos e ir profundizando sobre lo ya contado; y lo que parecían simples detalles pasan a convertirse en parte fundamental de la novela. De esta manera quedas atrapado en esta particular tela de araña que tan bien ha urdido Bernhard. A ello contribuye también los escasos puntos y aparte, que provocan que sigas leyendo y leyendo hasta que el texto indique más o menos dónde interrumpir la historia para continuar en otro momento. Es magnífico dejarse llevar de esta manera. Con Bernhard, la historia se convierte en un factor secundario, y sólo le exigimos que sea medianamente interesante, como es el caso de la novela que nos ocupa. En 'Sí', el protagonista, del que no sabemos el nombre, nos narra en primera persona su caída en una profunda desesperación, producto, como no deja de insistir, de una enfermedad intelectual y sentimental. Él es un solitario que vive en una ciudad austríaca dedicándose al estudio de los anticuerpos, y cuando se encuentra en este estado, que suele ser a menudo, se desahoga visitando a Moritz, el agente inmobiliario que le encontró la casa en la que ahora vive. Durante una de estas visitas aparece una pareja de Suizos, un hombre y una mujer, que vienen a hablar con Moritz sobre la reciente adquisición de su nueva casa. Esta visita, y sobre todo la mujer, a la que llama la Persa, provocarán una serie de revelaciones que el protagonista nos irá desvelando. Es encomiable el saber hacer de Bernhard para mantener la atención del lector con tan poco material.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jim Elkins

    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 whate 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: "In the knowledge that nothing at all is certain and that nothing is perfect, we should, even with the greatest uncertainty and with the greatest doubts, begin and continue to do what we have determined to do.... Just as we wake every day and have to begin and continue what we have determined to do, that is to continue existing, so we must begin and continue such an enterprise..." [p. 35] 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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nate D

    Surprisingly enjoyable (and sort of weirdly funny) considering what a grim disgorging of despair and nihilism this is, and how little actually happens. An isolated scientist, too depressed for months to continue his research (on antibodies), arbitrarily breaks his self-destructive cycle upon meeting a new couple who has just bought land in the area. But you know his unjustified enthusiasm cannot possibly last. Told entirely inside the protagonist's head, in just two paragraphs in 135 pages, as h Surprisingly enjoyable (and sort of weirdly funny) considering what a grim disgorging of despair and nihilism this is, and how little actually happens. An isolated scientist, too depressed for months to continue his research (on antibodies), arbitrarily breaks his self-destructive cycle upon meeting a new couple who has just bought land in the area. But you know his unjustified enthusiasm cannot possibly last. Told entirely inside the protagonist's head, in just two paragraphs in 135 pages, as he obsessively turns events over and over and over. Very Beckett-like at times, depressive but vaguely absurd, though without Beckett's overt moments of artifice. We have reconciled ourselves to the fact that we have to exist, even though most of the time against our will, because we have no other choice, and only because we have again and again reconciled ourselves to this fact, every day and every moment anew, can we progress at all. And where we are progressing to, we have, if we are honest, known all our lives, to death, except most of the time we are careful not to admit it. And because we have the certainty of doing nothing except progressing towards death, and because we realize what that means, we try to employ all kinds of aids to divert us from that realization, and thus, if we look closely, we see in this world nothing except people continually and all their lives engaged in such a diversion. (p.70-71) As usual, lately, I've set aside a couple other quotes here. I read this as a sort of rapid appetizer to the copy of The Lime Works that I've just picked up, and am very much looking forward to.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Justin Evans

    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 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.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Leka

    Per chi conosce T.B. non servono commenti. Per chi non lo conosce è meglio non commentare, forse. La forza di questo testo è già tutta nel titolo Ja (in alcune edizioni Sì), che è l'ultima parola del libro. Un'affermazione, per una netta negazione esistenziale. Scarnificante.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bogdan

    I needed something to read while going to the bathroom and I picked this one, not knowing what to expect. Rarely does a book manage to keep you butt-naked over your own shit till the last page. Recommended.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ema

    Am ales acest mic roman, „Da”, pentru că Ágota Kristof îl menționează în cartea sa de memorii, L'analphabète: récit autobiographique, drept unul dintre romanele sale preferate. Autoarea de origine maghiară spune despre Thomas Bernhard că nu a încetat să îşi critice ţara, societatea şi epoca, cu ură şi dragoste, dar și cu mult umor. Dacă scriitoarea a putut aprecia umorul, nu același lucru se poate spune despre prietenii cărora le-a oferit cartea: mulți dintre ei au abandonat-o, considerând-o pre Am ales acest mic roman, „Da”, pentru că Ágota Kristof îl menționează în cartea sa de memorii, L'analphabète: récit autobiographique, drept unul dintre romanele sale preferate. Autoarea de origine maghiară spune despre Thomas Bernhard că nu a încetat să îşi critice ţara, societatea şi epoca, cu ură şi dragoste, dar și cu mult umor. Dacă scriitoarea a putut aprecia umorul, nu același lucru se poate spune despre prietenii cărora le-a oferit cartea: mulți dintre ei au abandonat-o, considerând-o prea deprimantă. Eu m-am regăsit undeva la mijloc: nu am perceput-o ca pe o carte apăsătoare, dar nici ca pe una amuzantă (deși am remarcat ironia, pe alocuri). Însă romanul „Da” este, în mod clar, un exercițiu intelectual, care mi-a pus la treabă sinapsele ruginite. Naratorul, al cărui nume nu îl aflăm, este un om de știință chinuit de obsesii, care s-a retras într-o regiune rurală din Austria pentru a-și proteja sănătatea șubredă și pentru a se dedica studiilor sale științifice legate de anticorpi. În realitate, bărbatul urăște mediul în care trăiește de peste zece ani și oamenii care îl înconjoară, însă nu aflăm acest lucru decât mult mai târziu, după o analiză minuțioasă a izolării sale progresive și a stării depresive în care s-a adâncit în toți acești ani. Sub efectul tulburărilor sale afective și mentale, bărbatul monologhează parcă într-o stare de agitație continuă - cu rare momente de coerență și calm -, revenind la afirmațiile anterioare și înaintând cu pași de melc, repetând și analizând obsesiv, într-o încercare disperată de a-și deschide sufletul. Este un monolog care fierbe de frustrare față de sine și antipatie față de oamenii din jur, iar naratorul, inteligent și antisocial, pare o ființă prinsă în propria minte și în propria epocă; în ciuda zvârcolirilor sale, nu se poate elibera și liniști, ci se adâncește tot mai mult în disperare și alienare, apropiindu-se de pragul renunțării la viață. Critica lui Bernhard față de Austria și conaționalii săi, pentru care autorul și-a atras oprobriul țării sale, dar și celebritatea internațională, nu a întârziat să apară: începând cu regiunea în care s-a stabilit, naratorul se lansează într-o critică vehementă a locuitorilor cruzi, brutali și josnici, pentru a trece apoi la țara în care stupiditatea, lăcomia și ipocrizia sunt la ordinea zilei, iar guvernanții instigă masele populare la stigmatizarea și anihilarea spiritului: Visul unei lumi a spiritului se destrămase și fusese aruncat la ghena de gunoi a poporului. Cadrul restrâns al satului devine o replică la scară mică a întregii țări, în care oamenii care gândesc și observă sunt priviți cu circumspecție și antipatie, ba chiar sunt persecutați. Micul roman - al cărui titlu atât de simplu răspunde unei întrebări complexe dezvăluite la final - constă în doar două paragrafe compacte de text, în care frazele lungi și întortocheate se întind uneori pe mai multe pagini. Fraza de început (care în ediția românească este dislocată de traducător, deși nu am înțeles de ce) are nu mai puțin de 477 de cuvinte în original. Nu a fost ușor să mă armonizez cu fluxul și ritmul cuvintelor, mai ales că acestea nu curg într-o sigură direcție, ci înaintează și se întorc la aceleași subiecte, iar și iar, într-un du-te-vino amețitor și obsesiv - însă romanul are o anumită muzicalitate și putere de atracție care m-a absorbit. Dacă aveți chef să citiți mai mult decât atât, varianta lungă se află pe blog: http://lecturile-emei.blogspot.ro/201...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eugene

    bernhard writes a devastating book, a poetry of mental illness -- without romanticism but with music, true also to the horror. both an emulation of the sickness and an attendant commentary on its causes and end. we read bernhard for his musical eremitism, which takes the barest fact, the most stripped-down situation (here, a man living in the country, encountering a potential and temporary walking and talking companion) and creates a layered, bittersweet counterpoint at times as rich as bach. "Bu bernhard writes a devastating book, a poetry of mental illness -- without romanticism but with music, true also to the horror. both an emulation of the sickness and an attendant commentary on its causes and end. we read bernhard for his musical eremitism, which takes the barest fact, the most stripped-down situation (here, a man living in the country, encountering a potential and temporary walking and talking companion) and creates a layered, bittersweet counterpoint at times as rich as bach. "But this release, of course, could only last a few days, after two or three weeks I had been back in a deep depression, but that is another story. The Swiss couple, in conjunction with Moritz and his family, had brought about a prolonged, indeed the most prolonged, period without an attack, never before had I had such a long interval between two attacks without being totally at the mercy of my sickness, in other words being almost entirely liberated from that sickness, as during the period when I went for walks with the Persian woman and that is the period under discussion here; had I not come to the country that sickness, which logically got worse with my existence in the country, could not have developed in that devastating manner, but had I stayed in the city I would no longer be existing at all, and therefore this new thought, whether I would not have done better to stay in the city and not move out to the country, is senseless" (67). here mental illness is both itself and synecdoche for the idea -- and if there is a lingering romanticism it is this -- that these ill, despite their illness and inability to function, perceive more accurately, more deeply, a crushing vileness, which is our inescapable condition. perhaps it's a grandiose and deluded position, but how accurate does the following sound : "...and the frightful political conditions in our country and throughout Europe had perhaps triggered this catastrophe, because everything in politics was developing in precisely the opposite direction from what I had been convinced was correct and from what I am to this day convinced is correct. Political conditions at that point had suddenly deteriorated in a way which can only be described as dreadful and deadly. The endeavors of decades had been wiped out within a few weeks, and what had always been an unstable country had in effect collapsed within a few weeks, dim-wittedness, greed and hypocrisy were suddenly again at the helm just as in the worst times of the worst regime, and those in power were once again ruthlessly working towards the extermination of the intellect... Anyone thinking must be mistrusted and must be persecuted, that is the old slogan according to which they are once more acting in the most terrible manner. The newspapers speak a distasteful language, the distasteful language they have always spoken but which, during the past few decades, they had spoken only with lowered voices, which suddenly they no longer had any reason to do, almost without exception they were posturing like the people in order to please the people, those mind murderers. Dreams of a world of the mind had been betrayed during these weeks and thrown on the popular refuse heap. The voices of the intellect had fallen silent. Heads were ducking. There was now only brutality, vileness and infamy" (61-3). find it at the library.

  18. 5 out of 5

    globulon

    I borrowed this from a friend after having Bernhard pop up in several places in my life on one day. ---------- Perhaps it would be better if I took more time to think before reviewing books, but somehow I like to write out what I have to say in a provisional state. Perhaps I'm just looking for conversation... I liked this book a lot. It's the narrators voice foremost as that is what this book is almost entirely. He has a somewhat savage side to him, but this comes across more as a realistic view of I borrowed this from a friend after having Bernhard pop up in several places in my life on one day. ---------- Perhaps it would be better if I took more time to think before reviewing books, but somehow I like to write out what I have to say in a provisional state. Perhaps I'm just looking for conversation... I liked this book a lot. It's the narrators voice foremost as that is what this book is almost entirely. He has a somewhat savage side to him, but this comes across more as a realistic view of the people around him. I know that I can relate. This book reminded me of "Catcher in the Rye". A person caught in a world he's unfit for, precisely because he's not phony. Despite my friends objections it also reminded me of Henry Miller, although less as I went on. Primarily that need to self-analyse and to bring out everything however unpleasant it may be, some of which is redeemed and some thrown away. On the other hand, I'm not sure I agree with the view of the narrator. I'm not sure that I look at things as having only diversionary value. Well, perhaps that's not fair to the book. I think I do agree that in some ways nothing can save us from ourselves. I'm a little unclear on whether he is an example of "strong" personality he describes that must develop it's talents in isolation, or whether he is a "weak" personality that has failed to find that other person to push them forward. Perhaps those categories aren't meant to be as absolute as they are presented. I also liked what he had to say about anarchy and the intellect, which is that the intellect is inherently anarchic. I guess in the end, I gave it a high rating because I enjoyed reading it and it seems like it will be something to chew on for a while.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Charles Kell

    Sometimes I hear myself saying Ja-Ja-Ja quickly, silently, so as to put a little spunk--to use Ursula's word--into my ponderousness. Ja-Ja-Ja I say to myself, and not even in Dutch.--John Hawkes, Death, Sleep & the Traveler

  20. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Twist & Shout

    Hay que comprender que (por lo menos en mi caso) el gran triunfo de Bernhard no consiste en lo conmovedor de su relato o el hilvanaje de ideas deslumbrantes, si no en su ejecución técnica: como con muy pocos mimbres teje esos textos de prosa tumultuosa, compuesta principalmente de largas subordinadas exentas de florituras que siempre consiguen cerrar sin extravíos la lógica que empiezan, lo que Marías no siempre consigue, y sin dar una sola muestra de impostura o frivolidad, cosa que sí le ocurr Hay que comprender que (por lo menos en mi caso) el gran triunfo de Bernhard no consiste en lo conmovedor de su relato o el hilvanaje de ideas deslumbrantes, si no en su ejecución técnica: como con muy pocos mimbres teje esos textos de prosa tumultuosa, compuesta principalmente de largas subordinadas exentas de florituras que siempre consiguen cerrar sin extravíos la lógica que empiezan, lo que Marías no siempre consigue, y sin dar una sola muestra de impostura o frivolidad, cosa que sí le ocurre por ejemplo a otros renombrados de la novela como ahora Philip Roth. Su argumento se puede fácilmente comprimir diciendo que un hombre con grandes problemas de concentración llegó diez años atrás a una pequeña localidad rural en busca de un retiro que le permitiera dedicarse a un estudio científico que ha terminado por hundirlo en una espiral de depresiones de la que ha podido escapar gracias a la aparición de dos extranjeros. El argumento es lo de menos, lo que me asombra de Bernhard es como consigue hilar esos pocos conceptos hasta construir novelas que son puro palisir du texte. "Sí" me ha gustado, no obstante menos que otras de sus novelas. No he encontrado nada que me haya fascinado como ese momento de locura lúcida que hay en el largo monologo febril del Príncipe en "Trastorno", la sensación de perdición que impera al final de "Amras" o el apoteósico monólogo interior o el descacharrante humor negro de "Tala". No siendo además la primera novela que leo de las suyas, esa portentosa construcción sintáctica tampoco me pilla de nuevo y sé que es capaz de cosas mucho más poderosas.

  21. 4 out of 5

    NobilisGughy

    Autoannientamento indispensabile. Nell’istante estremo del mio abbattimento, solo con me stesso, vale a dire in balia della mia testa e del mio corpo, quando in sostanza ho la necessità, ma non più la forza, di sgravarmi di cumuli indecenti di spazzatura psicoaffettiva, in quell’istante, dicevo, leggo Bernhard. Gli corro incontro, per salvarmi. È il perfetto compagno di passeggiate, di pensiero, di interessi, con cui conversare senza limitazioni, aprirsi totalmente e nella maniera più impudica e b Autoannientamento indispensabile. Nell’istante estremo del mio abbattimento, solo con me stesso, vale a dire in balia della mia testa e del mio corpo, quando in sostanza ho la necessità, ma non più la forza, di sgravarmi di cumuli indecenti di spazzatura psicoaffettiva, in quell’istante, dicevo, leggo Bernhard. Gli corro incontro, per salvarmi. È il perfetto compagno di passeggiate, di pensiero, di interessi, con cui conversare senza limitazioni, aprirsi totalmente e nella maniera più impudica e brutale, con cui scrutarsi dentro, più in profondità e più spietatamente e sempre più spietatamente e sempre più in profondità. Con Bernhard non è mai loquacità, è bisogno di parlare. Un’estenuante immersione nella più terribile autoanalisi, annientante e salvifica. Distruttivo e necessario, di giorno in giorno e tutto l’anno e tutto il tempo, Bernhard è il punto di fuga nel quadro della mia disperazione.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Maurizio Manco

    "In fondo esistono solo propositi falliti. Avendo almeno la volontà di fallire, riusciamo a procedere e in ogni cosa e in tutto dobbiamo sempre avere almeno la volontà di fallire, se non vogliamo andare a fondo già in partenza, cosa che effettivamente non può essere lo scopo per il quale siamo qui." (p. 32)

  23. 5 out of 5

    marki jones

    ok, um, i enterd 15,634 characters about this book for my review, and the max is 4000 characters. if you want to know what i wrote i guess read my blog. I guess this also means you are intrigued and you will read the book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Khitkhite Buri

    Not the best of my Bernhard escapades, unreasonable since I picked this for a reason, but it turned against me. It's been a while since I've allowed misogyny and racism to stand by itself, simply by turning my face away from it, simply offended. Whatever, the predictable expectations of the narrator undoes his conception of 'the Persian woman', but it's so trite, so commonplace. That she surpasses him therefore in affirmation is possibly not as interesting as one would wish. Still offended, stil Not the best of my Bernhard escapades, unreasonable since I picked this for a reason, but it turned against me. It's been a while since I've allowed misogyny and racism to stand by itself, simply by turning my face away from it, simply offended. Whatever, the predictable expectations of the narrator undoes his conception of 'the Persian woman', but it's so trite, so commonplace. That she surpasses him therefore in affirmation is possibly not as interesting as one would wish. Still offended, still surprised by this offense I have taken upon myself. Thanks, Loser.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Momi

    Scrittura ossessiva, circolare, claustrofobica, asfissiante, in fondo anche un po' afasica. Pochi autori hanno la capacità di stressarmi ed esaurirmi in questo modo. E' un grande Autore, lo so.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    "È possibile riuscire a salvarsi se ci si rende conto di un momento decisivo e si fa un'analisi di tutto ciò che con questo momento decisivo è connesso."

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Niño

    Bum.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    I tried to like this. It just didn’t happen.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Susana Del Cerro

    Me ha dejado tan desconcertada que he sido incapaz de puntuarlo. https://sustherlibros.wordpress.com/2...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    A frantic, brisk work that blackens every page until the final word compacts all narrative force into a horrible diamond. Compulsively bleak, like a Beckett from whom even humor has fled. Bernhard is honest, which means he disdains any comfort except truth. If you don't think you can handle it, you probably can't. Depression and mood swings and the entire arsenal of pop psy are exposed as personal crotchets compared to this. Death, failure, and irremediable isolation soak through every page, eve A frantic, brisk work that blackens every page until the final word compacts all narrative force into a horrible diamond. Compulsively bleak, like a Beckett from whom even humor has fled. Bernhard is honest, which means he disdains any comfort except truth. If you don't think you can handle it, you probably can't. Depression and mood swings and the entire arsenal of pop psy are exposed as personal crotchets compared to this. Death, failure, and irremediable isolation soak through every page, every sentence searching out the full extent of thought and existence. Will you find the answer? Yes.

  31. 5 out of 5

    Tarbuckle

    While not quite as accomplished as some of his other novels, Yes is an extremely accessible example of the interiority that comprises Bernhard's writing style, and one that works in most of his major obsessions/themes without belaboring any of them to a degree that impedes the swift flow of the text. The narrative voice is provided by an Austrian intellectual who, having come to the crux-point of his lengthy depression, is inspired by the presence at his friend's real estate office of a newly ar While not quite as accomplished as some of his other novels, Yes is an extremely accessible example of the interiority that comprises Bernhard's writing style, and one that works in most of his major obsessions/themes without belaboring any of them to a degree that impedes the swift flow of the text. The narrative voice is provided by an Austrian intellectual who, having come to the crux-point of his lengthy depression, is inspired by the presence at his friend's real estate office of a newly arrived, elderly couple: a Swiss engineer and his Persian wife. The unmarried pairing have recently purchased a plot of otherwise undesirable and unsaleable land on which to construct their retirement home; and the Persian woman, left on her own at the local inn for lengthy periods while her companion finishes up his last remaining project and workers complete the construction of their new residence, is invited by the narrator to go walking with him through a local forest. These walks inspire a verbal outpouring from each that serve to simultaneously cauterize their mental wounds while cutting deeply enough to lead to a new infection. It's a brilliantly depicted dialectic between two brutally isolated people who, unable to cope or function in the world as constituted, seek to find the necessary solace, to receive the requisite courage to do what has to be done to meet existence on its own nihilistic, pointless, and despairingly ephemeral terms.

  32. 5 out of 5

    Vidar

    In this book by Bernard (published 1978) we meet a scientist that has escaped the city to live in the remote countryside in Austria. He hates the countryside but has taken up residence there to work on this scientific ideas and writing on anti-matter. This work is not going according to plans and X is slowly turning mad reading Schopenhauer and reading Schumann notes/annotations. He has one fried Moritz which he visits now and then. On a day when x is desperate and visiting Moritz, he comes into In this book by Bernard (published 1978) we meet a scientist that has escaped the city to live in the remote countryside in Austria. He hates the countryside but has taken up residence there to work on this scientific ideas and writing on anti-matter. This work is not going according to plans and X is slowly turning mad reading Schopenhauer and reading Schumann notes/annotations. He has one fried Moritz which he visits now and then. On a day when x is desperate and visiting Moritz, he comes into contact with a Swiss engineer and his female companion, a Persian woman. The engineer wants to build a house in the area and has bought some land from Moritz the real estate agent. X and the Persian woman develops a remarkable relationship. They go for long walks in the woods and reflects about life in general. Both are very lonely and psychologically unstable but kindred spirits The engineer leaves the woman in the unfinished house. The loses all control of herself and commits suicide. X The book has Bernards recurring nihilistic themes about madness and suicide but in this book the Persian woman plays an important role. The book will not cheer you up but is a classic, and a regarded by many as as cult book

  33. 5 out of 5

    Giuseppe Del Core

    In un piccolo villaggio austriaco, un uomo decide di isolarsi completamente dalla vita sociale, congelando ogni affetto, con lo scopo di ottenere maggiori risultati negli studi scientifici. La situazione, tuttavia, gli logora la psiche, fino a farlo crollare in un particolare stato patologico d'impotenza di ricreare un contatto umano che torna a desiderare. All'apice di questa crisi, l'uomo viene salvato dalla compagnia di una donna alla quale confessa tutta la propria solitudine. Bernhard realiz In un piccolo villaggio austriaco, un uomo decide di isolarsi completamente dalla vita sociale, congelando ogni affetto, con lo scopo di ottenere maggiori risultati negli studi scientifici. La situazione, tuttavia, gli logora la psiche, fino a farlo crollare in un particolare stato patologico d'impotenza di ricreare un contatto umano che torna a desiderare. All'apice di questa crisi, l'uomo viene salvato dalla compagnia di una donna alla quale confessa tutta la propria solitudine. Bernhard realizza un'opera, manco a dirlo, di forte pessimismo, cui fa da contrappeso l'evidenza della necessità degli affetti e dei sentimenti nella vita umana. Affetti che però, per quanto necessari, sono destinati a non avere durata. La lettura indubbiamente non è bella nel senso proprio del termine, complice uno stile volutamente confusionario - con periodi interminabili e molte ripetizioni - nel quale è facile perdersi, soprattutto durante i passaggi - e non sono pochi - meno allettanti e quasi superflui. Senz'altro interessante è la creazione di un personaggio - la persiana - votato completamente all'autodistruzione, che, schiacciato dall'insensatezza della vita, dedica la propria esistenza al talento del proprio compagno al prezzo dell'auto-annientamento del proprio essere. "È incredibile con quanta rapidità si logori la migliore relazione, e infine si esaurisca, quando abusa delle sue forze".

  34. 4 out of 5

    Janalyn Guo

    I liked this. I think I would recommend this to someone brand new to Bernhard. The title as last word makes the piece seem like it's got its own firm, neat shape. It's sort of like eating a sandwich that keeps filling up w/ stuff & perhaps starts rotting at the same time while you're stretching your mouth open to bite. But alas you bite and the piece is over. I just want to note to myself: I felt kinship with this book. It made me feel better, happier even. Next on the list is Correction...

  35. 4 out of 5

    Carlos

    Una novela corta en la cual Bernhard demuestra su habilidad como autor. De un humor negro sumamente agradable, Sí, es la historia de cuatro personajes presentados como conceptos, por ejemplo, del protagonista, ni siquiera conocemos el nombre, pero llegamos a entenderle como un neurótico que vuelca sobre el lector todas sus ansiedades e inseguridades y nos relata como para él hasta lo más hermoso se desgasta, recordándonos varios de los ejes fundamentales del existencialismo ateo.

  36. 5 out of 5

    Gerardo

    This reading made me somewhat difficult by the constant repetition of words, but I understood that it is not a defect, rather an author's technique. Bernhard's ability to transmit this sick atmosphere surrounding the characters makes a good book. Libro recomendable para los que gustan de lecturas de atmósferas densas. Es un largo monólogo que aturde por momentos, pero al final uno tiene la sensación de que ha leído algo que ha transmitido muy bien los estados patológicos del alma.

  37. 4 out of 5

    J.W. Dionysius Nicolello

    This is the slimmest of Bernhard's novels, I bought it about a year ago, and I just slog through it, I thought, which doesn't make sense, the middle technically the bottom of the barrel until it's been drained at last, I thought, I should put this down and concentrate on my work, and in the evenings continue on my siege of the Criterion Collection, and pick up another book some other time, sometime prior to either internal or external armageddon, I thought, one in the same.

  38. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    After an extensive Bronte binge (yet to be chronicled here), this 130 page modernist stocking stuffer was a nice change of pace. The first sentence is 2 1/2 pages long and the breathless, barely sane, rush of the narrator's thoughts, and the ending on an exclamation of Yes! could conceivably be intended to evoke Molly Bloom's soliloquy at the end of Ulysses - regrettably the closing affirmative affirms suicide, not sexual delight - dreary, iron-laden modernist!

  39. 5 out of 5

    Elia

    Piacevole e piacevolmente tipico, appaiono pressoché tutti i leitmotiv di Bernhard, dalle crisi psichiche, all'isolamento, attacchi alle istituzioni e suicidio. In più in Sì compare una donna, la persiana, motore del racconto, elemento veramente poco frequente in Bernhard. Siccome é proprio tipico, non consiglierei Sì se mi chiedessero di suggerire un libro per iniziare a conoscere Bernhard.

  40. 5 out of 5

    Medicinefckdream

    this was a really good book where the narrator frets about furniture and larch-wood and other things and the title "yes" refers to the last emphatic word of the book, which serves as the answer to the central question the book explores : should one commit suicide. it was cool

  41. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    'Yes' is usually taken to be an affirmation. Thomas Bernhard cleverly subverts its meaning, his 'yes' becomes a cipher of nihilism and self-destruction. His stream of consciousness flows as beautifully as ever, narrators and characters are as miserable as you would expect, and of course Austria is the usual pathetic and bleak backwater where lives shrivel and rot. 'Yes' is a perfect device for the delivery of Bernhard's vitriol against the small-mindedness of his compatriots and life-denying mod 'Yes' is usually taken to be an affirmation. Thomas Bernhard cleverly subverts its meaning, his 'yes' becomes a cipher of nihilism and self-destruction. His stream of consciousness flows as beautifully as ever, narrators and characters are as miserable as you would expect, and of course Austria is the usual pathetic and bleak backwater where lives shrivel and rot. 'Yes' is a perfect device for the delivery of Bernhard's vitriol against the small-mindedness of his compatriots and life-denying modernity. If you are angry, you will love this book. If you are suicidal, you should probably avoid it.

  42. 4 out of 5

    Kobe Bryant

    Classic Bernhard and its pretty short too

  43. 4 out of 5

    Marco

    Un libro che si legge rapidamente, ma si sedimenta nel lettore poco alla volta. Io adoro B., quindi non faccio testo, probabilmente, ma anche in questo libro il Nostro elabora pagine su pagine come il chirurgo apre le viscere per cercare l'escrescenza maligna in un organo ormai senza più speranza di guarigione. Quell'organismo, in B. è il protagonista ma anche la sua "complice" persiana; è l'uomo ma anche Noi, è l'Austria ma anche l'Europa. Del resto "tutto, in ogni uomo, è soltanto un evitare l Un libro che si legge rapidamente, ma si sedimenta nel lettore poco alla volta. Io adoro B., quindi non faccio testo, probabilmente, ma anche in questo libro il Nostro elabora pagine su pagine come il chirurgo apre le viscere per cercare l'escrescenza maligna in un organo ormai senza più speranza di guarigione. Quell'organismo, in B. è il protagonista ma anche la sua "complice" persiana; è l'uomo ma anche Noi, è l'Austria ma anche l'Europa. Del resto "tutto, in ogni uomo, è soltanto un evitare la morte".

  44. 4 out of 5

    Ouden

    Un uomo, all'apice della disperazione dopo un infruttuoso ritiro dalla vita sociale per dedicarsi agli studi scientifici, viene salvato da un incontro con una donna Persiana, moglie di uno Svizzero che e' intenzionato a comprare una proprieta' nel desolante villaggio in cui abita il protagonista, con la quale si intrattiene in delle passeggiate nel bosco. Queste le premesse di un romanzo che affronta, nel solito stile confusionario ed esasperante, la difficolta' del gestire con sincerita' la pro Un uomo, all'apice della disperazione dopo un infruttuoso ritiro dalla vita sociale per dedicarsi agli studi scientifici, viene salvato da un incontro con una donna Persiana, moglie di uno Svizzero che e' intenzionato a comprare una proprieta' nel desolante villaggio in cui abita il protagonista, con la quale si intrattiene in delle passeggiate nel bosco. Queste le premesse di un romanzo che affronta, nel solito stile confusionario ed esasperante, la difficolta' del gestire con sincerita' la propria situazione (impossibile per il lettore non interrogarsi su cosa si vero di cio' che il protagonista dice a se stesso) senza cadere nel baratro. I vari personaggi, descritti a tratti violenti e vividi, ci fanno immergere nella visione tetra e meschina che ha dell'esistenza il protagonista (autore?): la salvezza che riesce a trovare ci sembra illusoria, oltre che amara. Il titolo, una parola che evoca positivita', si tramuta in una spinta, non solo una accettazione passiva, verso l'autodistruzione.

  45. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Taglieri

    Yes ... at its bare bones the novel centers around a man who finds salvation in the companionship of a Swedish woman BUT .. the novel is so much more than that. It is ultimately the story of a man dealing with a debilitating depression. An acknowledged unavoidable mental illness. Yes ... this novel is a must read for anyone interested in depression (whether you are going through it and can find a sympathetic companion in the narrator or are merely curious) as Bernhard is an expert student in huma Yes ... at its bare bones the novel centers around a man who finds salvation in the companionship of a Swedish woman BUT .. the novel is so much more than that. It is ultimately the story of a man dealing with a debilitating depression. An acknowledged unavoidable mental illness. Yes ... this novel is a must read for anyone interested in depression (whether you are going through it and can find a sympathetic companion in the narrator or are merely curious) as Bernhard is an expert student in human behavior even though his sexism is clearly apparent (you have to forgive an old German for that). Yes ... his style is unique in its stream of conscious approach, which is sans chapters and paragraphs ... best to read in one sitting or on an airplane... though Bernhard can be repetitive at certain parts. Yes ... everyone should read a Bernhard at one time in their life, and this is an easy fascinating introduction to him. Yes ... the ending will give you an OMG moment, and will stay with you long after you finish!

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