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4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  602 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
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.
Hardcover, 135 pages
Published 1991 by Quartet Books (first published 1978)
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Feb 28, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Dec 09, 2016 Pantelis rated it it was amazing
The closest Bernhard ever came to writing a love story... It's about the solidarity between a man and a woman, both prisoners in their private jails... They take walks together, they talk about their life-sentences and then they return to their cells... The woman has an escape plan...
Eddie Watkins
Sep 15, 2014 Eddie Watkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: austrian-fiction
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 ...more
M. Sarki
Jun 03, 2011 M. Sarki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-wonders

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
Jan 17, 2012 Szplug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 30, 2013 RandomAnthony rated it it was amazing
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
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 ...more
Nate D
Sep 16, 2010 Nate D rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nate D by: Troy S., though not specifically this of his books.
Shelves: read-in-2010, austria
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 ...more
Justin Evans
Apr 02, 2015 Justin Evans rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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 ...more
May 12, 2014 Bogdan rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 13, 2014 Ema rated it really liked it

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
Sep 27, 2009 globulon rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Charles Kell
Nov 16, 2009 Charles Kell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thomas-bernhard
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
Jul 11, 2011 Eugene rated it it was amazing
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.

Oct 08, 2016 NobilisGughy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
marki jones
Oct 01, 2007 marki jones rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who talk to fast
Shelves: jones
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.
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 ...more
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 ...more
Jan G
Feb 18, 2011 Jan G rated it really liked it
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...
Oct 01, 2014 J.W.D. added it
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.
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.
Dec 18, 2008 Bob rated it really liked it
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!
May 07, 2014 Elia rated it really liked it
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.
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
Kobe Bryant
Nov 17, 2014 Kobe Bryant rated it really liked it
Classic Bernhard and its pretty short too
Daniel Fullman
Jun 23, 2015 Daniel Fullman rated it it was amazing
sykt kult
Jun 08, 2017 Vidar rated it liked it
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 ...more
Oct 31, 2016 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Laura Ruggeri
Mar 22, 2017 Laura Ruggeri rated it it was amazing
'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 ...more
Huelguista Moral
Jan 21, 2017 Huelguista Moral rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bernhard es un DIOS.
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Thomas Bernhard was an Austrian author, who ranges among the most distinguished German speaking writers of the second half of the 20th century.

Although internationally he's most acclaimed because of his novels, he was also a prolific playwright. His characters were oftenly working in a lifetime and never-ending major work while they deal with themes such as suicide, madness and obsession and, as B
More about Thomas Bernhard...

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“[...] Das allerdings ist ein absurder Gedanke. Andererseits sind, wie ich im Laufe meines Lebens jetzt schon mit Entschiedenheit weiß, gerade die absurden Gedanken die klarsten Gedanken und die absurdesten die wichtigsten überhaupt.” 7 likes
“... y con ningua otra he hablado nunca sobre todo lo imaginable con mayor intensidad y, por tanto, disposición para comprender y, por tanto, he podido pensar con mayor intensidad y disposición para comprender sobre todo lo imaginable, y nadie me ha dejado nunca mirar nunca dentro de sí más profundamente y a nadie he dejado mirar nunca dentro de mí más profunda y desconsideradamente y cada vez más desconsiderada y profundamente.” 5 likes
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