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Correction

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4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  1,100 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Roithamer, a character based on Wittgenstein, has committed suicide having been driven to madness by his own frightening powers of pure thought. We witness the gradual breakdown of a genius ceaselessly compelled to correct and refine his perceptions until the only logical conclusion is the negation of his own soul.
Paperback, 253 pages
Published March 6th 2003 by Vintage (first published 1975)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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William1
Thomas Bernhard's novels constitute perhaps the most enigmatic prose reading experience of my life. His novels are brilliant puzzles, and a single reading will probably not vouchsafe you all of a given novel's secrets. Correction seems a prime example. Here we are again with the typical first-person Bernhard narrator, a highly unreliable, socially connected but insensitive individual, who's circular in his reasoning, repetitious in his verbal style, almost monomaniacal in his focus, and whose to ...more
Szplug
Who hasn't experienced that 3 AM clarity, when—having been rudely yanked away from the dreamy re-runs currently playing in slumberland—wakefulness descends upon you with an unwanted crispness, retuning your awareness to one that acutely perceives and identifies things and strains formerly subsumed into your everyday existence—personality traits, crippling delusions and illusions, carefully constructed battlements and barriers that have been erected to ward off select discernment or apprehension ...more
Lee
This is the novel Ben Marcus referred to in his contra-JFranz defense of difficulty in that Harper's essay. He says that according to a little function that used to be on Amazon.com, to read and comprehend Thomas Bernhard's "Correction" requires 355 years of education. Like all Bernhard, it's never really difficult reading -- it's more about endurance, this one more than any of the others because it's three or four times longer than any of the others. This one includes for example at least ten p ...more
Fionnuala
I read this some years ago but it remains vivid in my memory, so vivd in fact that I think it might be one of the most fascinating reading experiences I've ever had as during the time I spent reading it, I felt physically hypnotised by the writing, completely drawn in to the narrator's world which is really the main character Roithamer's world since the narrator is involved in the editing of his childhood friend's writings after his death, and as Roithamer's writings have already been subjected ...more
Eddie Watkins
Lichtung

I posit that Roithamer would authorize this rewrite of his masterwork "About Altensam and everything connected with Altensam, with special attention to the Cone". Of course his ultimate correction of a correction of a correction, etc. would have been a blank page with only the memory of now non-existent verbiage, with heavy traces of extreme anguish, but my rewrite has the advantage of not only representing this blankness but of showing what that blankness represents, which is a clearin
...more
Dhandayutha
One of my all time favorite novel. A Masterpiece of Bernhard.It was weininger who said it is impossible to transcend the object one hate.It is always very easy to throw what you love?Is it possible to throw or get rid of what you hate?One always has a complicated relationship with hate.One doesn't know what is love?When lot of writers talks about the impossible thing in life,I always thought it must be some challenge or an egoistic ideals.Atlast it seems love is impossible thing in life.What is ...more
jeremy
many of the authors of whom i'm most enamored left me confounded and astounded upon my first foray into their writing. i suppose encountering greatness may always be like that initially - it's evident you've just witnessed something particularly special, however unable you are to yet make sense of what exactly you've just witnessed. so it is reading thomas bernhard for the first time. no book description, jacket copy, or recommendation in kind could really ready one for bernhard's style or story ...more
Oscar
Bernhard no da concesiones al lector, no busca su complacencia, es el lector el que se ha de adaptar a Bernhard y no al contrario. Has de dejarte llevar por el remolino de su escritura, algo que cuesta al principio, y una vez dentro del remolino, has de dejarte arrastrar. Porque Bernhard escribe con la tiranía y la obsesión de una gota que va horadando una roca poco a poco a lo largo del tiempo. Te somete a una atención constante, torturante. Bernhard escribe sin puntos y aparte, todo forma un ú ...more
Sir Jack
One of the things Bernhard’s novels don’t seem to have is an overall form, or imposed sense of organization, there are no chapter-like blocks for example, and along with this there is never a section within one of his novels that strikes out on a new path, rarely a part that reads fresher than the thousands of words preceding it, there is never a “new” section, or even a so-called paragraph, there is relentlessly and always never a new paragraph, a so-called new starting point, never the novel t ...more
John Beck
Read the first paragraph and you'll understand why I like this book.
Oliver Twist & Shout


Algo curioso me ha ocurrido con este libro. Cuando llevaba quizá tres cuartas partes leídas, opinaba que sí, me estaba gustando, aunque sin demasiadas fiestas. Si lo pienso, en parte era debido a que, siendo la séptima obra que leo de este escritor, ya no sorprende que su prosa torrencial resulte tan sumamente legible y por lo tanto no tenía la sensación de estar superando ningún desafío. Básicamente, eso ya lo había hecho en ocasiones anteriores. Ésta no era más que una reiteración. Esa sensaci
...more
Tosh
Thomas Bernhard is just one of those unique genius type of writers that never gets it wrong. Well, at least the one's I have read so far. But this obsessive writer writing about obsession of sorts is an amazing journey into his brain - and it's a rough ride there, but well worth the price of the book and the time as well.
Marcello
L'edizione francese. Uno sfogo

A un certo punto ho deciso che avrei voluto leggere Correzione, una delle opere fondamentali di Bernhard, senonché questa mia decisione e predisposizione d'animo a intraprendere questa lettura è stata ostacolata da quello che è a ben vedere solo un altro esempio di come l'industria letteraria di questo paese, l'Italia intendo, costituisca una vergogna nazionale, affiancandosi a innumerevoli altre vergogne e non tra le meno dannose. Correzione, una delle opere fondam
...more
Cody
loved the wittgenstein artist scientist man conehouse, loved the grump, loved the forest, loved my own sister, loved it all...

---
... he, the scientist, must incessantly examine what he is thinking at the moment, which should be everything, because unless one is thinking of everything at each moment one is not thinking at all, according to him.


Basically we have here a people given to a constant discussion of its own suicide, while at the same time constantly having to prevent tself from committin
...more
Mauro Javier
Recently, in a dark booth at a so-called restaurant, some friends and I, and by ‘some friends’ here I mean a stellar group of fellow members of the [Sans Name] Writing group, including the great Vauhini Vara, read out loud from the first 85 pages of Correction, one person per period, continuously for approximately four hours, and either because of the Bloody Marys or the maddening repetition (and here I mean 'maddening' as a compliment), I fell in love with Correction more than the first time I ...more
Tom Evans
Relentless, compelling exegesis of Wittgenstein's philosophy in fiction, this is Bernhard's masterpiece. The first sentence is 250+ words long and there are no paragraphs in the whole book. It mirrors perfectly the way the mind works, compulsively reiterating over and over again its themes (obsessions).
AC
Poweful.

Slightly slower paced, or more delberate, than other Bernhard novels.
Emmett
So this is part four of my current 'project' of reading all of Bernhard's novels in the order they were published. All of Bernhard's novels thus far have been essential reading, and the Lime Works is (from my perspective) already an absolute classic, but Correction is even better--a brilliant and ultimately uncharacterisable book that works by playing off opposites (indeed, the whole book is about playing off opposites, in what could almost be read as a parody of Romantic irony (cf. Hegel's def ...more
David
Well, I'm pretty much out of superlatives for Bernhard. I guess I'll just say this may be the best one yet, though I'm now beginning to see that some of his books are a bit funnier than others. This one's pretty grim (though not without humor) but ranges wide and seemingly takes in the whole world before the whole world collapses in upon itself into irredeemable darkness.

Why is this the best of the ones I've read? The structure of the narrative is perhaps even more perfect than usual, divided in
...more
Sead
I was reading a book by Cees Nooteboom, where he commented that Bernhard perfected the art of ranting and raving. He uses the vehicle of a fictional Wittgenstein to vent his fury against people, but does not recognise the hypocrisy of his own position. He wants decency yet he is exceptionally unpleasant in his views to others. Further, this isn't like Orwell's anger, in that he condemns and criticises others in order to make them 'better' people. The character locks himself away in a garret and ...more
Chris
I dislike oddly-arranged prose and am not fond of textual, post-mortem searches for meaning.

Yet I enjoyed reading Correction.

First, Bernhard is a good enough writer that the unusual arrangement of his prose is entirely unnecessary. Second, Bernhard doesn't mess about with "infinite deferral of meaning," because there is virtually no aesthetic distance between the protagonist, who has committed suicide, and the narrator, who is examining his papers.

I found the idea of correction upon correction u
...more
lyell bark
if you want to read a 2 paragraph long obsessive rant about death, art, architecture, building weird phallic house for your sister who you want to have sex with, rottenness of austrian state, rotteness of catholicism, rottenness of educaiton system, rottenness of the ruling classes, rottenness of teh petit-bourgeoise, rottenness of the proletariat, isolation, shoving stuffing up a dead bird's butt-whole, putting "so-called" in silly places that will make u laff then this book is 4 u.
David
I can't pretend. I can't generate a special appreciation for Thomas Bernhard. I might try The Loser and Woodcutters later, but for now I am ready to move on. As original as the "unreliable narrator" angle is, I guess I just prefer a more traditional prose. Call me philistine, or whatever. I can do without the repetitive rambling that constantly makes me stop and backtrack to make sure I haven't accidentally read the same line over again only to find out that, no, I haven't...the narrator once ag ...more
Medicinefckdream
this is probably the best book i have ever read that contains long screeds about stuffing
polyurethane up a big black birds corpse, and how bad austria is, peppered with cool phrases
about his mothers "boundless stupidity" and her "ghastly moisturizing delusion" and of course
her paper hatred, she basically hates paper, things written on paper, and her son sets up
paper-traps to catch her out in her hatred.
basically the plot it a guy builds a big cone (schween) in the exact center of the kobernau
...more
Lora Grigorova
Correction: http://readwithstyle.wordpress.com/20...

Correction follows the gradual breakdown into madness of a talented scientist. The brilliant Roithamer self-exiles himself in England to escape from his dysfunctional family, in which he was ever the outsider. Studying and teaching natural science in Cambridge, from times to times Roithamer returns to his homeland of Austria to follow on the project of his life – building a cone-shaped home in the middle of the Kobernausser forest for his favou
...more
Andrea
Hm. The reviews make this book seem much loved. I really disliked it. I read it in the original German. The sentences stretched on for ages. I didn't like the main character and his stifling cone in the woods. I can't say I didn't "get it" - I was reading it in grad school, after all, but I will say I didn't like it. I found it very tedious.
Deanne
A book where in order to make a point the author uses repetition, love the idea of a cone shaped house, have two brothers and can't see them building me a house cone-shaped or otherwise.
Clarina
I just looove Thomas Bernhard. His black humor and his sarcastic accounts of his fellow Austrians or any other obsessive people is really funny and insightful!
Joanna
"Tak długo możemy egzystować z największą intensywnością, jak długo jesteśmy, słowa Roithamera."
Bezkompromisowo napisana książka, ową słynną, krystalicznie czystą frazą, o strasznym i fascynującym perfekcjonizmie.

Mogłabym napisać: koniecznie! Ale nie jest to pozycja, po którą sięga się z przyjemnością do wieczornej herbatki i ciasteczek. Raczej przysypia po kilku stronach, gdy zwoje się przegrzewają, albo spogląda z niechęcią w dniach, gdy nie chce się mącić słodkiej pustki umysłu.

Ale oczywiści
...more
Stephen
The art of bearing the unbearable. This is the kind of satire I wish American writers had paid more attention to.
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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.
More about Thomas Bernhard...
The Loser Wittgenstein's Nephew Woodcutters Concrete Old Masters

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“Everything is what it is, that's all. If we keep attaching meanings and mysteries to everything we perceive, everything we see that is, and to everything that goes on inside us, we are bound to go crazy sooner or later, I thought.” 11 likes
“We always wonder, when we see two people together, particularly when they're actually married, how these two people could have arrived at such a decision, such an act, so we tell ourselves that it's a matter of human nature, that it's very often a case of two people going together, getting together, only in order to kill themselves in time, sooner or later to kill themselves, after mutually tormenting each other for years for for decades, only to end up killing themselves anyway, people who get together even though they probably clearly perceive their future of shared torment, who join together, get married, in the teeth of all reason, who against all reason commit the natural crime of bringing children into the world who then proceed to be the unhappiest imaginable people, we have evidence of this situation wherever we look... People who get together and marry even though they can foresee their future together only as a lifelong shared martyrdom, suddenly all these people qua human beings, human beings qua ordinary people... enter into a union, into a marriage, into their annihilation, step by step down they go into the most horrible situation imaginable, annihilation by marriage, meaning annihilation mental, emotional, and physical, as we can see all around us, the whole world is full of instances confirming this... why, I may well ask myself, this senseless sealing of the bargain, we wonder about it because we have an instance of it before us, how did this instance come to be?” 9 likes
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