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The Loser

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  6,875 ratings  ·  631 reviews
Thomas Bernhard was one of the most original writers of the twentieth century. His formal innovation ranks with Beckett and Kafka, his outrageously cantankerous voice recalls Dostoevsky, but his gift for lacerating, lyrical, provocative prose is incomparably his own.

One of Bernhard's most acclaimed novels, The Loser centers on a fictional relationship between piano virtuos
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 17th 2006 by Vintage (first published 1983)
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Pir wow, in high school! i'm 40 and reading it now. since you mention it in your post by name, you could read Old Masters, a great comedy. failing that, l…morewow, in high school! i'm 40 and reading it now. since you mention it in your post by name, you could read Old Masters, a great comedy. failing that, look for Woodcutters or Correction. failing those, choose any other Bernhard novel, because if you like one you'll like them all. happy reading.(less)

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°°°·.°·..·°¯°·._.· ʜᴇʟᴇɴ Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος ·._.·°¯°·.·° .·°°° ★·.·´¯`·.·★ Ⓥⓔⓡⓝⓤⓢ Ⓟⓞⓡⓣⓘⓣⓞⓡ Ⓐⓡⓒⓐⓝⓤⓢ Ταμετούρο   Αμ
«Η από μακρού προσχεδιασμένη αυτοκτονία δεν είναι αυθόρμητη πράξη απόγνωσης».

Τόμας Μπέρνχαρντ, ο εμμονικός αναχωρητής. Ο κυνικός φυγάς προς την κάθοδο της αντίφασης και της αμφιβολίας.

Σημαία του η ματαιότητα. Σύντροφοι του,
η εκ πεποιθήσεως μοναχικότητα , ο θάνατος, η αυτοχειρία , η ακούσια εγκατάλειψη και η απογοήτευση.

Παρόλα αυτά,σε όλα του τα γραπτά νοήματα προεξάρχουσα θέση έχουν η αγάπη,η ανθρωπιά,η συμπόνοια και η φιλοσοφική καινοτομία που αρνείται να παραδεχτεί την αποτυχία.
Που κατακρί
Bill Kerwin
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

In most of his fictions—including this novella—the Austrian Thomas Bernhard insults everything Austrian. In fact, Bernhard declared in his will that every one of his literary works in perpetuity must not be printed or presented within the state of Austria, or within the geographical boundaries of the present state of Austria, whatever that area may in the future be called. Yet he never made an attempt to emigrate; he lived in Austria all his life.

Bernhard was a man of contradictions, and his wor
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well, here we are again in the land of obsessive compulsive disorder, suicidal rage and death panic. It's like Bernhard has one channel and one channel only: sturm und drang, but without the post-Enlightenment restraint. How did Richard Hugo put it: "hatred of the various grays / the mountain sends...." Bernhard's satirical narrators are against everything: especially mountains, in this case the Alps, nature, people, society, art, any and all institutions, the church, the state, you name it. No ...more
Vit Babenco
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loser is an irrational tale told by an irrational man about his irrational friend – a triumph of paranoia.
The so-called intellectual consumes himself in what he considers pathbreaking work and in the end has only succeeded in making himself ridiculous, whether he’s called Schopenhauer or Nietzsche, it doesn’t matter, even if he was Kleist or Voltaire we still see a pitiful being who has misused his head and finally driven himself into nonsense. Who’s been rolled over and passed over by history.
Steven Godin
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: austria, fiction
Did Thomas Bernhard ever get to say a good word about anyone? He could have been pulled from a car wreck by a fellow Austrian, only to turn to the hero in question and with resentment become oppressive. Regardless, I just love reading him, the structure of his work is different to say the least, one long paragraph, repeated sentences, treating his characters as frivolous morans who do nothing but complain. I take my hat of to him, he makes me laugh and wince at the same time!. The more I read of ...more
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Bernhard is amazing, and this book perfectly captures his obsession with obsession. His narrator is a music student who realizes he's a failure when he, Glenn Gould, and another pianist study together, and nobody can hold a candle to Gould, the supreme genius. It's told in Bernhard's inimitable style, as one long rambling looping paragraph that takes ideas and beholds them from several angles, all the while maintaining a relentless energy that just takes my breath away.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
“El segundo es el primero de los perdedores” (Ayrton Senna)
y aquel que puede llegar a vivir ese fracaso de la forma más cruel, añado yo. Este es el leitmotiv del libro, o uno de ellos, y recuerda mucho al conflicto Mozart-Salieri de la película Amadeus (aunque el libro es un año anterior a la película para mí es treinta años posterior).

Ello podía haberme influido negativamente: un tema que ya estaba bien tratado por la película, al que poco, pensaba, se podía añadir. Y si a eso le añadimos que
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews

A single paragraph. One breathless monologue. Genius. Failure. Perfection. Obsession. Friendship. Death.

The Genius, the Philosopher, the Loser.

The musical genius of Glenn Gould, the pinnacle of art, is what serves as the reference defining all three of their lives. Werthemier - the titular Loser - finds himself woefully dwarfed by the perfection of Gould as a piano artist. The frustration of recognizing his worthlessness and knowing that he will never be able to reach the top leads him to give
Oct 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
"everything is ridiculous if one thinks of death."

This is what Bernhard said as a part of his acceptance speech for the Austrian State Prize for Literature. So, Yeah! That’s the kind of man he was.

Along with many other writers, I discovered Bernhard through Goodreads only. The next step is usually checking out the author’s profile, from where I found the following description:

Thomas Bernhard was an Austrian author, who ranges among the most distinguished German speaking writers of the second h
May 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Grey – The color that most of the characters created during large part of twentieth century and whole of twenty-first century till date, are painted in. Cruelly banishing the evergreen Black and all-star White to secondary positions, Grey has risen in ranks to be the heroic hue of all ‘famous’ characters. The modern reader in me haughtily merges this contemporary thought into her conversations and discusses the ‘grey’ shades of the latest literary protagonist she has encountered. But the convent ...more
Σωτήρης Αδαμαρέτσος
Αριστουργηματικά ισοπεδωτικό!
Δεν ξέρω τι να πρωτοθαυμασω, την ιστορία που με κράτησε μέχρι τέλους ή τον Τρόπο που γράφει που με περιελουσε σαν κρύο νερό μέσα στο χειμώνα;;; Ομολογώ όμως ότι είναι απαιτητικός όσον αφορά και το υπόβαθρο και την ανθρώπινη εμπειρία.

Η αυτοκτονία ενός ανθρώπου οδηγεί τον πρώην συμμαθητή του στην σχολή πιάνου σε σκέψεις όσον αφορά τον αυτόχειρα, τον ίδιο τον αφηγητή και τον έτερο συμμαθητή τους στην ανώτατη σχολή πιάνου στην Βιέννη· για τον ρόλο αυτό ο Μ επιλέγει τον
“But of course the world consists only of absurd ideas.”

What a soul-piercing read... After I finished The Loser by Thomas Bernhard I thought: this is how you write a book! Or well, a long internal monologue that rambles on and on without any pauses. It’s simply amazing satire with a lot of absurdism, nihilism, and self-destructiveness narrated in one breath.

“All my tendencies are deadly ones, he once said to me, everything in me has a deadly tendency to it, it's in my genes, as Wertheimer said,
Lee Klein
May 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: favorites
Funnier and nastier and less full of shit than anything I've ever read. More laughs per ten pages than Sedaris etc, but with WAY MORE suicide! Awesome Austrian lit. Glenn Gould, the one true piano genius. One paragraph for 155 pages! Zero pretension. Few sentences extended over the course of the book in fugue state. Sort of like lame-ass literary fiction if you removed every standard literary convention (plot, dialogue, setting, scenes) and just freakin' mainlined the narrator's consciousness: I ...more
lo dico nel modo più rapido e indolore, e mi defilo prima che qualcuno abbia tempo di tagliarmi le gomme alla bici. per me sono tre stelle, e nemmeno un fotone di più.
perché va benissimo l’idea della stretta coerenza tra il racconto e la forma che prende: un romanzo in cui le variazioni goldberg hanno un ruolo da co-protagonista, scritto come una ossessiva variazione nei temi e nello stile. ma qui ci sono pagine e pagine con gli stessi concetti ripetuti allo sfinimento per due o tre proposizioni
Fuchsia  Groan
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporánea
El malogrado es un monólogo interior obsesivo, caótico y en ocasiones agotador. Al ser mi primer Bernhard me ha costado un poco entrar en la novela, pero pronto he quedado atrapada en ese discurso repetitivo y atormentado, que poco a poco te va envolviendo en los odios y obsesiones del narrador, que vuelve una y otra vez a las mismas ideas, incluso a las mismas frases y expresiones.

Este monólogo se desencadena al acudir el narrador al entierro de su amigo Wertheimer. Wertheimer y él conocieron a
Nov 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended soundtrack for this review.

Of course Thomas Bernhard's The Loser covers some of the usual Bernhardian terrain -- misanthropy, madness, death, all the fun stuff really -- but failure is the real star of this show. The 'Loser' of the title, named Wertheimer, was unfortunate enough both to have been a gifted piano player and to have studied contemporaneously with piano legend Glenn Gould, whose life and genius -- albeit in a somewhat fictionalized form -- haunt Wertheimer until he is at
Jan 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Hansi Hinterseer
Recommended to Mariel by: Der Leiermann
"Again and again we picture ourselves sitting together with the people we feel drawn to all our lives, precisely these so-called simple people, whom naturally we imagine much differently from the way they truly are, for if we actually sit down with them we see that they aren't the way we've pictured them and that we absolutely don't belong with them, as we've talked ourselves into believing, and we get rejected at their table and in their midst as we logically should get after sitting down at t ...more
Buğra Aydoğan
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thomas Bernhard'ın bütün kitaplarını okuduktan sonra sokağa çıkıp Avusturya bayrağı yakacağım sanırım.
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jedno je sigurno - kod Bernharda uvek dobijete your money’s worth što se tiče količine mastila na papiru jer poglavlja, paragrafi NE POSTOJE, a ni tačke ne lupa ako baš ne mora. A ne kao ona pesnikinja (sad mi se čini da ih ima i više od jedne) koja udara enter posle svake reči / slova pa ih čitalac lovi po papiru.

“Gubitnik” je jedna divna - i to bez ikakve ironije - knjiga o samopreziru, samoobmani, umetnosti, nadmetanju, očaju i nesreći i kao takva je potpuni guilty pleasure za sve nas koji sm
MJ Nicholls
We all know hasbeens who never were, so are really hasn’tbeens. My first wife, Mary Quattro, played the spoons in the Intergalactic Pipe Cleaners, a polka and celtic disco band who kept audiences enthralled with their wild interpretations of traditionals in the style of Ottawan and other disco groovers. She was forever in the shadow of Niles Vee, a percussionist of rare merit, who was at home on maracas and spoons. This outrageous two-instrument skill was impossible for poor Mary to beat, so she ...more
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Var olmak umutsuzluğa düşmekten başka bir şey değildir ki, dedi."

"İnsan mutsuzluktur, dedi hep, diye düşündüm, yalnızca budala olan bunun aksini savunur."

"Dostluklar, diye düşündüm, deneyimlerin gösterdiği üzere, eninde sonunda kişilerin ancak benzer çevrelerine kurulu olduğu zaman sürekli olabiliyor, diye düşündüm, bunun dışında her şey aldatmaca."
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-austria, e5
"O Glenn Gould, o nosso amigo e o mais importante virtuoso do piano do século, também só fez 51 anos, pensava eu ao entrar na estalagem.
Só que esse não se matou como o Werthermer mas morreu, como se costuma dizer, de morte natural."

Assim se inicia O Náufrago. E é tudo...

"Nós em teoria compreendemos as pessoas, mas na prática não as suportamos, pensei, na maior parte das vezes só a contragosto lidamos com elas, e tratamo-las sempre de acordo com o nosso próprio ponto de vista."

... "dizia ele,
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you are fond of classical music, you will probably like this novel. The world of musicians, their hopes and ambitions are skillfully depicted. I also liked the idea that the story is fictionalised about the great pianist Glen Gould's real story.
Manuel Antão
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Self-mockery: "The Loser" by Thomas Bernhard

(original review, 2012)

Story about a born piano virtuoso (imagined Glenn Gould), and two "failed" pianists, who became something else in life due to that...After reading "Woodcutters" recently I decided to tackle "The Loser" ("Der Untergeher") in English (translated by Jack Dawson, with a wonderful afterword by Mark M. Anderson).
João Reis
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Um livro soberbo de Thomas Bernhard, que, com o seu habitual estilo elíptico, incisivo e jocoso em forma de monólogo interno, narra a destruição de um pianista perante a incapacidade de atingir a genialidade artística.
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sono sicuro che in molti sconsiglierebbero la lettura consecutiva di due romanzi di Bernhard, ma io me ne infischio. Il nipote di Wittgenstein è stato il mio primo in assoluto, su cui ho evitato accuratamente ogni considerazione che sarebbe stata quanto di più parziale possibile; sarebbe stato facile farmi trascinare dall’immediato entusiasmo. C’è stato un bizzarro travaso di tematiche da Wittgenstein a Il soccombente, mi sembra infatti di aver letto un unico libro, con personaggi (persone?) sim ...more
Nelson Zagalo
Talvez se tivesse lido "O Náufrago" (1983), de Thomas Bernhard, com 20 anos o tivesse admirado diferentemente. Num tempo em que almejava tornar-me cineasta, sonhava realizar os meus filmes e acreditava que a culpa por isso não acontecer era de todos os outros que não compreendiam tal. O artista estava acima do mundo, via mais longe, via diferente porque era diferente, e fazia questão de ser diferente, era melhor do que todos. Mas o crescimento, o amadurecimento e a aprendizagem daquilo que const ...more
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hay libros que te hacen pasar un buen rato, textos entretenidos y amables para leer tranquilamente, en la playa, y al finalizar, cerrarlos con una sonrisa en los labios y permanecer un rato en silencio, con el libro aún en las manos, saboreando el recuerdo de las páginas leídas. Sin duda, éste no es uno de ellos.
Bernhard es un autor difícil, muy exigente con el lector; sus obras requieren una disposición de ánimo especial y una gran atención. También se suele decir que es un autor de culto, un e
Jun 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: foreigners, fiction
Very interesting indeed. I wonder about the mental differences between those who reviewed this book very favorably and those who did not. What state or states of mind distinguishes those attracted to Bernhard's prose and those turned off by it? However good it may be in essence, I myself could not slog all the way through this work. I found it a wild and impossible self-indulgence on the part of the author. An unfeeling imposition on his readers. Which of course is entirely possible, though in m ...more
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Fuggiamo senza posa da una cosa all'altra, così lui, e ci distruggiamo da soli. Non facciamo altro che scappare, così lui, fino a quando cessiamo di vivere".

Non è facile, per quanto mi riguarda, descrivere le emozioni che questo romanzo breve, ma intenso, ha saputo donarmi. Con uno stile ripetitivo, a tratti prolisso, Bernhard trascina il lettore nel mondo della musica concertistica mostrando le difficoltà che si possono incontrare lungo il cammino. Un cammino impervio, soprattutto per i due p
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Thomas Bernhard was an Austrian author, who ranks 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 Be

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“Again and again we picture ourselves sitting together with the people we feel drawn to all our lives, precisely these so-called simple people, whom naturally we imagine much differently from the way they truly are, for if we actually sit down with them we see that they aren't the way we've pictured them and that we absolutely don't belong with them, as we've talked ourselves into believing, and we get rejected at their table and in their midst as we logically should get after sitting down at their table and believing we belonged with them or we could sit with them for even the shortest time without being punished, which is the biggest mistake, I thought. All our lives we yearn to be with these people and want to reach out to them and when we realize what we feel for them are rejected by them and indeed in the most brutal fashion.” 23 likes
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