Chapter

Thomas Bernhard's Rant

John Limon

in Death's Following

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242795
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823242832 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823242795.003.0001
Thomas Bernhard's Rant

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This chapter focuses on the concept of mediocrity: the mediocrity, central figure of Thomas Bernhard's novels, is another term for Heidegger's “They.” The mediocrity is defined here as someone for whom genius is visible but unavailable; thus the mediocrity can understand the claim on immortality but feel its eternal impossibility in his own case. This makes mediocrity the privileged position for understanding death; mediocrity is practice for being forgotten. And the rant, the form of Bernhard's novels, is the genre of temporally orphaned mediocrity: in the face of the loss of family continuity in time, the ranter tries to assemble an audience in the forlorn hope of occupying appalled minds forever, as the genius occupies willing minds.

Keywords: Rant; Mediocrity; Thomas Bernhard; Glenn Gould; Amadeus; The Designated Mourner; The Loser

Chapter.  11656 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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