Eclipsed by GG

the loserThomas Bernhard: The Loser

What does it feel like to live side by side with a piano virtuoso? Does it make you eager to better your musical capacities or just drive you crazy? Does it make you want to turn to philosophy or kill yourself? Bernhard magnificently portrays the talent of Glenn Gould by dedicating a book to his complete opposite: The Loser. Well, it would be cruel to say that Wertheimer is a complete loser, he did try to play Goldberg variations, but not as good as Glenn Gould. The most unfortunate event in Wertheimer’s life may just be the moment he heard Glenn Gould play the Golberg variations on the piano, it was the inevitable fall into a downward spiral. In this rambling monologue, Bernhard delves into the psychology of the winner and the loser, both dead, as the narrator remains alive to tell their story. For quite a small plot, Bernhard gets obsessive, repetitive, even pathological. All factors united for a thrilling one-paragraph story, told relentlessly and ironically, with no breaks, sparing no feelings, and leaving no note unexplored. An ode to Glenn Gould and the Loser.


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