summoned by his friend Reger to meet him in a Viennese museum. While
Reger gazes at a Tintoretto portrait, Atzbacher—who fears Reger's
plans to kill himself—gives us a portrait of the musicologist: his
wisdom, his devotion to his wife, and his love-hate relationship with
art. With characteristically acerbic wit, Bernhard exposes the
pretensions and aspirations of humanity in a novel at once pessimistic
and strangely exhilarating.
"Bernhard's . . . most enjoyable novel."—Robert Craft, New York
Review of Books.
"Bernhard is one of the masters of contemporary European fiction."