By Thomas Bernhard
Rather than the booklet he's intended to write down, Rudolph, a Viennese musicologist, produces this darkish and grotesquely humorous account of small woes writ huge, of profound horrors distinctive and rehearsed to the purpose of distraction. We research of Rudolph's sister, whose aid he invitations, then reviles as malevolent meddling; his 'really marvelous' condo, which he hates; the suspicious disorder he conscientiously nurses; his ten-year-long try and write the appropriate commencing sentence; and, eventually, his get away to the island of Majorca, which seems to be the location of somebody else's very actual horror story.
A impressive and haunting story of procrastination, failure, and depression, Concrete is an ideal instance of why Thomas Bernhard is remembered as "one of the masters of latest ecu fiction" (George Steiner).
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Extra info for Concrete
He is sitting up now, reaching for his turn at the pipe. Some go back to the whites and betray us. You did not betray us. William the Hat looks into his smoke. I am not half. You are half changed by your time with them, says the Indian. We should have stoned you. William pretends to snore, his smoke escaping his nose. After arranging the chips in the fire, the girl stands quickly and then stands too long, waiting for the word Go. The Indian takes her by the arm and feels its strength. My ankles hurt, says the girl.
I will pass through this country the way we used to, coming upon this and that, and then I will see Pa or at least a sister in the furs they surely still trade, and I will walk right up to them without the ado you are always having when you are away and there those bushes of blue will be. I will say that is all I am looking for, not them. The ground keeping up all that blue sky has about as much grass thick on it as the whiskers a young boy could shave. Or so it appears to me. My eyes still water from the thick smoke night after night inside the Indian’s sleeping house—my place was close to the fire, good for the heat, yes, but hard on the eyes.
Both start off close but split in the distance. I don’t try the soldiers’. You don’t night-steal and threaten a girl when the lazy life of a fort is your aim. I choose the old track and stop a few steps on, crane around and pull my skirt forward for a look. There is all this blood on the back. I am not cut or hurt. I find where it flows and wipe it with weed and wipe it again. I mind the blood but what am I to do? No one has shed it but myself. Going along way past the river, a heavy wagon gets involved in the old tracks and though I fear it is one that carries cannonballs the tracks run so deep, I lay my belief in it carrying cream, very heavy cream, and I follow it.