Quotes from Woodcutters

Thomas Bernhard ·  188 pages

Rating: (2.6K votes)


“You've always lived a life of pretense, not a real life-- a simulated existence, not a genuine existence. Everything about you, everything you are, has always been pretense, never genuine, never real.”
― Thomas Bernhard, quote from Woodcutters


“Träume und Märchen waren ihr eigentlicher Lebensinhalt, dachte ich jetzt. Deshalb hat sie sich auch umgebracht, dachte ich, weil ein Mensch, der nur Träume und Märchen sich zu seinem Lebensinhalt gemacht hat, in dieser Welt nicht überleben kann, nicht überleben darf, dachte ich.”
― Thomas Bernhard, quote from Woodcutters


“In die Natur hineingehen und in dieser Natur ein- und ausatmen und in dieser Natur nichts als tatsächlich und für immer Zuhause zu sein, das empfände er als das höchste Glück. In den Wald gehen, tief in den Wald hinein, sagte der Burgschauspieler, sich gänzlich dem Wald überlassen, das ist es immer gewesen, der Gedanke, nichts anderes, als selbst Natur zu sein.”
― Thomas Bernhard, quote from Woodcutters


“Her mother, an unshapely, chubby-cheeked creature from the rural gentry of Styria, permanently lost her hair at the age of forty after being treated for influenza by her husband, and prematurely withdrew from society. She and her husband were able to live in the Gentzgasse thanks to her mother's fortune, which derived from the family estates in Styria and then devolved upon her. She provided for everything, since her husband earned nothing as a doctor. He was a socialite, what is known as a beau, who went to all the big Viennese balls during the carnival season and throughout his life was able to conceal his stupidity behind a pleasingly slim exterior. Throughout her life Auersberger's mother-in-law had a raw deal from her husband, but was content to accept her modest social station, not that of a member of the nobility, but one that was thoroughly petit bourgeois. Her son-in-law, as I suddenly recalled, sitting in the wing chair, made a point of hiding her wig from time to time--whenever the mood took him--both in the Gentzgasse and at the Maria Zaal in Styria, so that the poor woman was unable to leave the house. It used to amuse him, after he had hidden her wig, to drive his mother-in-law up the wall, as they say. Even when he was going on forty he used to hide her wigs--by that time she has provided herself with several--which was a symptom of his sickness and infantility. I often witnessed this game of hide-and-seek at Maria Zaal and in the Gentzgasse, and I honestly have to say that I was amused by it and did not feel in the least bit ashamed of myself. His mother-in-law would be forced to stay at home because her son-in-law had hidden her wigs, and this was especially likely to happen on public holidays. In the end he would throw the wig in her face. He needed his mother-in-law's humiliation, I reflected, sitting in the wing chair and observing him in the background of the music room, just as he needed the triumph that this diabolical behavior brought him.”
― Thomas Bernhard, quote from Woodcutters


“If we cannot become what we want to become, we resort to another person—inevitably the person closest to us—and make of him what we have been unable to make of ourselves”
― Thomas Bernhard, quote from Woodcutters



“Тако смо блиски с људима да помислимо како је то веза за цео живот, а онда их одједном, преко ноћи, изгубимо што из вида, што из сећања, то је жива истина, помислих у бержери.”
― Thomas Bernhard, quote from Woodcutters


“The forest, the virgin forest, the life of a woodcutter—that has always been my ideal.”
― Thomas Bernhard, quote from Woodcutters


“In Kilb hatten diese künstlerischen Menschen einen grotesken Eindruck gemacht, wenigstens auf mich wirkten sie wie von ihren künstlerischen Vorhaben und von ihrer künstlerischen Tätigkeit verunstaltet, sie hatten einen künstlichen Gang, und sie hatten eine künstliche Stimme, alles an ihnen war künstlich, während ich den Friedhof als das Natürlichste von der Welt empfunden habe. Beugten sie sich vor, beugten sie sich zu weit vor, standen sie auf, standen sie zu früh (oder zu spät) auf, setzen sie nieder, setzen sie zu spät (oder zu früh) nieder, fingen sie an, zu singen, sangen sie zu früh (oder zu spät), nahmen sie ihre Kopfbedeckungen vom Kopf, nahmen sie sie zu früh (oder zu spät) vom Kopf, hatten sie etwas zum Pfarrer gesagt, hatten sie es zu früh (oder zu spät) gesagt. Während die Kilber Bevölkerung, die, wie gesagt wird, sehr zahlreich zum Begräbnis der Joana gekoomen war, alles natürlich gemacht hat, alles natürlich gesagt hat, alles natürlich gesungen hat, immer natürlich gegangen ist und natürlich aufgestanden und natürlich hingestezt hat und immer alles weder zu spät, noch zu früh, noch zu kurz, noch zu lang. Und während die künstlerischen Leute aus Wien auf die grotesk-lächerliche Weise zu diesem Begräbnis angezogen waren, war din Kilber Bevölkerung ganz und gar richtig dazu angezogen, dachte ich auf dem Ohrensessel.”
― Thomas Bernhard, quote from Woodcutters


“We may know for decades that someone close to us is a ridiculous person, but it’s only after a lapse of decades that we suddenly see it.”
― Thomas Bernhard, quote from Woodcutters


“For a long time we see only one side of a person’s personality, because for reasons of self-preservation we do not wish to see any other, I thought, then suddenly we see all sides of their personality and are disgusted by them, I thought.”
― Thomas Bernhard, quote from Woodcutters



“I always make the mistake of not asking the hosts who else is being invited, I thought.”
― Thomas Bernhard, quote from Woodcutters


“insanlarla en içten biçimde arkadaş oluyor ve bunun gerçekten ömür boyu süreceğine inanıyor ve günün birinde bu her şeyden çok taktir ettiğimiz, hayranlık duyduğumuz, hatta sevdiğimiz insanlar tarafından hayal kırıklığına uğratılıyor ve onlardan tiksiniyoruz ve onlardan nefret ediyoruz ve onlarla hiçbir ilişkimiz kalsın istemiyoruz, diye düşündüm berjer koltukta, tıpkı eskiden duyduğumuz eğilim ve sevgi gibi, nefretimizle de onları ömür boyu istemediğimiz için onları tamamen kafamızdan siliyoruz.”
― Thomas Bernhard, quote from Woodcutters


About the author

Thomas Bernhard
Born place: in Heerlen, Netherlands
Born date February 9, 1931
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