Thomas Bernhard Interview

This appears to have been conducted in 1984, on the eve of the publication of his novel Woodcutters.

Gotta love this. Right off the bat:

FLEISCHMANN: The blurb of your latest book mentions “its first-person narrator, in whom the combination of fiction and autobiographical fact is more pronounced than ever before.” What is the relationship there? What is real? What is invented?

BERNHARD: Well, everything is invented, and everything is also real. That’s the nature of the mixture. And the person who perceives himself as real will find himself in it, and he will also perceive even what’s invented as real.

And more of Bernhard being Bernhard:

FLEISCHMANN: And what happens now if these friends recognize themselves in this book?

BERNHARD: Well, of course they can’t help recognizing themselves, even though all their names have been changed. The uninitiated reader won’t know who has been targeted; the target will know with a hundred-percent certainty who it is when he feels himself being hit.

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