Here is a confession, to start. I've spent considerable time watching the ledger.

July 2nd, 2015, 7am

Here is a confession, to start. I’ve spent considerable time watching the ledger. How much money have I lost through miscalculation, or saved by scrimping (through the consumer’s mandate to “save”), how many countries have I visited, and how many tasks have I done in a day? The latter category, I know from experience, usually leaves me in the red, on paper. All of this is somewhat underpinned by the vague and troublesome question of how to “get ahead” in today’s world. In the very specific arena of Thomas Bernhard’s books, however, I feel much stronger. My German is tentative enough to vary the texture and rhythm of reading, thanks to slight groping adventures in the prose, but reliable enough to give a sense of continuity. Bernhard’s pounding way of writing and unflinching repetitions allow me to sink into his relentless flow, and my reading ability, which might trip over a standard daily news article, thus seems to punch above its weight, following Bernhard’s corrosive magic, demolishing hypocrisy and imposture. Some of these books I haven’t read, and some I have, and the latter would bear re-reading. My slowness gives even the shorter volumes real heft, and because of Bernhard’s heaviness, I don’t chain-read directly into another of his works. In this little stack, my stock is doing well, it has a solid history and promising future. I even consider myself in the black.

Shu and David Wade said thanks.

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Marlon Jones

Mostly about books, bikes and dough.

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