Old Masters

Old Masters - Thomas Bernhard, Ewald Osers In which we get the rambling thoughts of Reger, an 82-year-old music critic, whose irascibility is only matched by his erudition, as he sits in Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum before Tintoretto's 'Portrait of a White Bearded Man'. Reger hates almost everything but reserves great passion for those things he loves. The prose - in a single paragraph, a la Garcia Marquez - is hypnotic.

"...I am basically always unhappy, I am sure you understand, Reger said then. Even though this is nonsense, Reger said then..."

The narrative voice hugely reminded me of one of my favourite writers, Max Sebald. So I looked it up and found that, yes, Bernhard was a great influence on Sebald. I read the novel in the beautifully designed Penguin Central European Classics version - a pleasure in itself. The music critic as hero - this book was bound to appeal to me, then. I shall definitely be seeking out another Bernhard novel to read.