Stephen Mitchelmore on Thomas Bernhard -- my then completely empty house:
Today, the 11th day of this dark month, marks twenty years since the death of Thomas Bernhard. As I wrote in an essay to mark the tenth anniversary, the promise of an early demise from TB was necessary to his work. "Death is close to me now and so is winter" he wrote in his twenties. February is also his birth month.
What remains to be said about Thomas Bernhard? Sometimes, in the ten years since that indulgent essay meant to promote a writer who then demanded promotion, I have sensed a damaging influence; not only in the seductive, liberating style but also in the excess, the exaggeration of which he was so exaggeratedly proud. Yet then I read his story In Rome (translated Kenneth J. Northcott), in which Bernhard remembers Ingeborg Bachmann, and these regrets fall away, replaced by gratitude. (More...)