Gary Indiana

(Geb. 1950 in Derry, NH)

(...) Bernhard had been my decisive aesthetic and mental influence among 20th-century writers. He revealed the shrunken, petty, deformed condition of human beings as the modern world transformed them into things.

I always read this Bernhard with relief. Even though he was in Austria and not America, even though he wrote of Austria’s hideousness instead of America’s hideousness, even though he continually provoked and ridiculed the so-called cultural elite of Austria and not the so-called cultural elite of America, I felt grateful that someone, somewhere, could write exactly as he pleased with impunity, fearlessly, and that his reputation grew and grew as he became more and more disagreeable, more contrary, more intolerant of hypocrites and imbeciles. (...)

I wondered, months before Extinction arrived, if it would still be possible to write something interesting about this Bernhard, whom some believed to be the greatest writer in the world, and whom others believed to be an obscure and irritating misanthrope…


Gary Indiana, »Saint Bernhard: Preface to a Multi-Volume Suicide Note«, in: Village Voice Literary Supplement 5. März 1996.