Fri Feb 16 2007
If you're feeling bitter this Sunday night, or if you just want to witness what should be one of the more spirited readings this year, head to the Thomas Bernhard celebration at KGB, hosted by TONY contributor Jonathan Taylor. Bernhard, who died in 1989, was a notorious crank who despised his native country's publishing industry so deeply that in his will he demanded that his books be banned in Austria. A master of the rant, he wrote books that are complex, bleak and hilarious, and his American admirers include writers as far-flung as Don DeLillo, Gary Indiana, Heather McGowan and Rick Moody. Other fans include this event's readers—novelist and so-called hatchet man Dale Peck, poet-critic Wayne Koestenbaum, novelist Ben Marcus and cultural critic Rhonda Lieberman—who will read their favorite passages. Maybe someone will select from Old Masters, in which a character details his hatred of ... author readings:
"There is nothing more distasteful than a so-called poet's reading, Reger said, there is hardly anything I detest more, but none of those people see anything wrong in reading their rubbish everywhere. Not a single person is basically interested in what these people have scavenged on their literary marauding expeditions, but they read it all the same, they get up on the stage and they read it and they bow to every half-witted town councillor and to every dull-witted village mayor and to every jackanape of a professor of German, Reger said."
See you there, malcontents.