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Death's FollowingMediocrity, Dirtiness, Adulthood, Literature$
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John Limon

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823242795

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823242795.001.0001

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Thomas Bernhard's Rant

Thomas Bernhard's Rant

(p.59) Chapter Three Thomas Bernhard's Rant
Death's Following

John Limon

Fordham University Press

This chapter focuses on the concept of mediocrity: the mediocrity, central figure of Thomas Bernhard's novels, is another term for Heidegger's “They.” The mediocrity is defined here as someone for whom genius is visible but unavailable; thus the mediocrity can understand the claim on immortality but feel its eternal impossibility in his own case. This makes mediocrity the privileged position for understanding death; mediocrity is practice for being forgotten. And the rant, the form of Bernhard's novels, is the genre of temporally orphaned mediocrity: in the face of the loss of family continuity in time, the ranter tries to assemble an audience in the forlorn hope of occupying appalled minds forever, as the genius occupies willing minds.

Keywords:   Rant, Mediocrity, Thomas Bernhard, Glenn Gould, Amadeus, The Designated Mourner, The Loser

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