Monday, June 02, 2014

A Translation of a Letter from Thomas Bernhard to the editors of profil.

Having [1] just returned from abroad, one is very much of a mind to take off again immediately when one sees in print how, in this dry rot-ridden country that perverts lies into the general conversational tone, the facts are turned upside-down for the sake of putting other people in the wrong.  I am referring to Sigrid Löffler’s highly biased story “Decampment into Yesteryear?,” a story about the Burgtheater and Claus Peymann, a man I value very much.  Far be it from me to stoop to addressing Mrs. Löffler’s prejudices; I shall instead content myself with rectifying a certain sentence of hers that reads: “Not only is Claus Peymann the only director of the Burgtheater who did not grow up in the area, but he is actually a German who was specially brought in…”   Either this sour-faced lady knows nothing of the Burgtheater’s history, or, even worse, she is keeping that knowledge to herself for the sake of being able to polemicize uninhibitedly.  The greatest director of the Burgtheater of the last century, Heinrich Laube, a native of Prussian Silesia and delegate to the Frankfurt Assembly, was likewise “specially brought in,” as were the Burgtheater directors Franz von Holbein from Hannover, August Wolff from Manheim, Paul Schlendther from Berlin and, in the 1930s, Hermann Röbbelung from Hamburg.

Thomas Bernhard


[1] Editors' note.  First published in profil, Vienna, Vol. 16; May 14, 1985.

Translation unauthorized but Copyright ©2014 by Douglas Robertson

Source: Der Wahrheit auf der Spur.  Reden, Leserbriefe, Interviews, Feuilletons.  Herausgegeben von  Wolfram Bayer, Raimund Fellingerund und Martin Huber [Stalking the Truth.  Speeches, Open Letters, Interviews, Newspaper Articles.  Edited by Wolfram Bayer et al.](Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2011), p. 234.

No comments: