thomas bernhard on love & hate
You used to be in love with these ridiculous people, I told myself as I sat in the wing chair, head in heels in love with these ridiculous, low, vicious people, who suddenly saw you again after twenty years, in the Graben of all places, and on the very day Joana killed herself. They came up and spoke to you and invited you to attend their artistic dinner party with the famous Burgtheater actor in the Gentzgasse. What ridiculous, vicious people they are! I thought sitting in the wing chair. And suddenly it struck me what a low ridiculous character I myself was, having accepted their invitation and nonchalantly taken my place in their wing chair as though nothing had happened – stretching out and crossing my legs and finishing off what must by now have been my third or fourth glass of champagne . . .
. . . To think that I once loved this woman Jeannie Billroth, whom I have hated for the last twenty years, and who, also, hates me. People come together and form a friendship, and for years they not only endure this friendship, but allow it to become more and more intense until it finally snaps, and from then on they hate each other for decades, sometimes for the rest of their lives.
—Thomas Bernhard, Woodcutters (1984)
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