Read Thomas Berhard’s ‘Extinction’ evoked the exact same feelings I get when I watch a film by Michael Haneke. It’s technically great and keeps you seated but it’s devoid of emotion and clinical, Plus I can’t stand these authors who use one paragraph.
Basically the story is about a man who escapes to Rome because he cannot stand the Austrian mentality. However this changes as his parents and brother die. As he is next in line and his older sister is married he inherits his parents mansion. Which means he has to return to Austria in order to determine the house’s future, as well as his parents past mistakes.
Potentially this would have been great but Bernhards use of satire is to hit hard and the reader is presented a depressing account of pre and post war Austria. According to the main character it’s a place that refuses to progress and acknowledge differences. A place that is in a time warp and full of obsolete customs. It’s depressing and the pessimism can be very daunting at times. I did feel exhausted reading it.
I think I have something against most northern European writers. I haven’t liked many (I think a grand total of three) I’m hoping this will change.