Corny trash, vulgar clichés, philistinism in all its phases, imitations of imitations, bogus profundities, crude, moronic and dishonest pseudo-literature.Yes, welcome to PEN World Voices!
Not Thomas Bernhard's words - though they suit him - but Nabokov's (quoted in link via The Literary Saloon). The Millions and The Arts Fuse report on The Art of Failure, the panel discussion of Bernhard that hasn't quite received the coverage as those featuring our finest purveyors of said pseudo-literature.
As a confessed newcomer to Bernhard, Garth Risk Hallberg on The Millions can be forgiven for accepting unchallenged phrases like "Bernhard's misanthropy". Only, whenever I read such casual summaries - "a man who turned his ferocious hatred of his native Austria and obsession with misery and failure into literature" as Bill Marx puts it on The Arts Fuse - I don't quite recognise the author to whose work I feel so close. (Nor indeed "Bernhard is a snake. He has rattles. He has poison." from Horacio Castellanos Moya in the panel discussion itself). Perhaps Bernhard has "so many loving fans" - those who turned up to this event despite it clashing with an audience with Ian McEwan - because there remains a readership for whom a work of art that manages to produce aesthetic bliss while facing the worst for what it is and what it does (to literature as much as to us) is far more vital to their lives than incontinent exoticism or polite novels "about global warming".