“Darüber spricht man nicht” (One doesn’t talk about that)–Thomas Bernhard on Sexuality

Sexuality was drastically restricted in my case, because the moment it began to stir, you see, and I noticed somehow, aha, these are pretty mysterious forces, which suddenly set you in motion and toward certain objects. [Laughs.] That’s when I became mortally ill somehow. And that’s why it was all quite bottled up and kept in check for years. Which is a pity, really, because just at the time when sexuality has its greatest appeal, that is when it awakens so to speak, when that little weenie starts to stir, to put it plainly, you see, that’s when I was in the hospital. Everything was limp, more or less, and one lies there and is kept down, simple as that. When I finally got out, I was rather tired and a little weak. But, between twenty-two and thirty, everything was in place and normal, I believe, you see. With all the pleasure and all the ups and downs, literally and metaphorically–don’t be embarrassed now.

Krista Fleischmann, Thomas Bernhard: Eine Begegnung. (Vienna: Österreichische Staatsdruckerei, 1991), 53-4. Quoted in Thomas Bernhard: The Making of an Austrian, Gitta Honegger. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), 62. Trans. Gitta Honegger.

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