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The scientist Roithamer has dedicated the last six years of his life to “the Cone,” an edifice of mathematically exact construction that he has erected in the center of his family’s estate in honor of his beloved sister. Not long after its completion, he takes his own life. As an unnamed friend pieces together—literally, from thousands of slips of papers and one troubling manuscript—the puzzle of Rotheimer’s breakdown, what emerges is the story of a genius ceaselessly compelled to correct and refine his perceptions until the only logical conclusion is the negation of his own soul.
Considered by many critics to be Thomas Bernhard’s masterpiece, Correction is a cunningly crafted and unforgettable meditation on the tension between the desire for perfection and the knowledge that it is unattainable.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Bernhard's novel "Correction" tells us the story of two friends. The main character, Roithamer, commit suicide (as we know from the first page of the book) and his friend (the person who tells the story) take charge of his legacy: A huge mass of calculations and thinkings about the construction of a Cone (in the center of a forest called Kobernauss) for the "supreme happiness" of Roithamer' sister (who is expected to dwell in it). Following this main idea Bernhard writes a superb novel dealing with the loneliness of an exceptional man in a stupid, brutal and destructive society that consider mad to those people with true artistic and intellectual interests. Strong thoughts and strong beauty are the main virtues of this book. I have read almost all the works by Thomas Bernhard and this one, I think, is the kernel of all his production. It is, maybe, his greatest masterpiece (in narrative) besides his five-volume autobiography. We encounter, here, for example, that...
I consider Correction as one the best works of his author. I've read Miguel Saenz' translation into Spanish and I've found it excellent. I can't quite say wether English traslation is as good or it's not. The main Bernhard obsession are shown in this book. His peculiar, rather tough style is displayed in all its intensity as well. Amongst the former the suicide topic and the relationship between the man and Nature are worth mentioning. Among the latter, I guess those endlessly soliloques whose secret only Bernhard seems to know, would be the most characteristic. The plot is based upon Wittgenstein's life or, rather, upon Wittgenstein's philosophy. The method of this philospher has been described as a spiral -rather than lineal way of thought. He rounds the same issues all the time but getting deeper and deeper every time. In Bernhard prose, the same process can be verified. In a lineal following of the plot, not many things can be registered. But the thoughts of the...
This novel is essentially about a man (two men, really, in sequence although at times it feels like the narrator is of one piece) in a little dark room who cannot turn his brain off and has an incessant need to share it with you (the reader). I found the passage about the stuffing of the big black bird to be incredibly hilarious. People who aspire to be well-read must put Thomas Bernhard on the top of their reading list. Adjectives like obsession and neurotic don't do this particular book justice. I've read most of Bernhard's books (as translated in English) and this is certainly one of his strongest. I recommend this book to everyone -- graduate students, widows, orphans, the mentally ill, little children. Five stars absolutely.
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