In this exuberantly satirical novel, the tutor Atzbacher has beensummoned by his friend Reger to meet him in a Viennese museum. WhileReger gazes at a Tintoretto portrait, Atzbacher—who fears Reger'splans to kill himself—gives us a portrait of the musicologist: hiswisdom, his devotion to his wife, and his love-hate relationship with
art. With characteristically acerbic wit, Bernhard exposes thepretensions and aspirations of humanity in a novel at once pessimisticand strangely exhilarating.
"Bernhard's . . . most enjoyable novel."—Robert Craft, New York Review of Books.
"Bernhard is one of the masters of contemporary European fiction."—George Steiner