17th Dec 2019

Again and again we picture ourselves sitting together with the people we feel drawn to all our lives, precisely these so-called simple people, whom naturally we imagine much differently from the way they truly are, for if we actually sit down with them we see that they aren’t the way we’ve pictured them and that we absolutely don’t belong with them, as we’ve talked ourselves into believing, and we get rejected at their table and in their midst as we logically should get after sitting down at their table and believing we belonged with them or we could sit with them for even the shortest time without being punished, which is the biggest mistake, I thought. All our lives we yearn to be with these people and want to reach out to them and when we realize what we feel for them are rejected by them and indeed in the most brutal fashion. Wertheimer often described how he always failed in his effort to fit in, to be together with so-called simple folk and thus with the so-called people, and he often reported that he went to the Dichtel Mill with the idea of sitting at the table of simple people, only to have to admit after the first such attempt that it was a mistake to think that individuals like him, Wertheimer, or like me could just sit down at the table of simple people. Individuals like us have cut themselves off from the table of simple people at an early age, he said, as I recall, have been born at quite a different table, he said, not at the table of simple people. Individuals like us are naturally drawn to the table of simple people, he said. But we have no business sitting at the table of simple people, as he said, as I recall. — Thomas Bernhard • The Loser [rendered into english by Jack Dawson]

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