Saturday, March 28, 2009

GARGOYLES by Thomas Bernhard

Thomas Bernhard's early novel Gargoyles is a schizophrenic work that succeeds until page 81 when Prince Saurau steps onstage and brings everything to a halt with an overly discursive monologue that lasts 120 pages. The problem here is that Bernhard has not yet perfected the lyrical monologue form of his best mature works (The Loser, Old Masters, Yes, etc.), so the Prince's monologue is simply not interesting enough in comparison to the quite original picaresque narrative that precedes it. Gargoyles, in short, is a failed experiment that shows in its failure the shape of Bernhardian successes to come.

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