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Old Masters: A Comedy (Phoenix Fiction)
November 15, 1992  /  160 pages  (is this book fiction or nonfiction?)
In this exuberantly satirical novel, the tutor Atzbacher has been
summoned by his friend Reger to meet him in a Viennese museum. While
Reger gazes at a Tintoretto portrait, Atzbacher-who fears Reger's
plans to kill himself-gives us a portrait of the musicologist: his
wisdom, his devotion to his wife, and his love-hate relationship with
art. With characteristically acerbic wit, Bernhard exposes the
pretensions and aspirations of humanity in a novel at once pessimistic
and 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
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