The Lime Works

Thomas Bernhard Sophie Wilkins

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The Lime Works

The Lime Works For twenty years Konrad has imprisoned himself and his crippled wife in an abandoned lime works where he s conducted odd auditory experiments and prepared to write his masterwork The Sense of Hearin

  • Title: The Lime Works
  • Author: Thomas Bernhard Sophie Wilkins
  • ISBN: 9780226043975
  • Page: 407
  • Format: Paperback
  • For twenty years, Konrad has imprisoned himself and his crippled wife in an abandoned lime works where he s conducted odd auditory experiments and prepared to write his masterwork, The Sense of Hearing As the story begins, he s just blown the head off his wife with the Mannlicher carbine she kept strapped to her wheelchair The murder and the bizarre life that led to itFor twenty years, Konrad has imprisoned himself and his crippled wife in an abandoned lime works where he s conducted odd auditory experiments and prepared to write his masterwork, The Sense of Hearing As the story begins, he s just blown the head off his wife with the Mannlicher carbine she kept strapped to her wheelchair The murder and the bizarre life that led to it are the subject of a mass of hearsay related by an unnamed life insurance salesman in a narrative as mazy, byzantine, and mysterious as the lime works, Konrad s sanctuary and tomb.

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      Posted by:Thomas Bernhard Sophie Wilkins
      Published :2019-02-22T23:30:53+00:00

    One thought on “The Lime Works

    1. David on said:

      If you happen to love long, comprehensive physical descriptions -- the kind that many nineteenth century novelists (and Anne Rice) trafficked in -- you're out of luck with Thomas Bernhard, who at most restricts himself to a few general details about a person, place, or object and allows the situation or characterization to evoke physical appearances (often grotesquely) in the reader's mind. In other words, Bernhard crafts his worlds expressionistically.Of the eponymous lime works building, the o [...]

    2. Lee on said:

      Just what was needed: early October reimmersion in the expansively claustrophobic representation of intellectual and interpersonal ruthlessness expressed by an obsessive with an advanced sense of the tragicomic. I "enjoyed" this one, although Bernhard's technique isn't yet refined here. It's longer and more labyrinthine than most later novels -- other than his last novel/masterpiece Extinction. Not as "funny" as his later stuff, although there are many dark silent laughs that have nothing to do [...]

    3. JSou on said:

      This book was crazy-good. I almost wish I could go hide out in some dark and dreary place (not as dreary as the lime works--nooooo thank you) for a day and re-read this in one straight shot. While reading this, I would immeadiately be so immersed in the story that even the smallest distraction would annoy me to no end. God forbid anyone tried to talk to me while I had this book in my hands; they certainly got the ol' stink-eye. This was basically a 241-page narrative--no chapters, no paragraphs. [...]

    4. Szplug on said:

      In the fictions of Thomas Bernhard, nature looms as an unknowable and menacing presence that permeates the entirety of the pathetic struggle through time that an alternately pitiable and contemptible humanity has ironically labelled existence. Faced with this implacable entirety from the dimmest flickering of consciousness, mankind has created a multitude of structures and systems—society, culture, religion, language—mated with abstract concepts—love, hate, happiness, hope—in an effort t [...]

    5. [P] on said:

      It seems necessary when writing about Thomas Bernhard to use certain words or phrases to describe his work. I don’t think I have ever read an article or review that didn’t, for example, mention insanity, or ranting or run-on sentences or hate or tedium. If you wanted to you could play a Thomas Bernhard Review drinking game: suicide [take a sip], repetition [take a sip] and so on. The funny thing is that a positive review, and most of these reviews are positive, is meant to inspire people to [...]

    6. Mary on said:

      …not only was it a terrible, a horrifying world, but it was also a ridiculous world, but unfortunately each one of us had to resign himself to existing in a world that was not only terrible and horrifying, but also ridiculous, each and every one of us had to come to terms with this fact; how many hundreds of thousands, how many millions of people had already come to terms with it, even in his own unquestionably terrible, horrifying, and ridiculous country, our own country, the most ridiculous [...]

    7. Justin Evans on said:

      Prime Bernhard here, a novel so horrific that on opening its pages I heard a faint whisper of black metal beckoning me hither. The glorious centerpiece is the narrator's attempt to produce a theory of hearing (note: he has no idea what he's talking about) by forcing his wife to undergo the 'Urbanchich Method,' which doesn't exist, but consists nonetheless in repeating words, syllables and sentences at the poor woman and then asking her how she feels about them. That is, of course, just what the [...]

    8. Oscar on said:

      Como todo Bernhard, en cuanto empiezas a leer te das cuenta que se parece mucho a ir estirando del hilo de un tapiz, en que estiras y estiras del hilo del tapiz y cada vez vas sabiendo más cosas del tapiz. Pero también es como recorrer una escalera de caracol, donde paradójicamente vuelves a acabar al principio de la escalera de caracol. Y según vas deshilando el tapiz y vas recorriendo la escalera de caracol, sabes que el narrador está contando, a través de los testimonios de Wieser y Fro [...]

    9. Sam on said:

      A solid four, in my humble estimation. Certainly the most grinding and saddening example of Bernhard's method, maybe because it concerns itself with domestic space (the end of a long and torturous marriage) and because it eschews pretty much all of the lightening mechanisms you might find in his other novels. There's none of the musical flights of fancy one finds in the Loser, none of the beautiful pastoral evocation of the Aurach gorge you get in Correction, and certainly none of the (Sometimes [...]

    10. Jim Elkins on said:

      The Bernhard addiction is nearly impossible, perhaps impossible, to break. When I read "Gathering Evidence," I thought it would be my last Bernhard book, and I said why. But the reasons drain away, because his obsessive-compulsive, repetitive, unending and interminable, grammatically stringy rants just will not dissolve, just won't fade from memory: they are like adhesions, gluey things, echoing obscenities, the memory of intransigent hate or unhappiness. This book isn't any better or worse than [...]

    11. Simon Robs on said:

      I was "prepared" to read this TB book, my 8th now read out of sequence which poses no impediment to understanding - his books, so far, remain quite similar, they ALWAYS feature an unhinged CENTRAL figure who is paranoid and/or reclusive, misogynistic & misanthropic, has a sister whom he distrusts, parents/family he hates/distrusts, WOODCUTTERS, usually a house/domain that figures heavy, sickness/illness, suicide and/or obsessive thoughts thereof, and so on. "The Lime Works" IS that place in [...]

    12. Nate D on said:

      he explained to Weiser: precisely because I can see clearly that i can begin to write at any moment, that everything is arranged and in perfect order for starting to write, everything is pointing towards this moment of readiness to write, the very awareness that everything is pushing me in that direction makes it impossible for me to start writing. Every time it occurs to him that the very sight of his desk with everything on it prepared and ready, so that he can begin to write his book, is just [...]

    13. Simon Hollway on said:

      Reading Berhard is like exfoliating your face with sandpaper, dabbing on a sea-salt based, astringent toner and polishing off with an antimony chloride moisturiser. He stares into the abyss and drags you down there with him. Literally painful to read yet magnificent.Thomas wouldn't be much fun to play Monopoly with. He's more your chess on a cliff by the sea kind of guy.This one makes Correction seem like Babes in the Wood. Those who find certain types of brutalist 1960s Soviet architecture mild [...]

    14. Andrew on said:

      One of Bernhard's finest -- again, a complete assault, both in terms of its style and its sheer distaste for its subject, in this case, a scientific type who goes into refuge in the Austrian countryside with his quadriplegic wife, his obsession with his own self-proclaimed genius, his hatred for his wife, his hatred for women in general, etc etc etc. This isn't to say that the world beyond this jackass is any better -- if you've read any Bernhard, you know his opinion of his homeland and his cou [...]

    15. Jesse on said:

      dark. claustrophobic. sickening. tedious. mad. brilliant. hilarious. disturbing. inspiring.Bernhardt's style isn't for everyone, what with the first person voice and lack of any obvious structure to the monologue, but if you can sink into his stream of consciousness long enough to get a sense of his narrative, his books are amazing. This is no exception, although I suspect that I'd enjoy his books even more if I spent a few years in Austria.

    16. Tosh on said:

      Thomas Bernhard has to be one of the most insane contemporary novelist in our life time. What is it about Austria that produces madmen. A writer's writer which means every writer should dip their toes into the pool of Bernhard. And i guess this is as good as any place to start. You like paragraph breaks? Forget it!

    17. David on said:

      Another punishing novel by Bernhard. Is it possible this one is darker than the rest? Or is it just that it's 240 pages, rather than the usually more manageable 120 to 130?Dense, dark, obsessive, yet as always with Bernhard the descent into the darkness helps us appreciate the light all the more, and commit to live more fully within it.This novel also viciously emphasizes the point that if you have something that's important for you to do you better damn well start doing it right now, then make [...]

    18. Tom on said:

      The ending of this novel surprised me. On the other hand, the more Bernhard I read (and I've read all of his novels translated into English and several of his plays), the more nuances and complexities I see in his work. Yes, The Lime Works, as with most other Bernhard novels, is a single-paragraph, near rant. Yes, the narrator is self-deceiving, self-destructive, willful, angry, much put-upon, and (seemingly) unfairly punished (i.e forced to live in an uncaring, unfeeling world). But. the protag [...]

    19. Arlo on said:

      Not to oversimplify but this may be the greatest book ever about procrastination. More later(jk)

    20. AC on said:

      Sheer genius. Bernhard at his most intricate, rancorous, sustained, reflective peak

    21. Munema on said:

      This is a very strange and fascinating book. While reading it, I found myself analysing it on two different levels: the level of the text itself and what was written, and the level of the writing of the book, what the author himself must have been thinking/feeling/doing. Is the author manipulating us the way Konrad manipulates his wife? Added to that was even more nuance: the points of view of the narrator (N), Fro, Konrad as a genius scientist, Konrad as a husband, Konrad as a madman, the peopl [...]

    22. Bryan on said:

      "The most lamentable, ridiculous, pitiful stuff"Or so Konrad, the focus of 'The Lime Works', is supposed to have said, in reference to the results one gets at the moment anyone attempts to place on paper any thought, no matter how portentous (or monstrous, according to Konrad, supposedly). This is as good an example as any of Konrad's worldview, at least as it is reported to the reader by the faceless narrator as he transcribes the gossip and rumor flying around the small town of Sinking after K [...]

    23. Mihai on said:

      Breathtaking polyphonic chronicle depicting madness by one great literary artisan. Stating the obvious without claiming proficient reading skills (yet!), I'd say Bernhard makes most sense in German. Words in other languages and their precise length cannot accomplish the litany, putting words together does not keep up the pace, translating words amounts only to a second rate cover. One can recreate the mood, but not the entire music.

    24. Güney Tombak on said:

      Anlamak için vakit isteyen, mümkünse tek seferde okunması gereken bir eser. Yazın konuya uydurulmuş. Paragrafların olmayışıyla fikirlerdeki karmaşıklık, okuyucunun konuyla daha iyi empati kurmasını sağlamış.

    25. Kalkwerk on said:

      Ein Text über den Sinn des Lebens und eine pathologische Schreibblockade - allen empfohlen, die gerade nichts zu Papier bringen oder mal kräftig lachen wollen.

    26. Bryan on said:

      Absolutely brilliant. Reminder to the unmarried: if you're considering getting married, read this book.

    27. Andy on said:

      This is the third Bernhard novel I've read, after The Loser and Gargoyles. It's difficult to rate these books, and your rating will probably depend whether you're in the right mood for this sort of writing. But I enjoyed this one as much as, or more than the first two.Bernhard can be fun to read, and yet because of the draining style he's not an author I'd likely read twice in a year. Bernhard's narrator will explore a topic of the seemingly most minute importance, turning it over and over again [...]

    28. Mac Vogt on said:

      The Lime Works is a nightmarish piece of hypnosis, a cautionary tale whose impact roars into view only when the last line drops. In other words, a punishing experience, but worth it. Punish yourself with existential dread entwined with marital dread, tightened by a raveling obsessiveness not so much detailed as it is ruminative and meandering in a seamless, sustained style, one I will attempt to emulate for you here, and failing of course. One always fails at emulating, or simulating, the experi [...]

    29. Christopher Robinson on said:

      I loved this book for many reasons, but I'll just focus on the two primaries.One: the humor. I think it's easy to lose sight of the humor in The Lime Works because of the oppressive atmosphere and the negativity of the narrative, but it's there in spades. Konrad is UNBEARABLE, and that's where much of the humor arises from. In particular, the recollection of him bothering his professor in the late evening had me laughing out loud. Bernhard has Konrad go on for more than a page, rambling at his p [...]

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