The newly translated collection of Thomas Bernhard’s prose, aptly titled Prose (Seagull Books – August 15), should be anticipated as a major literary event (or at least as a book to celebrate). Whenever readers of the future want to recommend a Bernhard to start with, I hope that it will be this one. It’s possibly the most deranged, compact and dangerous performance I’ve seen Bernhard give, a performance somehow polyphonic within Bernhard’s singular voice that’s always, to often brutal and hilarious effect, dashing behind itself only to expose its weaknesses again and again. Here Bernhard is a tightrope-walker like no other. And, of course, the translation is gorgeous. More soon.