Sunday, October 2, 2016

Beautiful View

“(…) two professors, close friends, from the University of Göttingen, who had been staying in Heiligenstadt, had reached the spot in front of the telescope, which is mounted above the glacier. Skeptics though they were, they could not fail to be impressed by the unique beauty of the mountains, as they had constantly assured one another, and when they arrived at the spot where the telescope was mounted, one of the them kept asking the other to be the first to look through the telescope, so as to avoid being reproached by the other for pushing himself forward in order to look through the telescope first....

...Finally they agreed that the older and more cultivated and, in the nature of things, the most courteous, should take the first look through the telescope, and he was overcome by what he saw. However, when his colleague approached the telescope, he had hardly put his eye to it when he gave a shrill cry and dropped dead. To this day, the friend of the man who died in this remarkable way still wonders, in the nature of things, what his colleague actually saw in the telescope, for he certainly did not see the same thing.

(Thomas Bernhard, “Beautiful View”, in The Voice Imitator, translated by Kenneth J. Northcott)

Based on an older post of this blog

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