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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
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Topic Nominated Hermann Burger

http://www.asymptotejournal.com/spec...ermann-burger/

The entire article would be of interest to anyone interested in pessimistic literature, but here are a couple of snippets:

Quote
Tipping his hat to Wittgenstein, Burger entitled his 1989 apologia for suicide Tractatus Logico-Suicidalis. This sinister hint at the approaching disaster [Burger's own suicide] comprises 1046 “thanatological” aphorisms. With characteristic relentlessness, Burger exposes his private thanatology (“as we term the precepts and philosophy of the total dominion of death over life”) and “the grim science of killing the self” also known as suicidology.
Quote
In a series of twenty quarto notebooks delivered as a School Report Addressed to the Inspectors’ Conference, to use the novel’s subtitle, Schilten [Burger's first novel] tells the story of Armin Schildknecht, a former schoolteacher who has been relieved of his duties on account of the distressing nature of his lessons. After losing his employment, Schildknecht buys the schoolhouse, moves into the attic, and composes a report to justify his actions. Rather than prepare his students for the life ahead, Schildknecht has tutored them in cemetery lore and death science, and commanded them to practice suspended animation, forcing them to lie in a covered hole in the floor reciting poetry to themselves while preparing for the eternal nothingness that awaits. Modeled on such Bernhardian chroniclers as Prince Sarau in Gargoyles or the painter Strauch in Frost, Schildknecht is the first in a long series of deranged protagonists who will voice Burger’s misgivings about the futility of habituating oneself to life.
None of Burger's books have yet been translated into English, but the above article links to a translation of an early short story:
http://www.asymptotejournal.com/fict...ergency-brake/
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