Life is only science now. The science of the sciences. Now we are suddenly taken up with nature. We have become intimate with the elements. We have put reality to the test. Reality has put us to the test. We now know the laws of nature, the infinite High laws of nature, and we an study them in reality and in truth. We no longer have to rely on assumptions. When we look into nature, we no longer see ghosts. We have written the boldest chapters in the book of world history, everyone of us has written it for himself in fright and deathly fear and none of us of our own free will, nor according to his own taste, but following the laws of nature, and we have written this chapter behind the backs of our blind fathers and our foolish teachers, behind our own backs; after so much that has been endlessly long and dull, the shortest and most important.
We are frightened by the clarity out of which our world suddenly is born, our world of science; we freeze in this clarity; but we wanted this clarity, we evoked it; so we cannot complain now that the cold reigns and we’re freezing. The cold increases with the clarity. This clarity and this cold will now rule us. The science of nature will give us greater clarity and will be far colder than we can imagine.
Everything will be clear, a clarity that increases and deepens unending, and everything will be cold, a coldness that intensifies ever more horribly. In the future we will have the impression of a day that is endlessly clear and endlessly cold.
Thomas Bernhard, Speech at the Award Ceremony for the Literature Prize of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen