To award someone a prize is no different from pissing on him

From Thomas Bernhard’s Wittgenstein’s Nephew (pg 67):

If one disregards the money that goes with them, there is nothing in the world more intolerable than award ceremonies.  I had already discovered this in Germany.  That do nothing to enhance one’s standing, as I had believed before I received my first prize, but actually lower it, in the most embarrassing fashion.  Only the thought of the money enabled me to endure these ceremonies; this was my sole motive for visiting various ancient city halls and tasteless assembly rooms – until the age of forty.  I submitted to the indignity of these award ceremonies – until the age of forty.  I let them piss on me in all these city halls and assembly rooms, for to award someone a prize is no different from pissing on him.  And to receive a prize is no different from allowing oneself to be pissed on, because one is being paid for it. I have always felt that being awarded a prize was not an honor but the greatest indignity imaginable.  For a prize is always awarded by incompetents who want to piss on the recipient.  And they have a perfect right to do so, because he is base and despicable enough to receive it.

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