Author of the Month: Thomas Bernhard

Our first Author of the Month for 2020 is the Austrian novelist, playwright, poet and essayist Thomas Bernhard.

Although regarded by his many enthusiasts as a towering figure in European and world literature, comparable in stature to Samuel Beckett, his works have until recently only been sporadically available in English, and have suffered from an undeserved reputation of being dour, impenetrable and dauntingly intellectual. They are in fact none of the above, and share with Beckett a sharp sense of humour and a visceral engagement with life, and its necessary corollary, death.

Have a look at a list of his books here, and come and meet them in person at the shop on our dedicated Bernhard table in Bury Place.

Woodcutters

Thomas Bernhard, translated by David McLintock

From the publisher:

Superbly distinctive and provocative.’ – New York Times An unnamed writer arrives at an ‘artistic dinner’ hosted by a composer and his society wife: a couple he once ...

Collected Poems

Thomas Bernhard, translated by James Reidel

Michael Hofmann writes:

The posthumous progress in English of the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard (1931-89) is marked by deaths: those of his majoritarian and minoritarian translators David ...

My Prizes

Thomas Bernhard

From the publisher:

Completed in 1980 but published here for the first time, My Prizes is an accounting – prize by prize, blow by blow – of the background and circumstances of reception of ...

Minetti

Thomas Bernhard, translated by Tommy Cairns and Peter Eyre

From the publisher:

Thomas Bernhard’s rarely performed masterpiece, a moving portrait of a once celebrated actor now isolated and forgotten.

Wittgenstein's Nephew: A Friendship

Thomas Bernhard, translated by David McLintock

From the publisher:

Reissued with stunning artwork by Leanne Shapton and a new afterword by Ben Lerner, Wittgenstein’s Nephew is a memento mori of restless genius. It is 1967.

Extinction

Thomas Bernhard, translated by David McLintock

From the publisher:

Not only must he now go back, he must do so as the master of Wolfsegg: and he must decide its fate. The summit of Bernhard’s artistic genius – mesmerising, addictive, ...

Yes

Thomas Bernhard, translated by Ewald Osers

From the publisher:

The narrator, a scientist working on antibodies and suffering from emotional and mental illness, meets a Persian woman, the companion of a Swiss engineer, at an office in ...

Goethe Dies

Thomas Bernhard, translated by James Reidel

From the publisher:

Collection of four short stories. Underpinning all these variously comic, tragic, and bitingly satirical excursions is Bernhard’s abiding interest in, and deep knowledge ...

The Loser

Thomas Bernhard, translated by Jack Dawson

From the publisher:

‘When indefatigable obsession looms large as it does in Thomas Bernhard (and his revered precursor Kafka) the result for the reader is a strange exhilaration and the thrall ...

Heldenplatz

Thomas Bernhard, translated by Meredith Oakes

From the publisher:

British playwright Meredith Oakes and Austrian translator Andrea Tierney translate here Austrian playwright Thomas Bernhard’s controversial play Heldenplatz. In ...

Prose

Thomas Bernhard, translated by Martin Chalmers

From the publisher:

“His manner of speaking, like that of all the subordinated, excluded, was awkward, like a body full of wounds, into which at any time anyone can strew salt, yet so ...

Victor Halfwit: A Winter’s Tale

Thomas Bernhard

From the publisher:

One night in the middle of winter, as deep snow covers the mountains and forests, a doctor is crossing the ridge in Austria from Traich to Foeding to see a patient. He ...

The Voice Imitator

Thomas Bernhard, translated by Kenneth Northcott

From the publisher:

Playwright, novelist, and poet Thomas Bernhard (1931-1989) gives us one of his most darkly comic works. A series of parable-like anecdotes—some drawn from newspaper ...

Walking: A Novella

Thomas Bernhard

From the publisher:

Thomas Bernhard is “one of the masters of contemporary European fiction” (George Steiner); “one of the century’s most gifted writers” (Newsday); “a virtuoso of ...

Correction

Thomas Bernhard

From the publisher:

Roithamer, a character based on Wittgenstein, has committed suicide having been driven to madness by his own frightening powers of pure thought. We witness the gradual ...

Old Masters

Thomas Bernhard

Michael Hofmann writes:

The Austrian novelist and playwright Thomas Bernhard (1931-89) once said: ‘You have to understand that in my writing the musical component comes first, and the subject ...

Concrete

Thomas Bernhard, translated by David McLintock

From the publisher:

Genius.’ – Michael Hofmann Instead of the book he’s meant to write, Rudolph, a Viennese musicologist, produces this dark and grotesquely funny account of small woes ...

Gathering Evidence

Thomas Bernhard

From the publisher:

From the age of 21, everything he wrote was shaped by the urgency of a dying man’s testament – his witness, the quintessence of his life and knowledge – and where this ...