Jeremy's Reviews > Wittgenstein's Nephew

Wittgenstein's Nephew by Thomas Bernhard
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Dec 07, 11

bookshelves: german-literature
Read from June 20 to 21, 2011

Bernhard does a good job of showing how his friend's and his own physical/psychological illnesses and their disgust with Austria in general resonate and reflect off of each other. In other words, you can see why they are friends. But beyond their status as a couple of alienated, unhealthy and misanthropic outsiders, I had a hard time really getting much out of it. Aside from the fact that Austria is (according to Bernhard) evidently full of the most servile, willfully ignorant, culturally dead people on earth. His capacity for anti-Austrian spleen seems bottomless, hell, it might even be justifiable. I couldn't say, as I don't know much about Austrian cultural history. And I'm not sure how singular a problem it is when he talks about Austrians demonizing or just outright mocking some of their most celebrated cultural figures. That seems to happen almost everywhere. I think I'd need to read more of his stuff before I could say anything else.
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