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Thomas Bernhard
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Authors A-D > Thomas Bernhard

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message 1: by Megha (new)

Megha (hearthewindsing) | 27 comments Novels

Frost (1963)
Gargoyles (Verstörung, 1967)
The Lime Works (Das Kalkwerk, 1970)
Correction (Korrektur, 1975)
Yes (Ja, 1978)
The Cheap-Eaters (Der Billigesser, 1980)
Concrete (Beton, 1982)
Wittgenstein's Nephew (Wittgensteins Neffe, 1982)
The Loser (Der Untergeher, 1983)
Woodcutters (Holzfällen: Eine Erregung, 1984)
Old Masters: A Comedy (Alte Meister. Komödie, 1985)
Extinction (Auslöschung, 1986)
On The Mountain (In Der Höhe, written 1959, published 1989)


message 2: by Megha (new)

Megha (hearthewindsing) | 27 comments Novellas

Amras (1964)
Playing Watten (Watten, 1964)
Walking (Gehen, 1971)

Plays

The Force of Habit (1974)
The President and Eve of Retirement (1982)
Histrionics: Three Plays (1990): Collects A Party for Boris (Ein Fest für Boris, 1968), Ritter, Dene, Voss (1984) and Histrionics (Der Theatermacher, 1984)
Heldenplatz (1988)
Over All the Mountain Tops (2004): Originally published as Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh (1981)
The World-fixer (2005)

Miscellaneous

Gathering Evidence (1985, memoir): Collects Die Ursache (1975), Der Keller (1976), Der Atem (1978), Die Kälte (1981) and Ein Kind (1982)
The Voice Imitator (1997, stories): Originally published as Der Stimmenimitator (1978)
In Hora Mortis / Under the Iron of the Moon (2006, poetry): Collects In Hora Mortis (1958) and Unter dem Eisen des Mondes (1958)
My Prizes (2010, stories): Originally published as Meine Preise (2009)
Prose (Seagull Books London Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010, short stories); originally published in Germany, 1967.
Victor Halfwit: A Winter's Tale (2011, illustrated story)


message 3: by Nathanimal (new)

Nathanimal | 11 comments Thanks for putting in the work here, Megha.

I've only read The Loser, Concrete, Gathering Evidence, and I'm reading The Lime Works right now, but I have my completist sights on this guy.


message 4: by Megha (new)

Megha (hearthewindsing) | 27 comments I am aiming to read all (or most of) his novels.

So far I have read The Loser, Wittgenstein's Nephew and Concrete. I am hoping to get to Correction soon.


message 5: by Megha (new)

Megha (hearthewindsing) | 27 comments Nate wrote: "Thanks for putting in the work here, Megha."

It wasn't a lot of work really.
'Wikipedia + Ctrl-C + Ctrl-V' FTW!


message 6: by Nathanimal (new)

Nathanimal | 11 comments Oh, and I've read My Prizes. Just to be complete.


message 7: by Megha (new)

Megha (hearthewindsing) | 27 comments Nate wrote: "Oh, and I've read My Prizes. Just to be complete."

How did you like the stories, in comparison to his novels that you have read?


message 8: by Nathanimal (new)

Nathanimal | 11 comments My Prizes is almost no a book at all. It's a collection of slight memoirish anecdotes about the different prizes he's been awarded, about his disgust for the awarders of these prizes and his disgust for himself for accepting these prizes. Oh and there's a few of his award speeches collected at the end, which are dire and opaque and brief and probably meant as a personal joke.

While there's not a lot to the book, it works well as a little bonus track slapped onto the end of Gathering Evidence. You get a glimpse of how his personality crystallized as he grew older. The funniest part, for my money, was the Austrian State Prize, where Bernhard goes around insisting to everyone that the prize was meant as an insult, since they gave him the "small prize" meant for developing writers rather than the "big prize" meant for career writers. Everybody tells him to just smile and nod and take the money, which, as you can guess, Bernhard is utterly incapable of doing. I was reading this on my lunch break in my cubicle and was laughing so hard I had to stop. I'm sure everyone thought I was watching cat videos on YouTube in there.

Anyway, to answer your question. I'm not sure how My Prizes compares to his short fiction. But certainly the novels I've read have each been a rewarding project, whereas this felt like a smattering of jaunty little excursions.


message 9: by Rise (new)

Rise I've read 4. My favorite: Gathering Evidence.

To add to the list:

German Short Stories 2 (1976) is said to contain one story by Bernhard.

The Voice Impersonator is another translation of The Voice Imitator.

The three novellas are collected in, um, Three Novellas.

Woodcutters has another translation, Cutting Timber: An Irritation.

Heldenplatz (1988) is translated twice: by Gita Honneger in Conjunctions 33 (1999) and by Meredith Oakes and Andrea Tierney (2010).

Additional plays in English: The President and Eve of Retirement: Plays and Other Writings (1982) and "Claus Peymann and Hermann Beil on Sulzweise" in Conjunctions 31.

The nonfiction are collected in Gathering Evidence and My Prizes.

Contemporary German Poetry: An Anthology (1964), published by New Directions, contains poems by 39 poets, including Bernhard.

"Ave Vergil", a long poem is in Conjunctions 53.

The Lunatics The Inmates, an "e-chapbook":
http://www.conjunctions.com/webcon/be...


message 10: by Megha (new)

Megha (hearthewindsing) | 27 comments Thanks for the additions, Ryan.


message 11: by Megha (new)

Megha (hearthewindsing) | 27 comments Nathanimal wrote: "The funniest part, for my money, was the Austrian State Prize, where Bernhard goes around insisting to everyone that the prize was meant as an insult, since they gave him the "small prize" meant for developing writers rather than the "big prize" meant for career writers. Everybody tells him to just smile and nod and take the money, which, as you can guess, Bernhard is utterly incapable of doing. I was reading this on my lunch break in my cubicle and was laughing so hard I had to stop. I'm sure everyone thought I was watching cat videos on YouTube in there."

Ha ha. I think I read something similar in WN, don't know if it was the same award function or some other (fictional?).
Does the memoir (Gathering Evidence) include a lot of his typical rants?

Oh hey, you have a new name!


message 12: by Nathanimal (last edited Sep 22, 2012 06:33AM) (new)

Nathanimal | 11 comments Oh for sure, rants galore all through the memoir.

There's this one part where he's a young student at a boarding school run by a Nazi (literally, a Nazi) and he's trapped in a broom closet for hours practicing his violin and contemplating suicide. The writing shoots up into the stratosphere in typical Bernhardian fashion, with all the brutal repetitive harping he's so good at; and it's like you can just hear him on his violin scraping out these scales over and over in the key of suicide. I think that moment, more than any other I've read, really encapsulated his writing for me.

Yes, I've changed my handle. I was starting to confuse myself with the other Nate.


message 13: by Ben (last edited Sep 25, 2012 12:07AM) (new)

Ben Winch (ben_winch) | 20 comments I've read (in rough order of composition):

In Hora Mortis / Under the Iron of the Moon (poems)
Histrionics (3 plays)
Prose (short stories)
Frost (unfinished)
Gargoyles
The Lime Works
Correction
Concrete
Wittgenstein's Nephew
The Loser
Woodcutters
Gathering Evidence (bits of it - unfinished)

... at which point exhaustion set in. What I did was start with the 80s stuff and work backwards, curious to see how his style had evolved, so by the time I got back to the poems I couldn't take any more and I missed Extinction, which is probably the only one I'm curious about now. To me his work mostly blends in together like aspects of the one big book, but each 'chapter' does have a minor development. Woodcutters is usually the one I recommend, but that said if you like one of 'em you'll pretty much like 'em all.

One thing: I don't know if I was just too tired by then, but the memoir didn't do much for me. The writing didn't seem of the same order.

Oh, and I'd definitely recommend his plays for another perspective - you probably know in Europe he's well-known as a playwright. Recently I saw The Histrionic performed and it was pretty great.


message 14: by Megha (new)

Megha (hearthewindsing) | 27 comments "To me his work mostly blends in together like aspects of the one big book, but each 'chapter' does have a minor development."

Yes, I know what you mean, which is why I consciously try to space my Bernhard novels out a bit lest they begin to feel same-y. I think I still have quite some appetite left.

Do you have any particular favorite(s), Ben?


message 15: by Megha (last edited Sep 25, 2012 12:09AM) (new)

Megha (hearthewindsing) | 27 comments Megha wrote: "Do you have any particular favorite(s), Ben? "

Oh I see you already said Woodcutters


message 16: by Megha (new)

Megha (hearthewindsing) | 27 comments Nathanimal wrote: "There's this one part where he's a young student at a boarding school run by a Nazi (literally, a Nazi) and he's trapped in a broom closet for hours practicing his violin and contemplating suicide. The writing shoots up into the stratosphere in typical Bernhardian fashion, with all the brutal repetitive harping he's so good at; and it's like you can just hear him on his violin scraping out these scales over and over in the key of suicide. I think that moment, more than any other I've read, really encapsulated his writing for me."

This sounds great. I think I will step out of the world of fiction to read this then.


message 17: by Ben (new)

Ben Winch (ben_winch) | 20 comments I can't really pick a favourite, but if you combined The Lime Works, Correction and Woodcutters you'd get something pretty great. Conceptually, and for the setting, Correction is the most impressive, but it's not funny! Not funny like Woodcutters, which is bile-as-art - hilarious. And The Lime Works, while flawed, takes the whole tortured-artist-madman thing to the extreme.


message 18: by Ben (new)

Ben Winch (ben_winch) | 20 comments PS: I didn't have the sense to space out my Bernhard, I just gorged myself.


message 19: by Lobstergirl (last edited Sep 06, 2015 07:05PM) (new)

Lobstergirl | 123 comments I plan to spread him out over 20 years.

The Voice Imitator is great, btw.


message 20: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl | 123 comments Concrete is great too. I wonder why he picked Mendelssohn.

I really want to read Heldenplatz.


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