Bernhard in 1987
|Born||Thomas August Bert Bernhard|
9 February 1931
|Died||12 February 1989 58) (aged|
Gmunden, Upper Austria, Austria
|Occupation||Novelist and playwright|
|Notable works|| Correction |
Nicolaas Thomas Bernhard (German: [ˈtoːmas ˈbɛʁnhaʁt] ; 9 February 1931 – 12 February 1989) was an Austrian novelist, playwright and poet. Bernhard's body of work has been called "the most significant literary achievement since World War II." He is widely considered to be one of the most important German-speaking authors of the postwar era.
A novelist is an author or writer of novels, though often novelists also write in other genres of both fiction and non-fiction. Some novelists are professional novelists, thus make a living writing novels and other fiction, while others aspire to support themselves in this way or write as an avocation. Most novelists struggle to get their debut novel published, but once published they often continue to be published, although very few become literary celebrities, thus gaining prestige or a considerable income from their work.
A playwright or dramatist is a person who writes plays. One such person, one of the most famous in the world, is William Shakespeare, who lived during both the Tudor and Stuart eras of British history.
A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be a writer of poetry, or may perform their art to an audience.
Thomas Bernhard was born in 1931 in Heerlen in the Netherlands, where his unmarried mother Herta Bernhard worked as a maid. From the autumn of 1931 he lived with his grandparents in Vienna until 1937 when his mother, who had married in the meantime, moved him to Traunstein, Bavaria, in Nazi Germany. There he was required to join the Deutsches Jungvolk, a branch of the Hitler Youth, which he hated.Bernhard's natural father Alois Zuckerstätter was a carpenter and petty criminal who refused to acknowledge his son. Zuckerstätter died in Berlin from gas poisoning in an assumed suicide in 1940; Bernhard never met him.
Heerlen is a city and a municipality in the southeast of the Netherlands. It is the third largest settlement proper in the province of Limburg. Measured as municipality, it is the fourth municipality in the province of Limburg.
Traunstein is a town in the south-eastern part of Bavaria, Germany, and is the administrative center of a much larger district of the same name. The town serves as a local government, retail, health services, transport and educational center for the wider district.
Bavaria, officially the Free State of Bavaria, is a landlocked federal state of Germany, occupying its southeastern corner. With an area of 70,550.19 square kilometres, Bavaria is the largest German state by land area comprising roughly a fifth of the total land area of Germany. With 13 million inhabitants, it is Germany's second-most-populous state after North Rhine-Westphalia. Bavaria's main cities are Munich, Nuremberg and Augsburg.
Bernhard's grandfather, the author Johannes Freumbichler, pushed for an artistic education for him, including musical instruction. Bernhard went to elementary school in Seekirchen and later attended various schools in Salzburg including the Johanneum which he left in 1947 to start an apprenticeship with a grocer. George Steiner describes Bernhard's schooling as "hideous... under a sadistically repressive system, run first by Catholic priests, then by Nazis".
Seekirchen am Wallersee is a town in the district of Salzburg-Umgebung in the state of Salzburg in Austria.
An apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a trade or profession with on-the-job training and often some accompanying study. Apprenticeships can also enable practitioners to gain a license to practice in a regulated profession. Most of their training is done while working for an employer who helps the apprentices learn their trade or profession, in exchange for their continued labor for an agreed period after they have achieved measurable competencies. Apprenticeship lengths vary significantly across sectors, professions, roles and cultures. People who successfully complete an apprenticeship in some cases can reach the "journeyman" or professional certification level of competence. In others can be offered a permanent job at the company that provided the placement. Although the formal boundaries and terminology of the apprentice/journeyman/master system often do not extend outside guilds and trade unions, the concept of on-the-job training leading to competence over a period of years is found in any field of skilled labor.
Francis George Steiner, FBA is an American literary critic, essayist, philosopher, novelist, and educator. He has written extensively about the relationship between language, literature and society, and the impact of the Holocaust. An article in The Guardian described Steiner as a "polyglot and polymath", saying that he is either "often credited with recasting the role of the critic", or a "pretentious namedropper" whose "range comes at the price of inaccuracy" and "complacency".
Bernhard's Lebensmensch (a predominantly Austrian term, which was coined by Bernhard himselfand which refers to the most important person in one's life) was Hedwig Stavianicek (1894–1984), a woman more than thirty-seven years his senior, whom he cared for alone in her dying days. He had met Stavianicek in 1950, the year of his mother's death and one year after the death of his beloved grandfather. Stavianicek was the major support in Bernhard's life and greatly furthered his literary career. The extent or nature of his relationships with women is obscure. Thomas Bernhard's public persona was asexual. Suffering throughout his teens from lung ailments, including tuberculosis, Bernhard spent the years 1949 to 1951 at the Grafenhof sanatorium in Sankt Veit im Pongau. He trained as an actor at the Mozarteum in Salzburg (1955–1957) and was always profoundly interested in music. In 1970, he won the Georg Büchner Prize. His lung condition, however, made a career as a singer impossible. After that he worked briefly as a journalist, mainly as a crime reporter, and then became a full-time writer.
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteria. Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections do not have symptoms, in which case it is known as latent tuberculosis. About 10% of latent infections progress to active disease which, if left untreated, kills about half of those affected. The classic symptoms of active TB are a chronic cough with blood-containing mucus, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. It was historically called "consumption" due to the weight loss. Infection of other organs can cause a wide range of symptoms.
A sanatorium is a medical facility for long-term illness, most typically associated with treatment of tuberculosis (TB) in the late-nineteenth and twentieth century before the discovery of antibiotics. A distinction is sometimes made between "sanitarium" or the east-European "sanatorium" and "sanatorium".
Sankt Veit im Pongau is a market town in the St. Johann im Pongau district in the Austrian state of Salzburg. St.Veit is the first healthy climate spa town in Salzburg. Submontane to the "Hochglocker" there is the 1912 founded sanatorium. Author Thomas Bernhard was treated in there and he also wrote a book about his residence at the clinic.
After a decade of needing constant medical care for his lungs, Bernhard died in 1989 in Gmunden, Upper Austria, by assisted suicide.His death was announced only after his funeral. In his will, which aroused great controversy on publication, Bernhard prohibited any new stagings of his plays and publication of his unpublished work in Austria; however, in 1999 this was annulled by his heir, his half-brother Dr. Peter Fabjan. Bernhard's attractive house in Ohlsdorf-Obernathal 2 where he had moved in 1965 is now a museum and centre for the study and performance of his work.
Gmunden is a town in Upper Austria, Austria in the district of Gmunden. It has 13,204 inhabitants. It is much frequented as a health and summer resort, and has a variety of lake, brine, vegetable and pine-cone baths, a hydropathic establishment, inhalation chambers, whey cure, etc. It is also an important centre of the salt industry in Salzkammergut.
Upper Austria is one of the nine states or Bundesländer of Austria. Its capital is Linz. Upper Austria borders on Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as on the other Austrian states of Lower Austria, Styria, and Salzburg. With an area of 11,982 km2 (4,626 sq mi) and 1.437 million inhabitants, Upper Austria is the fourth-largest Austrian state by land area and the third-largest by population.
To publish is to make content available to the general public. While specific use of the term may vary among countries, it is usually applied to text, images, or other audio-visual content, including paper. The word publication means the act of publishing, and also refers to any printed copies.
Often criticized in Austria as a Nestbeschmutzer (one who dirties his own nest) for his critical views, Bernhard was highly acclaimed abroad. Nevertheless, while reviled by some Austrians for his outspoken and harsh views of his homeland, including its Nazi past,he was, during his lifetime, also highly acclaimed in Austria, winning a number of major awards, and was seen by many as the pre-eminent writer of the time.
His work is most influenced by the feeling of being abandoned (in his childhood and youth) and by his incurable illness, which caused him to see death as the ultimate essence of existence. His work typically features loners' monologues explaining, to a rather silent listener, his views on the state of the world, often with reference to a concrete situation. This is true for his plays as well as for his prose, where the monologues are then reported second hand by the listener. Alongside his serious and pessimistic views, his works also contain some very funny observations on life.Bernhard is often considered a verbose writer, but Andreas Dorschel has broadened this view by showing that Bernhard's characters (specifically in Das Kalkwerk) oscillate between excessive speech and highly economical expressions. As Dorschel argues, the two modes produce a series of oppositions with mutually informing sides.
Bernhard's main protagonists, often scholars or, as he calls them, Geistesmenschen (intellectuals), denounce everything that matters to the Austrian in contumacy-filled tirades against a "stupid populace". He also attacks the state (often called "Catholic-National-Socialist"), generally respected institutions such as Vienna's Burgtheater, and much-loved artists. His work also continually deals with the isolation and self-destruction of people striving for an unreachable perfection, since this same perfection would mean stagnancy and therefore death. Anti-Catholic rhetoric is not uncommon.
"Es ist alles lächerlich, wenn man an den Tod denkt" (Everything is ridiculous, when one thinks of Death) was his comment when he received a minor Austrian national award in 1968, which resulted in one of the many public scandals he caused over the years and which became part of his fame. His novel Holzfällen (1984), for instance, could not be published for years due to a defamation claim by a former friend. Many of his plays—above all Heldenplatz (1988)—were met with criticism from many Austrians, who claimed they sullied Austria's reputation. One of the more controversial lines called Austria "a brutal and stupid nation ... a mindless, cultureless sewer which spreads its penetrating stench all over Europe." Heldenplatz, as well as the other plays Bernhard wrote in these years, were staged at Vienna's famous Burgtheater by the controversial director Claus Peymann.
Even in death Bernhard caused disturbance by his, as he supposedly called it, posthumous literary emigration , by disallowing all publication and stagings of his work within Austria's borders. The International Thomas Bernhard Foundation, established by his executor and half-brother Dr. Peter Fabjan, has since made exceptions, although the German firm of Suhrkamp remains his principal publisher.
The correspondence between Bernhard and his publisher Siegfried Unseld from 1961 to 1989 – about 500 letters – was published in December 2009 at Suhrkamp Verlag, Germany.
Karl Kraus was an Austrian writer and journalist, known as a satirist, essayist, aphorist, playwright and poet. He directed his satire at the press, German culture, and German and Austrian politics. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature three times.
Peter Sloterdijk is a German philosopher and cultural theorist. He is a professor of philosophy and media theory at the University of Art and Design Karlsruhe. He co-hosted the German television show Im Glashaus: Das Philosophische Quartett from 2002 until 2012.
Robert Walser was a German-speaking Swiss writer.
Robert Menasse is an Austrian writer.
Óndra Łysohorsky was the pseudonym of Ervín Goj, a Czech poet of Silesian origin and awareness. He is known for his works written in Lach language which was systematized and practically created as a literary language by him. He also wrote in German.
Doron Rabinovici is an Israeli-Austrian writer, historian and essayist. He was born in Tel Aviv in 1961 and moved to Vienna in 1964.
Josef Winkler is an Austrian writer.
Woodcutters is a novel by Thomas Bernhard, originally published in German in 1984. An English translation by Ewald Osers was published in 1985 under the title Cutting Timber: An Irritation; another English translation by David McLintock was published as Woodcutters in 1988.
The Lime Works is a novel by Thomas Bernhard, first published in German in 1970. It is a complex surrealist work, where the creativity and resourcefulness of a destructive personality is marshalled against itself in a nightmarish narration.
Yes is a novel by Thomas Bernhard, originally published in German in 1978 and translated into English by Ewald Osers in 1992.
Ferry Radax is an Austrian film maker born in Vienna. He has been active in many genres since 1949. He studied at Vienna's Film Institute in 1953-54, followed by Cinecittà, Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, in Rome in 1955-56. He has produced films all around Europe, and also in South America, USA and New Zealand. He has made feature films, but is mostly known for short experimental films, documentaries and portrayals of poets and artists. Some of them, Konrad Bayer, Friedensreich Hundertwasser and H. C. Artmann, he became acquainted with in the early 1950s as a member of Art-Club in Vienna.
Ewald Osers was a Czech translator born in Austria-Hungary.
The Children of the Dead is a novel by Elfriede Jelinek, first published in 1995 by Rowohlt Verlag. It is commonly regarded as her magnum opus. The novel won the Literaturpreis der Stadt Bremen in 1996. The prologue and epilogue were translated into English by Louise E. Stoehr in 1998, while a full English translation by Gitta Honegger is forthcoming in 2019.
Andreas Dorschel is a German philosopher. Since 2002, he has been professor of aesthetics and head of the Institute for Music Aesthetics at the University of the Arts Graz (Austria).
Am Ziel is a play by Austrian playwright and novelist Thomas Bernhard, written in 1981 and first performed in the same year at the Salzburger Festspiele.
David Robert McLintock was a British academic and translator. A pre-eminent scholar of Old High German literature, who taught in Oxford and London, he later became a prize-winning translator, noted for helping to establish the reputation of the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard in the English-speaking world.
Gert Voss was a German actor. He was known for his roles in Labyrinth of Lies (2014), Sometime in August (2009) and Ritter, Dene, Voss (1987). He was member of the ensemble of the Burgtheater, and a Kammerschauspieler.
Heldenplatz is a 1988 stage drama by Austrian playwright Thomas Bernhard. The final play written by Bernhard, it premiered on November 4, 1988 and sparked one of the biggest theater scandals in the history of post-war Austria.
Der Theatermacher is a play witten by Austrian author Thomas Bernhard in 1984.
Alfred Kirchner is a German actor, theatre director and theatre manager who is based in Berlin. He worked at theatres such as Theater Bremen, Schauspielhaus Bochum, the Burgtheater in Vienna and the Staatliche Schauspielbühnen Berlin, before turning to freelance work. He has staged productions in Europe and North America, including several world premieres of both drama and opera. He directed the premiere of Martin Walser's Ein Kinderspiel in Stuttgart in 1971, the U.S. premiere of Henze's We Come to the River at the Santa Fe Opera in 1984, and the premiere of Hans Zender's Stephen Climax at the Oper Frankfurt in 1986. In 1994, he staged Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival.
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