The Afterlife of Thomas Bernhard in Contemporary Austrian Literature

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Katya Krylova More than three decades after his death, Thomas Bernhard remains a powerful presence in the German-language literary landscape. This can be observed in the new posthumously published works from his literary estate, as well as several recent compendia of Bernhard quotations and text extracts, detailing, for example, Bernhard’s most vicious insults in a collection entitled Bernhard für Boshafte (Bernhard for the vicious) , his views on marriage in Die Ehehölle (Marital hell) , or his infamous Städtebeschimpfungen (City insults) . Arguably, these compendia, presenting text extracts taken out of context, reduce the anger and rage that permeates Bernhard’s work to a mere gesture of revolt. Such compendia serve to sanitize Bernhard, making his work into a commodity, suitable to be given as presents. However, during Bernhard’s lifetime, his publisher Siegfried Unseld famously chastised him for naming his second novel Verstörung (literally “Disturbance,” published as Gargoyles in English) :...
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThomas Bernhard's Afterlives
EditorsOlaf Berwald, Stephen Dowden, Gregor Thuswaldner
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5013-5154-9, 978-1-5013-5153-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-5013-5152-5, 978-1-5013-5151-8
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2020

Publication series

NameNew Directions in German Studies


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