Thomas Bernhard: Heldenplatz [Heroes' Square]

(1885 words)
  • Gerhard P. Knapp (University of Utah)

Thomas Bernhard's last play, Heldenplatz, was written at the instigation of his friend and stage collaborator, German producer Claus Peymann. The flamboyant and provocative Peymann, who had recently been appointed artistic director of the Vienna Burgtheater, suggested a play commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the National Socialist annexation (“Anschluss”) of Austria in March 1938. After some hesitation, Bernhard agreed. The text was to be premièred on 14 October 1988, the hundredth birthday of the “new” Vienna Burgtheater, that most imposing of all cultural icons in Austria. Rehearsals progressed more slowly than expected; meanwhile the contents of the play were leaked to the press, and a heated public debate …

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Knapp, Gerhard P.. "Heldenplatz". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 May 2004
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]