Thomas Bernhard

Ruth Starkman (University of San Francisco)
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Suicide and murder, obsession and mania, incest and patricide, madness and loneliness, Austria and Nazis: these are a few of Thomas Bernhard's favorite themes. In his enormous œuvre of seventy novels, plays, short stories, and verse, these themes return with relentless repetition as though each utterance were a profound new epiphany of the same Schopenhauerian aphorism: life is suffering, Austria is hell on earth. Bernhard loved and hated his hometown of Salzburg; but he pursued the land of his fathers like a patricidal maniac. Born out of wedlock on 9th February 1931 in Heerlen (The Netherlands) two years before Austria's native son, Adolf Hitler came to power, Bernhard died on 12 February 1989 in Gmunden, Austria at the …

1438 words

Citation: Starkman, Ruth. "Thomas Bernhard". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 August 2003 [, accessed 03 October 2023.]

5433 Thomas Bernhard 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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