Thomas Bernhard (February 09, 1931 - February 12, 1989)
Born: 9th February, 1931
Died: 12th February, 1989
Nationality: Austrian
Profession/Occupation: Novelist
Region: Netherlands, Gmunden, Austria

Thomas Bernhard Facts


Thomas Bernhard, (born Feb. 9/10, 1931, Cloister Heerland, Neth.--died Feb. 12, 1989, Gmunden, Austria), Austrian writer who explored death, social injustice, and human misery in controversial literature that was deeply pessimistic about modern civilization in general and Austrian culture in particular.

Bernhard was born in a Holland convent; his mother, unwed at the time, had fled there from Austria to give birth. After a year, she returned to her parents in Vienna, where her father, writer Johannes Freumbichler (1881-1949), became the major influence on Bernhard. After surviving a life-threatening coma and repeated hospitalizations (1948-51) in tuberculosis sanatoriums, he studied music and drama in Salzburg and Vienna.

Bernhard achieved little success with several collections of poetry in the late 1950s, but in 1963 he gained notoriety with his first novel, Frost (Eng. trans. Frost). In such novels as Verstorung (1967; "Derangement," Eng. trans. Gargoyles), Das Kalkwerk (1970; The Lime Works), and Korrektur (1975; Corrections), he combined complex narrative structure with an increasingly misanthropic philosophy. In 1973 Bernhard withdrew his drama Die Beruhmten ("The Famous") from the prestigious Salzburg Festival because of a controversy over staging. After its publication in 1984 his novel Holzfallen (Woodcutters, or Cutting Timber: An Irritation) was seized by police for allegedly criticizing a public figure. Even before its premiere in November 1988, Bernhard's last play, Heldenplatz ("Heroes' Square"), a bleak indictment of anti-Semitism in contemporary Austria, provoked violent protests. His other plays include Ein Fest fur Boris (1968; A Party for Boris), Die Jagdgesellschaft (1974; The Hunting Party), Die Macht der Gewohnheit (1974; The Force of Habit), and Der Schein trugt (1983; Appearances Are Deceiving).

Bernhard's memoirs were translated in Gathering Evidence (1985), a compilation of five German works published between 1975 and 1982.

Top 2 Thomas Bernhard quotes

Only when I am by seawater can I truly breathe, to say nothing of my ability to think.
I am
The anger and the brutality against everything can readily from one hour to the next be transformed into its opposite.

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