Show Less

Thomas Bernhard’s Comic Materialism

Class, Art, and «Socialism» in Post-War Austria


Russell Harrison

Twenty-two years after his death, Thomas Bernhard’s work continues to fascinate, irritate, and please readers. This book analyzes Bernhard’s writings in the light of post-war Austrian history, challenging the prevailing formalist and psychological reception of his work. It does so by revealing the close connection between individual texts and contemporaneous economic and political events, such as the relationship of the 1969 story Watten. Ein Nachlass to the incipient decline of the social-partnership state, or the connection of the 1970 novel Das Kalkwerk to the shifting balance of power between bourgeoisie and proletariat. Furthermore, the book argues that much of Bernhard’s engagement in public life was an attack on the «pseudo-socialism» of the Austrian socialist party and especially of Bruno Kreisky. Bernhard’s critique is effected through what the author terms a «comic materialism» – an unrelenting focus on the material aspects of life – evident in his protagonists’ ludicrously obsessive fixation on the objects of everyday life and in his comic critique of Viennese society.


Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Bibliography 183


Bibliography Primary Sources Bernhard, Thomas. Alte Meister. Komödie. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. ——, Alte Meister. Werke 8. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2008. ——, Amras. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1965. ——, “Drei Tage.” In Der Italiener. Salzburg: Residenz, 1971. 144–61. ——, Ereignisse. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1991 [Berlin: Literarisches Kolloquium, 1969]. ——, Das Kalkwerk. Werke, 3. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2004. ——, Der Keller. Werke, 10. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2004. ——, Meine Preise. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2009. ——, “Die Mütze.” In Prosa. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1967. ——, “Der Pensionierte Salonsozialist.” Thomas Bernhard Werkgeschichte. Ed. Jens Dittmar. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1990. 218–19. ——, “Politische Morgenandacht”. Wort in der Zeit. Graz: Stiasny Verlag, 1/1966. 11–13. ——, Die Ursache. Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1977. ——, Wittgenstein’s Nef fe: Eine Freundschaft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1982. ——, Watten. Ein Nachlass. Werke, 12. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2006. Interviews Fleischmann, Krista. Thomas Bernhard – Eine Begegnung. Vienna: Edition S, 1991. Hofmann, Kurt. Aus Gesprächen mit Thomas Bernhard. Vienna: Löcker, 1988. Müller, André. André Müller im Gespräch mit Thomas Bernhard. Weitra: Bibliothek der Provinz, 1992. Von einer Katastrophe in die andere: 13 Gespräche mit Thomas Bernhard. Ed. Sepp Dreissinger. Weitra: Bibliothek der Provinz, 1994. 184 Bibliography Secondary Sources Arthur, C.J. Introduction. The German Ideology. By Karl Marx and Friederick Engels. New York: International Publishers, 1970. 6–34. Bachmann, Ingeborg. “Thomas Bernhard: Ein Versuch.” Werke IV. Munich: Piper, 1982. 361–4. Bannasch, Bettina. “Der Ab-Ort: Zur bildenden Kunst in Thomas Bernhard’s Alte Meister.” Thomas Bernhard – eine Einschärfung. Ed. Hoell, Joachim, and Alex- ander Honold, and Kai-Luehrs-Kaiser. Berlin: Vorwerk, 1998. 32–7. Bannock, Graham, R.E. Baxter, and Evan...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.