index essays reviews


Thomas Bernhard in English

On the Mountain This novel appeared after Bernhard's death but is chronologically the first. Written in 1959. I have to admit, I haven't read this one yet though the Afterword by the translator Sophie Wilkins is enjoyable and instructive. Maybe it instructed me not to bother reading it ...
Gargoyles Translated from the German "Verstörung" which means something like "Confusion", this novel was published in 1967. Easily available in University of Chicago Press paperback.
The Lime Works Novel from 1970, a remarkable technical and artistic achievement, whatever that means. About a scientist who abuses his disable wife in a deserted lime works. A comedy.
Walking 1971 novella newly published in translation by Conjunctions magazine. The link goes to an extract. See also Three Novellas.

1975. A long, dense novel. The review by George Steiner in the TLS first brought Bernhard's name to prominence in the UK and USA. I've never seen the review in any of his essay collections. However, he does provide a short introduction in the Vintage edition, one where he reveals his own misreading of Bernhard's "monotone of hate". Poor old George.

Reissued in March 2003.

Yes 1978. Short novel with a wonderful, contra-Joycean ending. Neat paperback from the University of Chicago Press.
The Cheap-eaters 1980. A rather forgettable short novel, available only in hardback from the excellent Quartet publishers.
Gathering Evidence 1981-82. A substantial collection of five small books of memoirs. Breathtaking. Reissued in March 2003.


1982. A great short novel in the admirable but no longer extant Quartet Encounters imprint.
Wittgenstein's Nephew 1982. Short memoir/novel. Contains advice for writers who equate prizes with artistic worth: "a prize is invariably only awarded by incompetent people who want to piss on your head and who do copiously piss on your head if you accept their prize."


The Loser

1983. One of the best. My copy has a black cover with a picture of Glenn Gould, the great Canadian pianist, who features in the novel.


Cutting Timber: an irritation


1984. Also translated as "Woodcutters".

Old Masters: a comedy

1985. Includes famous long attack on Heidegger: "that ridiculous Nazi philistine in plus-fours".


1986. The outstanding, valedictory novel. See page 310 for "gaping void" fest.
The Voice Imitator 104 stories in 104 pages. Here are seven including the title track, as it were.
Histrionics Three of Bernhard's many plays.
Heldenplatz The final play, condemned as an insult to Austria by former UN Secretary General, Austrian President, and Waffen SS Officer Kurt Waldheim. I wonder if he wears plus-fours? Also published in Conjunctions magazine, translated by Gitta Honegger. She has also written a biography published by Yale.
The Joiner

A short story that features in a Penguin book "Parallel Text: German Short Stories 2". Translated literally, it says.

The Lunatics The Inmates A poem.

Three Novellas

Amras, Playing Watten and Walking published in June 2003 by the University of Chicago.
In Hora Mortis / Under the Iron of the Moon Poems translated by James Reidel.

His first novel, translated by Michael Hofmann.


The German site has a comprehensive German bibliography. In German.

The Dalkey Archive Press has a brief introduction to TB's writings also. Not in German.

And there's now a Bernhard email discussion list, in English, and In Writing's page devoted to him.