en5/3/2 | Activities/ Publications / Thomas Bernhard: Life - Work - Impact

Thomas Bernhard: Life - Work - Impact

'Thomas Bernhard’s life and works overlap in complex ways. Many of his protagonists were modelled on a person who defined his youth, his grandfather Johannes Freumbichler. The proximity of his texts to real people and events has continually caused ‘upsets’, for example after the publication of his novel 'Holzfällen' ('Woodcutters'), which was taken to be a roman à clef. The utterances of his literary figures often correspond to things he said himself, rendering comparison between reality and fiction both tempting and fraught with difficulty […]. Bernhard thus appears as a virtuoso performer and his work as a hall of mirrors in which existential involvement coexists with irony. This may indeed account for the extraordinary power of his works.' (Extract from the introduction) 

The fascinating connections between Thomas Bernhard’s life and his writing are explored in detail in this biography, published by Suhrkamp as part of the BasisBiographie series to mark Bernhard’s 75th birthday. The book consists of an account of Bernhard’s life, a detailed index of works, a chapter on Bernhard reception abroad, and an appendix including a timeline and select bibliography. In German.



“Mittermayer’s concise biography takes the most recent aspects of Bernhard reception and criticism into account. Over coming semesters this small volume will be a fixture on student reading lists.” (literarturkritik.de, February 2006)

"Impressively substantial and readable; a highly recommended introduction." (Frankfurter Neue Presse)

"Manfred Mittermayer's "Suhrkamp BasisBiographie" should be compulsory reading for Bernhard readers ... as inspiring as it is amusing." (ORF)

Publisher's Announcement

Thomas Bernhard
Life Work Impact

Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2006.
BasisBiographien 11