New book by Thomas Bernhard published 20 years after his death

18th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

Written in 1980, the book is a largely autobiographical work in which Bernhard looks back in anger, settling scores with Austria and the literary establishment.

Vienna -- A previously unpublished work by Thomas Bernhard (1931-1989), one of the leading lights in Austrian post-war literature, is being published in Germany next month to mark the 20th anniversary of his death.

German publisher Suhrkamp is to publish 20,000 copies of the new 140-page book entitled Meine Preise (My Prizes) to coincide with the anniversary on February 12, 1989.

Written in 1980, the book is a largely autobiographical work in which Bernhard looks back in anger, settling scores with Austria and the literary establishment.

The title refers to the various literature prizes he was awarded -- 15 in all up until 1979 -- and which he accepted, he admits, purely for "pecuniary reasons."

And it is written in the same iconoclastic, relentlessly repetitive style that made Bernhard famous.

Bernhard was actually born in the Netherlands, but he spent much of his childhood with his maternal grandparents in Vienna.

He had a love-hate relationship with Austria and vilified Austrian society, the state and its respected institutions.

In his last will, Bernhard prohibited any new stagings of his plays and publication of his unpublished work in Austria.

AFP/Expatica

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