Thomas Bernhard

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Thomas Bernhard (1987)

Nicolaas Thomas Bernhard (born February 9, 1931 in Heerlen , Netherlands ; † February 12, 1989 in Gmunden , Upper Austria ) was an Austrian writer. In 1970 he received the Georg Büchner Prize ; since the 1980s he has been counted among the most important Austrian and German-speaking authors internationally.

Childhood and youth

Thomas Bernhard was born out of wedlock in Heerlen (Netherlands), where his mother Herta Bernhard (1904–1950) worked as a domestic help. She was the daughter of Anna Bernhard and the Salzburg writer Johannes Freumbichler .

Thomas Bernhard's father was the farmer's son and carpenter Alois Zuckerstätter , who came from Henndorf am Wallersee . Thomas Bernhard never got to know him. Although he denied paternity, Zuckerstätter was determined to be a father by the youth welfare office; he refused to pay alimony , was often unsteady when researching, and later married in Germany. His daughter Hilda survived her half-brother, but only found out about his existence shortly before his death.

Bernhard learned nothing of the death of his biological father, who died of gas poisoning in Berlin on November 2, 1940, where suicide was suspected: He suspected that his father had perished in Frankfurt an der Oder at the age of 43 , and he said he I was never allowed to pronounce the first name Alois in the family. His mother suffered from the outward resemblance of the child to his father and allegedly destroyed the only photograph that Bernhard von Zuckerstätter is said to have owned.

With the grandparents

Until autumn 1931 Thomas stayed on a fishing cutter near Rotterdam . In September his mother sent him to her parents; he then lived at Wernhardtstrasse 6 in the 16th district (Ottakring) of Vienna. The poor financial situation caused his grandparents to move, together with the then 4-year-old Thomas, from Vienna to Seekirchen am Wallersee , very close to the birthplace of grandfather and father, Henndorf.

Residential building Vienna 16., Wernhardtstraße 6

In retrospect, Bernhard described the time there as the happiest of his life. His mother married Emil Fabjan, a Viennese hairdresser, also in Seekirchen in 1936; She moved with him and her son in 1937 to Traunstein in Upper Bavaria, a few kilometers across the Salzburg border.

National Socialist education

In 1941 Bernhard was sent to a National Socialist reformatory in Saalfeld . He had been in the family recommended by a social carer Salzburgische Saalfelden , where he is expected to recover with the Thuringian confused Saalfeld. Bernhard described the traumatic experiences made in Saalfeld in his autobiography. From 1943 he was housed in the Nazi boarding school "Johanneum" in Salzburg . Here his grandfather made it possible for him to take violin lessons from Georg Steiner, a member of the Mozarteum Quartet. After heavy bombing raids on Salzburg, he first returned to Traunstein, and only after the end of the war in 1945 did he visit the "Johanneum", which was now Catholic as it was before 1938.

After 1945

In 1946 the whole family from Traunstein moved to the Aiglhof district of Salzburg at Radetzkystraße 47. The grandfather was committed to an artistic education for Bernhard. In 1946 his school career ended in the Salzburg Humanist High School ; Bernhard quit school voluntarily and completed in 1947 at an apprenticeship as a retail merchant, in the resort in the basement Kolonialwarenladen Karl Podlaha in Salzburg joke Hauser field settlement , an informal settlement. Today the aisle where the shop was located is named after Thomas Bernhard. He described the time of his commercial training in Salzburg in the autobiographical text Der Keller , published in 1976. At that time, as he wrote, he was going "in the opposite direction". In his autobiography he later referred to the institution “school” as “mental extermination institution”.

In January 1949, Thomas Bernhard developed tubercular , wet pleurisy , which almost cost him his life. At the same time, the beloved grandfather was in St. Johann Hospital and died in February of acute kidney failure. The mother died of cancer in the fall of 1950.

Literary work

Bernhard processed his childhood and youth literarily in five autobiographical works: The Cause , The Cellar , The Breath , The Cold and A Child .

In 1950 Bernhard published the short story The Red Light under the pseudonym Thomas Fabian - this was the beginning of his lifelong writing activity. Death and the relativization of all other values ​​in the face of the constant threat from him became one of the most important motifs in his works. His novels, the autobiography and a volume of poetry have titles such as In hora mortis , Frost , Die Kälte , Disturbance and Extinction .

In his life, as he said, there were two people who were “decisive for his existence”: his grandfather, who gave him a sense of philosophy , for the “highest, most highest” and who brought him closer to Montaigne , Schopenhauer and Pascal , and his " life people " Hedwig Stavianicek . He had a close relationship and friendship with her until her death in 1984.

In 1951, the 37-year-old woman heard him sing in the church there during his stay in the Grafenhof lung sanctuary in St. Veit im Pongau, from 1949 to 1951 , and she met him personally five years later. The “aunt” initially became his patron, introduced him to Viennese society and took him on many trips. He processed her death in the novel Old Masters. A comedy as the death of the protagonist's wife.

During the 1950s he worked as a journalist, u. a. from 1952 to 1955 as a freelancer for the socialist daily Democratic Volksblatt , and at the same time worked as a freelance writer. At the Salzburg Mozarteum he took lessons in acting and dramaturgy and in music theory from Theodor W. Werner . At the end of 1954, Bernhard joined the SPÖ at the suggestion of the editor-in-chief of the Democratic Volksblatt, Josef Kaut , but regretted this the next day and sent the party book back. Then he also finished working for the Volksblatt.

On November 9, 1954, Bernhard gave a lecture in Salzburg, the previously unknown manuscript of which was discovered in 2009 by the editor-in-chief of the Suhrkamp publishing house. In the lecture Bernhard expressed his admiration for Arthur Rimbaud ; he wrote that Rimbaud was "chaste and animal-like at the same time". This is the earliest known statement by Bernhard about his self-image as an author and about the state cultural establishment; In it he mocks a "gentleman from the cultural office" who pushes himself self-importantly in front of the author at poetry readings.

Thomas Bernhard, who appeared in 1957 with poetry , the volume of poetry Auf der Erde und in der Hölle , finally found his unmistakable style in prose and drama . In the often nested sentences of his monologues, his theater characters and the thoughts of his first-person narrators in the prose texts, his 'excitement', his inner anger, which are an expression of the injuries and disappointments he has suffered, come to light again and again.

Between 1957 and 1959 (after Oliver Bentz until the summer of 1960), Bernhard came into contact with fellow writers such as HC Artmann , Christine Lavant , the young Peter Turrini and Wolfgang Bauer , but also with the painter Hundertwasser and at the Tonhof of the composer Gerhard Lampersberg in Maria Saal other artists. Lampersberg and his wife later harbored ambivalent feelings towards him, which developed into open hostility on the occasion of the publication of logs . In 1984 Lampersberg managed to confiscate the novel of his former “protégé” because he recognized himself in the character of Auersberger.

The time he had spent with his grandfather Johannes Freumbichler in his earliest childhood was decisive for Bernhard's development as a writer , as well as the feeling of being left alone, unloved, unwanted by his father, denied by his father. In addition, there was a serious lung disease and later the "Boeck-Besnier-Schaumann syndrome" Boeck's disease , in the course of which there was a dilative cardiomyopathy , a " dilation of the heart".

In a film talk over three days with Ferry Radax , one of his rarely granted interviews, Bernhard explained the influence of his personal life background on his work in 1970.

Square courtyard and coffee house

From 1965 on, Bernhard lived in Obernathal (municipality of Ohlsdorf (Upper Austria) ) when he was not in Vienna with Hedwig Stavianicek, who is known as Hedwig Stavianicek, who was referred to as an aunt and “man of life” . The prize money of the Bremen Literature Prize , which he for his novel Frost had received gave him the same year on the reality dealer (= real estate agent) Hennetmair the down payment to buy his square yard . Bernhard described this process in detail in his posthumously published volume My Prices and in hints in the novel Yes . From 1974 to 1987 Bernhard was a member of the Austrian Farmers' Union , a sub-organization of the conservative ÖVP . This became public knowledge only after his death.

Bernhard loved to take long walks in addition to the paperwork. Bernard's passion for coffee houses led him to Vienna in the Cafe Braunerhof that was his favorite café, also in Gmunden and Salzburg, he often went to cafes that were at his "second living room".


At the end of November 1988, Bernhard suffered a lung infection . His half-brother Peter Fabjan, a specialist in internal medicine based in Gmunden, had been looking after him for around ten years at his express request. On February 12, 1989, Thomas Bernhard finally died of heart failure in his Gmunden apartment.

On February 16, he was buried in the grave of his “man of life” Hedwig Stavianicek in the Grinzing cemetery in Vienna, as requested only in the presence of the closest relatives. The news of his death should not be made public until after the funeral, which did not quite succeed. His tombstone was damaged several times and the grave plaque was stolen.

Complete works

Thomas Bernhard, Bernhardhaus 2009, photo of a painting

Many of Bernhard's novels and stories consist largely or entirely of monologues by the first-person narrator and a fictional mute or almost mute listener or student, such as the narrator Franz-Josef Murau and his student character Gambetti in the late major work Erasure . On the occasion of an often exaggerated and grotesque everyday situation or a philosophical question constructed by himself, the first-person narrator gives his view of things. A similar constellation can often be found in Bernhard's dramas.

Bernhard prefers to play with the stylistic devices of Suada , monologizing speech, polemics and the counterintuitive. In the prose works, Bernhard distanced himself from the tirades of the monologue by letting the silent listener reproduce them second-hand, so to speak. Additions like “he said”, “so Reger” etc. are characteristic of Bernhard's style.

The monologists are not infrequently scientists, all of them - to use Bernhard's own terminology - "spiritual people" who take a long rant against the "dull mass" and attack with their sharp mind everything that is traditionally "sacred" to the Austrian: the State itself, which Bernhard likes to call " Catholic - National Socialist "; recognized Austrian institutions such as the Vienna Burgtheater , well-respected artists, etc.

In categorical assertions, Bernhard repeatedly makes statements from his main characters absolute. Characteristic for the monologues of his protagonists are expressions such as “natural”, “all”, “nothing”, “always only”, “continually”, “absolutely” etc. They switch on from the start with sentences like “there is nothing beyond that discuss ”,“ you can say what you want ”u. Ä. any possible objection.

A special stylistic feature of Bernhard's prose is a technique of heightening, exaggerating, engaging in or auctioning off fixed ideas, each of which is very artfully orchestrated by a repetition technique in which, on the one hand, certain themes, set pieces and derogatory names with high Frequency repeated (but always slightly varied) and increased further and further. This technique by Bernhard is related to compositional methods in baroque music and serial music , and such passages are often comical highlights of his works.

Bernhard's texts are, on the one hand, bilious or comical outpourings against everything and everyone, but on the other hand, full of autobiographical references. Although there are numerous parallels between the protagonists and Bernhard, it is always role prose . The novels are always about tragedy, loneliness, and the self-destruction of a person who strives for perfection. A recurring theme is the perfection of art and its impossibility, since, according to Bernhard, perfection means death.

Characteristic features of Bernhard's prose are linguistic virtuosity and comedy. Bernhard has developed a language that skilfully operates with the repetition of words or phrases as well as with long, often intricately nested sentences. His language has a strong melodic effect, which is why the works are also well suited for recitation. Bernhard very often contrasts philosophical passages with everyday, often downright banal considerations, whereby he takes those - and at the same time the speakers who produce them - seriously.

In his works, Bernhard repeatedly talks about the “better society” of Vienna and Salzburg, which he often covers with caustic and abusive criticism. He likes to describe Austria as the land of philistines , describing the situation in the darkest colors. He presents his criticism in recurring monologues, which intensifies the effect of the abuse. Many public figures, but also numerous friends of Bernhard, felt parodied or denigrated. All of this caused many of his publications and theatrical premieres to spark scandals and tumult.

On the one hand, an impetus for “social enlightenment through writing” can still be made out in Bernhard's texts, where “the language difficulty of certain social groups” is absolutized as a “general social condition, in a structure of tautologies, a meaningless 'entertainment mechanism' sacrificed absurd correspondence and subjective experiences of a moribund social chaos [...] articulated ”. On the other hand, “Bernhard's entire oeuvre stands under the paralyzing spell of a desperate effort to compensate for the metaphorical decline of the individual captured in the image of death”, which is not staged “as a rationally perceptible, concrete historical necessity that would be the prerequisite for a higher social development ”, But“ as an ontological fact that is naturally developed for a total, fatal catastrophe ”.

In addition to all this criticism of the existing conditions, there are many touching and radically honest moments in his work. These can be found above all in his autobiographical works Der Keller , Der Atem , Die Kälte , Ein Kind , Die Cause . Here Bernhard describes humiliations that he experienced in childhood (when he was wetting the bed, his mother rubbed the urine-soaked sheet under his nose) and the bond he had with his grandfather that was essential for survival. Here he also talks about the formative lung disease that caused him to suffer a “death room” in a hospital at the age of 18. This is where his bed was pushed by doctors who expected his death shortly. When a wet rag fell close to his face, he decided to concentrate all of his will on surviving.


Bernhard repeatedly provoked fierce criticism, especially in his Austrian homeland, and many of his performances were overshadowed by scandals that attracted audiences and kept politics, the tabloid press and the art world on their toes. The aversion to Austria described in his texts regularly triggered violent counter-reactions, the Kronen-Zeitung and populist politicians loudly demanded performance bans and the expatriation of Bernhard - the blanket accusation of "betraying the fatherland" and " dirtying the nest " was heard more often. Some of his critics got heated by the personality of Bernhard, who was perceived as little conflict-averse and narcissistic , and who did not shy away from repeating the blanket accusations of his literature in public. Public indignation increased Bernhard's book sales considerably and quickly made him known.

The first incident that brought Bernhard into the headlines was the so-called State Prize scandal , which began on March 4, 1968 in the Vienna Ministry of Education: At the award of the State Prize for 1967, Bernhard agreed instead of a festive speech and acceptance speech hold:

"It's all ridiculous when you think of death [...] The state is a structure that is constantly failing, the people one that is constantly condemned to infamy and mental weakness. Life hopelessness, on which the philosophies are based, in which everything must ultimately go crazy. We are Austrians, we are apathetic; we are life as the common disinterest in life, we are in the process of nature the megalomania sense of the future. "

These words sparked one of the many scandals that are also part of Bernhard's fame. Bernhard felt himself snubbed by the reaction of the Minister of Education Theodor Piffl-Perčević and his laudation. The author and his publisher Siegfried Unseld disseminated their views of the events in articles and public statements ; this in turn triggered reactions from the state. The ceremony for awarding the Anton Wildgans Prize to Bernhard was canceled. Bernhard processed this event in his books Wittgenstein's Neffe and My Prices .

In 1972, when his play Der Ignorant und der Wahnsinnige was premiered at the Salzburg Festival, there was a break with the festival management because Bernhard demanded absolute darkness at the end of the performance and the emergency light himself be extinguished . The fire police regulations did not allow this, however, which Bernhard could not convey.

In September 1985, on the occasion of the world premiere of the play Der Theatermacher (whose main motifs also include the extinguishing of the emergency light) at the Salzburg Festival, then Finance Minister Franz Vranitzky , alluding to the cultural subsidies, accused himself of “being deadlocked by collecting good tax schillings to write about this country from the body ”.

The scandals with the greatest public appeal were the novel Holzfalls published in 1984 and the drama Heldenplatz , which he wrote on the 50th anniversary of Austria's "annexation" to Nazi Germany.

World premieres of Thomas Bernhard plays at the Salzburg State Theater

For the last time, after his death in February 1989, Bernhard caused a stir with his will, in which he issued a general ban on the performance and publication of all of his works within the borders of Austria. However, his universal heir Peter Fabjan allowed exceptions, so that from 1999 new productions of Bernhard's dramas became possible. Previously, Bernhard productions that were already on the schedule were allowed to continue to be performed, which was of particular benefit to the Vienna Burgtheater under its director at the time, Claus Peymann , which had four Bernhard pieces in its repertoire at the time of Bernhard's death (1989). Most of his plays were premiered under the direction of Peymann, and there was a lifelong friendship between the theater man and the author.

Bernhard's ban on performing his pieces in Austria was lifted when Peter Fabjan set up the Thomas Bernhard Private Foundation . Bernhard's demand, with which he had forbidden "any interference" and "any rapprochement of this Austrian state" against his person and his work, is taken into account in the public events by the fact that they take place without the patronage and without the presence of prominent politicians.

Many German-speaking writers and artists were and were under the influence of Bernhard's work. One of the few avowed Bernhard admirers was the cabaret artist Hanns Dieter Hüsch , who at the end of the 1970s based his alter ego figure "Hagenbuch" stylistically quite openly on Bernhard's art of letting characters narrate in interlaced thought leaps. In addition to the very intensely presented stage characters, the themes, the lines of thought and the language of the cabaret artist Georg Schramm , the title of his program "Thomas Bernhard would have shot", which has been performed since 2005, makes a direct reference to Bernhard's work. In his parody "From the dungeons of the Suhrkamp publishing house", Antonio Fian imitates the language of Thomas Bernhard.

Thomas Bernhard Archive

Since 2001 there has been the Thomas Bernhard Archive in Gmunden with around 20,000 original documents , which was housed in the listed Small Villa Toscana . In 2012, in tough negotiations, the state of Upper Austria - together with the University of Salzburg - managed to secure the retention of the archive in Gmunden: The state continued to make the building in Gmunden available, and on the other hand both cooperation partners paid 150,000 euros per year to Thomas Bernhard Private foundation. In cooperation with the editor-in-chief of Suhrkamp Verlag, Raimund Fellinger, Wendelin Schmidt-Dengler as well as Martin Huber and numerous employees, a twenty-two volume edition of Thomas Bernhard's work was produced by December 2015.

The Thomas Bernhard Archive has been located in Vienna since January 1, 2016 . With reference to the good cooperation, the state of Upper Austria and the University of Salzburg are very disappointed. According to Peter Fabjan, the half-brother and universal heir of Thomas Bernhard, this fact is “really no fame for the country, especially because it is the result of a country [sc. Upper Austria] initiated legal dispute over a question of how to deal with the literary estate provided here on loan. It ended with our voluntary withdrawal. ”The archive in Vienna is closed until further notice in the course of the changeover to future work on digitized data from the beginning of 2016 (as of October 2016).


(In the chronological order of their first publication)

Published posthumously :

Complete edition:


Audio productions

Issues as a comic


A street is named after him in the Scherzhauserfeldsiedlung in the Lehen district of Salzburg , where Thomas Bernhard trained as a retail salesman.


The inserted quotations come from the posthumously published volume My Prices .

... I bought a car for the full price, [...] a Triumph Herald ...
  • 1965 Literature Prize of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen for Frost
... among the few who knew about Canetti , there was one who suddenly, after I had said Canetti again, said: but he is also a Jew.
The President von Bohlen und Halbach [...] read from a note ... : [...] the honorary gifts in 1967 to Ms. Bernhard and Mr. Borchers [...]
It's all ridiculous when you think about death. TB said in his acceptance speech and among other things: The state is an entity that is continually condemned to failure, the people one that is continuously condemned to infamy and mental weakness .
I had not yet finished my text when the minister jumped up with a red face […] threatened me, yes, he went up to me with an angry hand, then made an abrupt U-turn and left the room. This is how TB describes the reaction of Minister of Education Theodor Piffl-Percevic at the ceremony on March 4, 1968
The Federation of Industrialists Prize was to be awarded shortly after the ceremony described above, with the Minister as the guest of honor;
the ceremony was canceled after the scandal.
Without any further information about why and why [...] I was sent this unloading ...
Bernhard received the award in the mail.
And Heisenberg [...] had asked me several times why writers always see everything with such unhappy eyes, that the world is not like that.
When I received the award, [...] I was exposed to a particular wave of destruction of my person in the Austrian newspapers.
About Hertha Firnberg : ... the minister snored, albeit very softly [...] the minister ... asked with inimitable arrogance and stupidity in her voice: yes, where is the poet?
Without the award [...] I would not have seen Mr. Haidenthaller again and today I don't know that much about my own ancestors [...], he had known mine well.


  • Wolfram Bayer et al. (Ed.): On the trail of truth. The public appearances. Speeches, letters to the editor, interviews, feature sections . Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 2010, ISBN 978-3-518-42214-4 .
  • Thomas Bernhard - An encounter. Conversations with Krista Fleischmann . Edition S (Österreichische Staatsdruckerei), Vienna 1991, ISBN 3-7046-0184-5
    Book accompanying the two video cassettes:
    • Thomas Bernhard - a challenge. Monologues in Mallorca 1981 . Videocassette, ISBN 3-7046-0188-8 .
    • Thomas Bernhard - a contradiction. "I am the cause" (Madrid 1986) video cassette, ISBN 3-7046-0223-X .
  • Thomas Bernhard, Peter Hamm : 'Do you like being angry?' - A night conversation between Thomas Bernhard and Peter Hamm . Suhrkamp, ​​Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-518-42188-8 .
  • Thomas Bernhard: Autobiographical Writings, The Cellar, The Breath, The Cold, A Child, The Cause. Audio book edition with Ulrich Matthes, Burghart Klaußner, Gert Voss, Peter Simonischek, Wolfram Berger, 15 CDs in a slipcase. The Audio Verlag , 2010, ISBN 978-3-89813-988-5 .
  • Michael Billenkamp: Thomas Bernhard. Narrative and poetological practice . Heidelberg 2008, ISBN 978-3-8253-5508-1 .
  • Max Bluish. Karl Ignaz Hennetmair: "... the greatest monster I've ever come across". Karl Ignaz Hennetmair on Thomas Bernhard . Tartin Editions, Salzburg 2002, ISBN 3-902163-09-7 .
  • Rudolf Brändle : Witness friendship. Memories of Thomas Bernhard . Residence, Salzburg 1999, ISBN 3-7017-1140-2 .
  • Theo Breuer : The work as passion, the continued score as life. 80th birthday homage .
  • Jens Dittmar (Ed.): Thomas Bernhard. Work history . Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1990, ISBN 3-518-38502-X .
  • Sepp Dreissinger (Ed.): Thomas Bernhard. Portraits. Images & texts . Provincial Library, Weitra 1991, ISBN 3-900878-63-3 .
  • Manuela Dressel: Thomas Bernhard and his publishers . danzig & unfried, Vienna 2014, ISBN 978-3-902752-06-2 .
  • Ilija Dürhammer , Pia Janke (eds.): The 'home poet' Thomas Bernhard . Holzhausen, Vienna 1999, ISBN 3-85493-009-7 .
  • Ilija Dürhammer: Thomas Bernhard. Wood. A. Case. A real fiction . Kremayr & Scheriau, Vienna 2004, ISBN 3-218-00722-4 .
  • Ilija Dürhammer: Homoerotic subcultures in the Schubert circle, with Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Thomas Bernhard . Böhlau, Vienna 2006, ISBN 3-205-77462-0 .
  • Ria Endres : Arrived at the end - depicted in the delusional darkness of the male portraits of Thomas Bernhard . S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1980, ISBN 3-596-22311-3 .
  • Clara Ervedosa: Blowing off the head. The comic as a shock in the work of Thomas Bernhard . Aisthesis, Bielefeld 2008, ISBN 978-3-89528-647-6 ,
  • Rike Felka: "In the forest. About Thomas Bernhard's 'correction'." In: Rike Felka: The spatial memory. Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-940048-04-2 .
  • Maria Fialik : The Conservative Anarchist. Thomas Bernhard and the State Theater . Löcker, Vienna 1991, ISBN 3-85409-189-3 .
  • Maria Fialik: The Charismatic. Thomas Bernhard and the friends of yore . Löcker, Vienna 1992, ISBN 3-85409-211-3 .
  • Benedikt Fuchs: The political attitudes in the life and work of Thomas Bernhard. Diploma thesis at the University of Vienna , Vienna 2010. ( Full text (PDF; 93 p .; 842 kB) (PDF))
  • Dorett Funcke: The absent father - ways out of fatherlessness. The Thomas Bernhard case . LIT, Münster 2007, ISBN 978-3-8258-0260-8 .
  • Clemens Götze: "The real nature and world are in the newspapers". History, politics and the media in the dramatic late work of Thomas Bernhard. Tectum, Marburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-8288-9858-5 .
  • Clemens Götze: "It's all ridiculous when you think of death". Studies on the work of Thomas Bernhard. Tectum, Marburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-8288-2672-4 .
  • Michael Grabher: The protagonist in Thomas Bernhard's narrative . Kovac, Hamburg 2004, ISBN 3-8300-1408-2 .
  • Carola Gruber : Events in a nutshell. Narratological investigations into eventfulness in the shortest prose by Thomas Bernhard, Ror Wolf and Helmut Heißenbüttel . Transcript Verlag , Bielefeld 2013.
  • Karl Ignaz Hennetmair : A year with Thomas Bernhard. The sealed diary 1972. Goldmann, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-442-72989-0 .
  • Karl Ignaz Hennetmair: Thomas Bernhard - Karl Ignaz Hennetmair. An exchange of letters. 1965-1974 . Provincial Library, Weitra 1994, ISBN 3-85252-025-8 .
  • Karl Ignaz Hennetmair: From the sealed diary. Christmas with Thomas Bernhard . Provincial Library, Weitra 1992, ISBN 3-900878-85-4 .
  • Joachim Hoell : Thomas Bernhard. dtv, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-423-31041-3 .
  • Hans Höller : Thomas Bernhard. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1993, ISBN 3-499-50504-5 .
  • Hans Höller, Irene Heidelberger-Leonard (Ed.): Anti-autobiography - On Thomas Bernhard's "Extinction". Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1995, ISBN 3-518-38988-2 .
  • Kurt Hofmann: From conversations with Thomas Bernhard. With photographs by Sepp Dreissinger and Emil Fabjan and a preliminary note from the publisher. Löcker, Vienna 1988, ISBN 3-85409-119-2 .
  • Gitta Honegger: Thomas Bernhard. “What kind of fool is that?” Propylaeen, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-549-07168-X .
  • Martin Huber, Manfred Mittermayer, Peter Karlhuber (Eds.): Thomas Bernhard and his people of life - the legacy. Exhibition catalog. Adalbert Stifter Institute of the State of Upper Austria, Linz 2001, ISBN 3-900424-25-X .
  • Louis Huguet: Chronology. Johannes Freumbichler - Thomas Bernhard. Genealogy of Thomas Bernhard's. Translated and edited by Renate Langer. Provincial Library, Weitra 1995, ISBN 3-85252-066-5 .
  • Bernhard Judex: Thomas Bernhard. Epoch - work - effect. CH Beck, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-406-60684-7 .
  • Dirk Jürgens: The Thomas Bernhard Theater. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1999, ISBN 3-631-34516-X .
  • Gerhard Katschnig: Between protest and counter-protest: Thomas Bernhard's Heldenplatz. In: Marion Hamm et al. (Ed.): Resistance in everyday life. Contributions to an empirical cultural analysis. For Klaus Schönberger on his 60th birthday. Klagenfurt 2019, pp. 122–131.
  • Christian Katzschmann: Self Destroyer. Suicidal processes in the work of Thomas Bernhard. Böhlau Verlag, Cologne 2003, ISBN 3-412-07103-X .
  • Olaf Lahayne: Insults Austria !: The scandal surrounding Thomas Bernhard's state award speech in March 1968 . V&R unipress, Göttingen 2016, ISBN 978-3-8471-0489-6 .
  • Micaela Latini: The Correction of Life. Studies on Thomas Bernhard, Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2017, ISBN 978-3-8260-6223-0 .
  • Kay Link : The world as theater - artificiality and artistry with Thomas Bernhard . Akademischer Verlag Stuttgart, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-88099-387-4 .
  • Andreas Maier: The seduction. Thomas Bernhard's prose . Wallstein, Göttingen 2004, ISBN 3-89244-859-0 .
  • Sabine Mair: “Werner Schwab. Thomas Bernhard. An attempt. “Innsbruck, Univ., Dipl.-Arb. 1999.
  • Johann Maxwald: Thomas Bernhard. My peculiar neighbor . LIT, Münster 2005, ISBN 3-00-015623-2 .
  • Manfred Mittermayer (ed.): Thomas Bernhard - Johannes Freumbichler - Hedwig Stavianicek. Pictures, documents, essays . The ramp extra. State of Upper Austria, Office d. Oö. State government, Institute for Cultural Promotion, Linz 1999, ISBN 3-85320-995-5 .
  • Manfred Mittermayer: Thomas Bernhard . Metzler, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-476-10291-2 .
  • Manfred Mittermayer: Thomas Bernhard. Life work effect . Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 2006, ISBN 3-518-18211-0 .
  • Manfred Mittermayer: Thomas Bernhard. A biography . Residence, St. Pölten 2015, ISBN 978-3-7017-3364-4 .
  • André Müller : In conversation with Thomas Bernhard . Library of the Province, Weitra 1992, ISBN 3-900878-64-1
    also in: Beyond the questions . dtv, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-423-12590-X .
  • Eckhart Nickel: Flaneur - The enabling of the art of living in the late work of Thomas Bernhard . Manutius, Heidelberg 1997, ISBN 3-925678-72-7 .
  • Martina Ochs: A work about my style / very interesting - On speaking behavior in Thomas Bernhard's plays . Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2006, ISBN 3-631-55805-8 .
  • Alfred Pfabigan : Thomas Bernhard. An Austrian world experiment . Zsolnay, Vienna 1999, ISBN 3-552-04921-5 .
  • Johannes Frederik G. Podszun: Investigations on the prose work of Thomas Bernhard. The study and the spirit man. Development tendencies in the literary processing of a basic motif . Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 3-631-33979-8 .
  • Norbert W. Schlinkert : Wanderer in Absurdistan: Novalis, Nietzsche, Beckett, Bernhard and all the rest. An investigation into the appearance of the absurd in prose. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2005, ISBN 3-8260-3185-7 , pp. 96-114.
  • Wendelin Schmidt-Dengler: The exaggeration artist - studies on Thomas Bernhard. 4th enlarged edition. Special number, Vienna 2010, ISBN 978-3-85449-327-3 .
  • Erika Schmied, Wieland Schmied: Thomas Bernhard. Life and work in pictures and texts . Residence, St. Pölten 2008, ISBN 978-3-7017-3089-6 .
  • Wieland Schmied , Erika Schmied : Thomas Bernhard's houses . Residence, Salzburg 1995, ISBN 3-7017-0952-1 .
  • Michaela Schmitz: Thomas Bernhard: Portrait for his 85th birthday in the online portal of the "Documentation Center for Newer Austrian Literature" in Vienna on February 9, 2016.
  • Nico Schulte-Ebbert: The violence of the other. Aggression and aggressiveness with Thomas Bernhard. Logos Verlag, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-8325-4130-9 .
  • Jan Süselbeck : The laughter of atheists. Time criticism with Arno Schmidt and Thomas Bernhard. Stroemfeld, Frankfurt am Main 2006, ISBN 3-86109-176-3 .
  • Harald Waitzbauer : Thomas Bernhard in Salzburg. Everyday history of a provincial town 1943–1955. Böhlau, Vienna 1995, ISBN 3-205-98424-2 .


  • That was Thomas Bernhard. Television documents 1967–1988. Documentary film, Austria, 1994, 50 min., Script and director: Krista Fleischmann, production: ORF , summary by 3sat .
  • Thomas Bernhard. The natural art disaster. A topography. Documentary film, Germany, 2010, 52 min., Script and director: Norbert Beilharz , production: Eikon Südwest, WDR , arte , first broadcast: February 7, 2011 on arte, synopsis by ARD a . a. with Daniel Kehlmann and Stefan Hunstein .
  • Thomas Bernhard. A challenge. Monologues in Mallorca. A portrait by Krista Fleischmann. Documentary, ORF, 1981.
  • Thomas Bernhard. A contradiction. I am the cause. A portrait of Krista Fleischmann in Madrid. Documentary, ORF, 1986.
  • The Italian A film by Ferry Radax , based on a story by Thomas Bernhard, 1970.


Helmut Oehring : KALKWERK (2012/13), instrumental theater for string quintet and vocalists based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Bernhard using music by Franz Schubert . Premiere: February / March 2013 in Radialsystem V in Berlin / Biennale Salzburg with the ensemble mosaik

Hubert Steppan: THE TIME IS EXTINITED, O LORD; Text from "In hora mortis" by Thomas Bernhard. Setting as a song for medium voice and piano (Op. 337) and as an orchestral song for medium voice and orchestra (Op. 338); both works in St. Paul / Salzburg, 2005.

Web links

Commons : Thomas Bernhard  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Bernhard Judex: Thomas Bernhard. Epoch - work - effect. (= Workbooks on literary history ). CH Beck Verlag, Munich 2010, p. 29.
  2. a b literary history Thomas Bernhard. ( Memento from July 12, 2012 in the web archive ) In: Open Distance Learning, accessed on February 8, 2011.
  3. ^ Louis Huguet: Chronology. Johanners Freumbichler, Thomas Bernhard. Library of the Province, Weitra 1996, ISBN 3-85252-066-5 , quoted from from February 4, 2013.
  4. Thomas Bernhard: The cold. P. 75.
  5. See: "Basically, I am a sea man", Thomas Bernhard's first months in the Netherlands. A documentation 'in: Thomas Bernhard Yearbook 2009/2010, pp. 155–175.
  6. Manfred Mittermayer (Ed.): Thomas Bernhard. Suhrkamp BasisBiographie, Frankfurt am Main, p. 11ff.
  7. by Rudolf Brändle: witnesses friendship . On Steiner cf. Barbara Boisits: Steiner, married couple. In: Oesterreichisches Musiklexikon . Online edition, Vienna 2002 ff., ISBN 3-7001-3077-5 ; Print edition: Volume 5, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 2006, ISBN 3-7001-3067-8 .
  8. ^ Thomas Combrink: Thomas Bernhard: Autobiographical writings. The dark haze of failure. In: Title. November 22, 2004, accessed February 8, 2011.
  9. Thomas Bernhard: Life-, see 1950th
  10. ^ Herbert Moritz: years of apprenticeship. Thomas Bernhard, from journalist to poet. 1992, pp. 163-168.
  11. ^ Text in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit , Hamburg, No. 21, May 14, 2009, p. 36 f.
  12. Bernd Mattheus: Interview with Thomas Bernhard ( Memento from February 4, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) In: Kuckuck Network, spring 1975, accessed on February 8, 2011.
  13. ^ Manfred Mittermayer: Thomas Bernhard. A biography. Residenz Verlag, Vienna / Salzburg 2015.
  14. Group 21, Row 6, No. 1
  15. Thomas Bernhard's grave tablet stolen .; Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  16. Heinz B. Heller: Literature in the Sign of the Recession, New Left and “Tendencies”. In: Social history of German literature from 1918 to the present. P. 713 f.
  17. Heinz B. Heller: Literature in the Sign of the Recession, New Left and “Tendencies”. In: Social history of German literature from 1918 to the present. P. 745.
  18. Sigrid Löffler : Out with the villain! In: Der Spiegel . No. 42 , 1988 ( online ).
  19. a b Olaf Lahayne: Insulted Austria !: The scandal surrounding Thomas Bernhard's state award speech in March 1968 . V&R unipress, Göttingen 2016, ISBN 978-3-8471-0489-6 .
  20. Thomas Borchert: "We are Austrians, we are apathetic". The book "My Prices" by Thomas Bernhard. In: The Berlin literary criticism. January 23, 2009, accessed February 8, 2011.
  21. Hannes Blank: "It's all ridiculous when you think of death." In: RaumK, accessed on February 8, 2011.
  24. Michaela Schmitz: Grandioser story volume - Thomas Bernhard: "Goethe schtirbt". Review in the Deutschlandfunk broadcast “Büchermarkt”, book of the week from November 21, 2010.
  25. Correction of something that cannot be corrected. In: FAZ . October 30, 2013, p. 26.
  26. Paul Jandl: Who would have wanted to be Thomas Bernhard's editor? It was this woman! | NZZ . July 15, 2018, ISSN  0376-6829 ( [accessed February 13, 2019]).
  27. Please make no noise when turning the pages. In: FAZ , November 6, 2014, p. 12.
  28. ^ The sufferings of the pupil Bernhard
  29. TB gives in My Prices. P. 66, only the year 1967 for which the prize was awarded, and names the prize by its unofficial name Small State Prize
  30. in: Martin Huber and Wendelin Schmidt-Dengler: The novels, afterword Umspringbilder. P. 1781; and in: TB: My prices. P. 121.
  31. My prices. P. 82.
  32. Bernhard processed this event in Wittgenstein's nephew
  33. ^ Premi Feltrinelli 1950–2011. In: Accademia dei Lincei (Italian): "lo scrittore, pur dichiarandosi altamente onorato, non ha accettato il conferimento in quanto da diversi anni ha assunto tale linea di condotta nei confronti di qualsiasi pubblico riconoscimento (although the writer declared that he felt very honored, did not accept the award, insofar as he has been taking this stance towards any public recognition for years) ";