Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Thomas Bernhard

The indispensable Austrian Times reports:
German publishing house Suhrkamp has promised a "sensational release" during next year's Thomas Bernhard year. The publishing house will release "Meine Preise" ("My Awards"), a previously-unpublished prose text from 1980.
Does anybody know about this "Thomas Bernhard year"? Don't they mean "century"?


  1. Anonymous2:44 pm

    I think I have asked you about this before: Any suggestions about where to start in my Bernhard oddysey? I'm newly released from grad school and can finally read whatever I darn well please. So exciting. So lovely.


  2. Well, the novels of the early 80s were where I started. So, I'd suggest "Concrete" or "The Loser". The latter has been reissued by Vintage recently while Concrete is difficult to find. Beware of other recent reissues Gargoyles and Frost - wonderful as they are, they're not ideal introductions.

  3. << Don't they mean "century"? >>

    after reading nearly the whole oeuvre, I'm thinking more and more this interplay of things that are present-at-hand and rady-at-hand in Bernhard's ecriture. this chiasm, the break in everydayness (like the milk bottle that goes into pieces in Tarkovsky's Solaris) makes 'open' the primordial time of dasein, in bernhard's world things are always received, always a welcoming. and there the question of other, in his/her unsacrificiable existence makes possible another ethics. Maria (bachmann) of Extinction and the imperative that comes into language at the end of the book is so contemporary that our economy of times (which is chronological) shatter. I'm thankful of Bernhard's epochal gesture. his last talk with kurt hoffman is an ultimate event of daring, life in its finitude comes as a gift to be shared, in Agamben's words this is 'the' passion for facticity.

    here we have to "remember" I think other figures who made this event to be heard, like Derrida.

    "if there were an experinece of loss at the heart of all this, the only loss for which I could never be consoled and that brings together all the others, I would call it loss of memory. The suffering at the origin of writing for me is the suffering from loss of memory, not only forgetting or amnesia, but the effacement of traces I would not need to write otherwise; my writing is not in the first place a philosophical writing or that of an artist, even if, in certain cases, it might look like that or take over from these other kinds of writing. My first desire is not to produce a philosophical work or a work of art: it is to preserve memory" (cadava quotes him in his article "derrida's futures" points... interviews p.143)

    this is a century that witnessed the closure of occident, not an easy task, even not a task; I remember a line from Bernhard "we are and we have no hale other than this" this hale, like plato's pharmacy means both poison and cure. so it's better to think this century as a welcoming that manifold of singular wonder's before the thing itself. as Lacoue-Labarthe says "[man] in his almost absolute singularity (his ab-soluteness), man -and not the subject- is pure waiting-for-an-other; he is hope of a dialogue, of a way out of solitude." (poetry as experience p.31)

    this "fragility itself" demands us "to carry" (celan) these friends' memory awake, an imperative, yes.

    p.s. I want to suggest reading Frost with René Guénon's "The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times", you will have a big surprise (I am preparing a paper on this)

  4. I forgot to write down what made me write the entry, I just wanted to thank stephen for the news. (rest came by itself)

  5. Anonymous8:44 am

    It's indeed the "Bernhard-year" -- the 20th anniversary of his death in 1989.



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