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Woodcutters

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ISBN-10: 0226043967

ISBN-13: 9780226043968

Edition: Reprint 

Authors: Thomas Bernhard, David McLintock

List price: $17.50
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Description:

This controversial portrayal of Viennese artistic circles begins as the writer-narrator arrives at an 'artistic dinner' given by a composer and his society wife--a couple that the writer once admired and has come to loathe. The guest of honor, an actor from the Burgtheater, is late. As the other guests wait impatiently, they are seen through the critical eye of the narrator, who begins a silent but frenzied, sometimes maniacal, and often ambivalent tirade against these former friends, most of whom were brought together by the woman whom they had buried that day. Reflections on Joana's life and suicide are mixed with these denunciations until the famous actor arrives, bringing a culmination to the evening for which the narrator had not even thought to hope. "Mr. Bernhard's portrait of a society in dissolution has a Scandinavian darkness reminiscent of Ibsen and Strindberg, but it is filtered through a minimalist prose. . . . Woodcutters offers an unusually intense, engrossing literary experience."--Mark Anderson, New York Times Book Review "Musical, dramatic and set in Vienna, Woodcutters. . . .resembles a Strauss operetta with a libretto by Beckett."--Joseph Costes, Chicago Tribune "Thomas Bernhard, the great pessimist-rhapsodist of German literature . . . never compromises, never makes peace with life. . . . Only in the pure, fierce isolation of his art can he get justice."--Michael Feingold, Village Voice "In typical Bernhardian fashion the narrator is moved by hatred and affection for a society that he believes destroys the very artistic genius it purports to glorify. A superb translation."--Library Journal
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Book details

List price: $17.50
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 2/15/1989
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 188
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.484
Language: English

Thomas Bernhard was born to Austrian parents in Holland and reared by his mother in the vicinity of Salzburg. His temperament and erratic health created difficulties for him as he grew up in a society governed by National Socialists. Bernhard found the alpine landscapes of his native Austria far more harsh than lyrical. The isolation of the characters in his novels is only slightly mitigated by friendship, generally only between men, and never by love. Yet many readers feel this lack of sentimentality gives Bernhard's work an epic power.