The Austrian playwright, novelist and poet Thomas Bernhard is acknowledged as among the major writers of our time.The seven stories in this collection capture Bernhard’s distinct darkly comic voice and vision—often compared to Kafka and Musil—commenting on a corrupted world.
First published in German in 1967, these stories were written at the same time as Bernhard’s early novels Frost, Gargoyles and The Lime Works, and they display the same obsessions, restlessness and disarming mastery of language. Martin Chalmer’s outstanding translation captures the essential personality of the work.The narrators of these stories lack the strength to do anything but listen and then write, the reader in turn becoming a captive listener, deciphering the traps laid by memory—and the mere words, the neverending words with which we try to pin it down.Words that are always close to driving the narrator crazy yet, as Bernhard writes,‘not completely crazy’.
‘The stories are at times heartbreaking or alternatively, riotously funny.’ —The Black Sheep Dances
‘An excellent introduction to his work, or a satisfying reading experience in itself for those who like angst in small doses.’ —The Guardian
Read the New York Times review here
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