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Thomas Arzt is the fourth recipient of the Thomas Bernhard Scholarship for playwrights established by the National Theater of Linz in Austria ((after Nussbaumeder in 2005, Kaptein in 2007 and Knoll in 2009)see entries for earlier recipients on this page) From September 2011 he will work on his new play in close cooperation with the theater in Linz. Further informtaion (in German) is HERE with a rather imperfect machine translation HERE.

Michael Weithmann has written a piece in Der Spiegel about Thomas Bernhard's childhood experience witnessing US war planes shot down over Germany, as related in Gathering Evidence. There is a slide show of seven images accompanying the text. The original German version is here, and a machine-translated English version is here. --Victoria Harding

Homage to
Thomas Bernhard

Daniel Baur

--to whom our thanks
for sending this.

Radiokulturhaus Wien 1 February 2011
Book Presentation: Was reden die Leute? 58 Begegnungen mit Thomas Bernhard (What Do People Talk about?) by Sepp Dreissinger. Dreissinger will also show a shorter version of his work in progress, a film about Thomas Bernhard: “Ich bin durch und durch glücklich. Eine Thomas-Bernhard-Umkreisung” (I'm thoroughly happy. Orbiting Thomas Bernhard”). The book is available here:          -- Anja Zeidler

Thomas Bernhard Weekend
5 – 6 February 2011 at the Austrian Cultural Forum London, 28 Rutland Gate, London SW7 1PQ
"A celebration exploring the legacy of the great satirist Thomas Bernhard, on what would have been his 80th birthday. The weekend, devised by broadcaster and writer Piers Burton-Page, aims to present a cross-section in miniature of Bernhard's work, with the emphasis on variety, humour and enjoyment. These two days will include a Bernhard play not seen in English, an almost silent film, readings from Bernhard's poems and stories, talks, and the chance to discuss and debate."       -- Anja Zeidler

Old Master? Re-Evaluating Thomas Bernhard
"This panel seeks to re-evaluate both Bernhard's works
and their reception in Europe and the US."

MLA Convention, 6 – 9 January 2011, Los Angeles
The Modern Austrian Literature and Culture Association (MALCA)
an Allied Organization of the MLA
-- Anja Zeidler

Bernhard at the theater in NYC again -- in English: Ritter, Dene, Voss was performed by the One Little Goat Theatre Company at La Mama Experimental Theatre Club in Manhattan, September 23rd through October 10th 2010. Unlike the previous Bernhard production in NYC.

A trailer from a Canadian performance can be seen at YouTube, and many reviews are available on the web, among them from the NY Times, the Village Voice, and others revealed in this search. --Victoria Harding

Prose, a collection of Bernhard stories, has been translated into English for the first time by Martin Chalmers, and is scheduled to be published by the University of Chicago Press in May 2010 under the Seagull imprint. More information is here, and a story, "Two Tutors," is available to read at Little Star Journal.

A good description of the contents is available in Charles W. Martin's The Nihilism of Thomas Bernhard: The portrayal of existential and social problems in his prose works, partially available at GoogleBooks, beginning on page 48.
-- Bruno Gabriel Costelini

Thomas Bernhard and the theatre: Salzburg and Vienna -- “Austria Herself is Nothing but a Stage”

An exhibition marking the 20th anniversary of Thomas Bernhard's death offers a comprehensive survey of his work for the theatre, focusing on the two Austrian cities where many of his plays had their premieres, Salzburg and Vienna.

Using five plays first performed in these cities, the exhibition illustrates central aspects of Bernhard's work for the stage. The main focus is on how Bernhard created and developed The Ignoramus and the Madman, (1972), The Force of Habit, (1974), Histrionics, (1985), Ritter, Dene, Voss (1986), and Heldenplatz (1988). All five plays deal with art and artistic work in a period marked by hostility to art, with the futile struggle for perfection and dominance, but also with Austrian politics. It will run from 5th November 2009 to 4th July 2010 at the Austrian Theatre Museum in Vienna. More information here. -- Gwilym Williams

Lincoln Center Festival 09 in New York City will present the U.S. premiere of an adaptation of the novel Kalkwerk (The Lime Works), performed by members of Poland's Narodowy Stary Teatr and directed by Krystian Lupa. From the advance publicity information:

In Lupa's powerful staging, Bernhard's story of Konrad, an obsessive scientist mentally imprisoned by his work, and Konradowa, his captive wife, is grippingly dramatized by Andrzej Hudziak and Malgorzata Hajewska-Krzysztofik, two actors who authoritatively convey these characters' emotionally crippled states.

Narodowy Stary Teatr, one of the oldest Polish professional theater companies, was formed in Krakow in 1781. Its success in maintaining a high artistic level for over two centuries is the result of involvement and effort of the theater's directors, who have skillfully refined the theater troupe and built a well-devised repertoire of Polish and European classics and new works. Under Mikolaj Grabowski, artistic director since 2002 and managing director since 2004, the Narodowy Stary Teatr has established a dual focus -– an emphasis on contemporary drama and the reinterpretation of the classics. Since 1994, the Narodowy Stary Teatr has been a member of the Union of European Theatres, an organization of the leading theatre companies in Europe.

Internationally renowned director Krystian Lupa's recent productions include Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov; Gorky's The Lower Depths; and Unfinished Piece for an Actor, which combines Chekhov's The Seagull with Yazmina Reza's The Spanish Play. A resident director at the Narodowy Stary Teatr, he also teaches directing at the Ludwik Solski State Drama School in Krakow. Lupa's productions, noted for their psychological complexity, stylistic innovation, and humanity, have been invited to European theater festivals and, in 2006, he staged Chekhov's The Three Sisters at Boston's American Repertory Theatre. Lupa has been distinguished with every major Polish theatre award, the Austrian Cross of Merit, and the French Order of the Fine Arts and Humanities. In 2008, he received the European Theatre Award for career achievement. Previous winners include Harold Pinter, Robert Wilson, and Pina Bausch. In 2003, Stary Teatr mounted a retrospective festival of five of Lupa's stage productions; his most recent production there, Factory 2, is a drama about Andy Warhol's Factory. Lupa has been a master teacher of Polish directors Grzegorz Jarzyna and Krzysztof Warlikowski, whose works have recently been presented in New York.

More information, including a slide show and short video clip from the play, are at the Lincoln Center web site.

Ursula Knoll is the third recipient (after Nubaumeder in 2005 and Kaptein in 2007) of the Thomas Bernhard Scholarship for playwrights established by the National Theater of Linz in Austria (see entries for earlier recipients on this page) From April to July 2009 she will work on her new play in close cooperation with the theater in Linz . Further information, in German, is here.
-- Anja Zeidler

Haus Wittgenstein

Wittgenstein's House/Roithamer's Cone
Adelaide Deleite writes of the connections between the conception and realization of two houses at The Transport.
Click for full article More & more Bernhard:
"Previously unpublished Thomas Bernhard text
to be released in 2009

  "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 by the novelist who was born in the Netherlands but had Austrian citizenship."
-- a little more here
Three=Part Inventions:  The Novels of Thomas Bernhard, by Thomas J. Cousineau
In June 2008, the University of Delaware Press published Three-Part Inventions: The Novels of Thomas Bernhard by Thomas Cousineau. -- Stephen Mitchelmore

Jacket copy is here in Word doc format.

The Art of Failure is the title of a program about Thomas Bernhard, sponsored by the PEN American Center and held Thursday, May 1, at the Austrian Cultural Forum, 11 East 52nd Street in New York City, 7–8.30 p.m., with Horacio Castellanos Moya , Paul Holdengräber, Fatima Naqvi, and Dale Peck, and moderated by Jonathan Taylor. More information here. A blog at the NY Times about the event is here, and an account by William Marx is at The Arts Fuse. --Stephen Mitchelmore

Hungarian composer József Sári has written an opera based on Thomas Bernhard's unpublished short story “Der Hutmacher” (the hatmaker). It had its premiere on 29th March 2008 at the Velodrom of the Theater Regensburg. -– Anja Zeidler

"This Was Thomas Bernhard" is a documentary film in German (alas for his English readers), which was available at YouTube or on this site but was removed from the former and is in process of being reinstalled here -- check back, please. -- Stephen Mitchelmore

Thomas Bernhard Cycle Thomas Bernhard Cycle: a November/December 2007 celebration in Portugal.

Jonathan Taylor visits Bernhard's house, in an account replete with quotations from the novels and offering engaging interpretations of what he sees, in The Believer, April 2007. --Victoria Harding

Thomas Bernhard on "You Must Read This"
Claire Messud, a writer, has designated The Loser a must-read book in this series on US National Public Radio, featuring works various contributors are passionate about. Read why here.
--Victoria Harding

A Glenn Gould Archive review of The Loser, noting that the novel is part of the Glenn Gould "reception history." Originally part of the Glenn Gould Archive, but it seens ti have disappeared so has been copied here. --Victoria Harding

The second recipient of the Thomas Bernhard Scholarship for playwrights – established by the National Theatre of Linz in Austria (see entry on this page) – is Johanna Kaptein, who from March to May 2007 will work on her new play in close cooperation with the theater in Linz . More information, in German, is here.
-- Anja Zeidler

Victor Halbnarr cover   Victor Halbnarr illustration

Thomas Bernhard's only children's book, Viktor Halbnarr. Ein Wintermärchen (Viktor Half-Fool. A Winter's Tale) has been published with illustrations by Alfons Schweiggert; it was first published in 2003 in a volume including other short pieces). In 1966 publisher Gertraud Middelhauve had asked Bernhard to contribute to a collection of children's stories and he agreed. The short tale is as strange and dark and irritating as the illustrtions. More information is on the illustrator's page:
-- Anja Zeidler

A French-English sculptor, Lucie Geffré, is an avid Bernhard reader: she has made a bust of him, and sent us this image. --Victoria Harding

The German architect Martin Düchs imagined Roithamer's cone (Corrections, Roithamer's Wohnkegel, Korrektur) as shown at left. It is part of an exhibition at Munich's Pinakothek der
Moderne called "Architektur wie sie im Buche steht. Fiktive Bauten und Staedte in der Literatur" (Architecture as imagined in literature. Fictitious buildings and cities in literature), and based on a
project of the architectural department of the TU Munich. More information (in German) is here.
-- Anja Zeidler

A Bernhard reading in New York City on February 18, 2008, at the KGB Bar in NYC featured several American writers who admire Bernhard or have been influenced by their encounters with his work, reading and commenting on chosen selections. Jonathan Taylor organized and MCed the event. --Victoria Harding

From the Bucharest (Romania) Daily News
No. 552, September 23, 2006
Act Theater starts new season next week
Dana Milea
The Act Theater will open the new season after the summer break with "Creatorul de Teatru" ("The Theater Creator") starring Marcel Iures, in a role for which he received the 2006 UNITER (Romanian Theatrical Union) award for best actor. The UNITER award is the highest distinction granted in Romanian theater.

The show, directed by Alexandru Dabija, will commence the 2006-2007 season on September 30.

Besides Marcel Iures, who is the founder of the Act Theater, the cast also includes Valeria Seciu, Constantin Draganescu, Afrodita Androne and Vitalie Bantas.

Considered a manifest show for independent theater, "The Theater Creator" by playwright Thomas Bernhard has been running since June 2001 at the Act Theater on Victoriei Avenue.
The price of a ticket is 20 RON. Students and senior citizens will pay only 13 RON. 

In Perugia, Italy, from March 21st to 26th 2006, at 9 pm, the Teatro Morlacchi will stage a production of Thomas Bernhard's "The Force of Habit" (“La forza dell'abitudine”), with Alessandro Gassman, Paolo Fosso, Sergio Meogrossi, and the artists of the Circo Colombaioni, under the direction of Alessandro Gassman. The notice on Perugia On Line described it as "A playful satire on the inability of the artist to see reality."

In Hora Mortis/Under the Iron of the Moon, a volume of Bernhard's poetry translated by James Reidel, will be published by the Princeton University Press in June 2006.
-- Stephen Mitchelmore

The production of "Ritter, Dene, Voss" with the orignal cast and
directed by Claus Peymann transferred from the Burgtheatre to Berlin's
Berliner Ensemble in September 2004. It was also performed in September
and October (16, 17 & 19) 2005. Peymann left the Burgtheatre in 1999
and has been director of the Berliner Ensemble since that time.
-- Tom Hall

A Thomas Bernhard calendar for 2006, no longer available, alas.

"Say you walk in the woods one time and someone takes a snap of you; after that you'll walk the very same woods for eighty years. You can't do anything about it." -- Anja Zeidler

Thomas Bernhard groovt
Nine members of the Upper Austrian Jazz Orchestra have transformed passages, themes, motives, and the musical preferences of Thomas Bernhard into musical works and created a program depicting Bernhard's life and work for their big-band jazz group. Jazz saxophonist Christian Maurer developed the concept and Klaus Zeyringer (University of Graz, Université Catolique de l'Ouest/Angers) acted as literary advisor. Performances were in various locations in Austria in the summer and fall of 2004.
( .html,
and click on Thomas Bernhard groovt.
-- Anja Zeidler

On 12th February 2004, the 15th anniversary of Thomas Bernhard's death, the Burgtheater in Vienna staged a revival of Ritter, Dene, Voss with the original actors for whom the play was written in 1986, Ilse Ritter, Kirsten Dene, and Gerd Voss. It was again directed by Claus Peymann, with sets by Karl-Ernst Herrmann. Shown here are announcements for the revival's Berlin production at the Berliner Ensemble, Theater am Schiffbauerdammwhich, which opened its theater season on 3rd September 2004. -- Anja Zeidler

Interview with Ilse Ritter

First Thomas Bernhard Scholarship for playwrights awarded -- The national theater of Linz in Austria, in conjunction with the Thomas Bernhard archive in Gmunden, has established a biannual scholarship for authors who have written a first play that has affinities in some way to Bernhard's work. The recipient works for four months staging his or her play with the national theater of Linz; the work is then performed during the following season. The first recipient is Christoph Nußbaumeder, born in 1978 in Eggenfelden, Bavaria; his play Mit dem Gurkenflieger in die Südsee will open June 6, 2005 . at the Landes Theater in Linz. -- Anja Zeidler

The exhibition "Thomas Bernhard - Ècrire pour Survivre," photos and manuscripts from Thomas Bernhard's estate, appeared at the University of Namur/Belge (Bibliothèque universitaire Moretus Plantin, Salle A.Limminghe, Rue Grandgagnage 19, 5000 Namur) from 12th February to 19th March 2004. It was in Antwerp from 20th April until 23rd May 2004 at the Centrale Bibliotheek UFSIA, Prinsstraat. The exhibition title indicates an "existential basis," Anke Bosse, director of the German Department at Namur University and of the exhibition, writes in her introduction to the 15-page exhibition booklet, and is accordingly presented in two parts like the title itself: a short biography and a number of photographs in the first part, and then a selection of typescripts and manuscripts representing Bernhard's development as a writer, drawn from published and unpublished works in the Thomas Bernhard archive at Villa Stonborough-Wittgenstein in Gmunden (
The second part is presented in 16 thematic sections, starting with examples of early unpublished poetry, for example, "Die Königin der Städte" – "The Queen of the Cities", and published poetry, "Auf der Erde und in der Hölle" – "On Earth and in Hell," and progresses to pieces for the theater written between 1957-1960 during Bernhard's time at Gerhard Lampersberg's "Tonhof;" then his first attempts at writing novels, Der Wald auf der StrasseThe Forest on the Street and Tamsweg, from before the novel Frost was published; then various versions of this first novel success and of his first theater success, Ein Fest für BorisA Party for Boris, 1970, Hamburg, directed by C. Peymann, and of his later masterpieces, illustrating the great extent to which Bernhard reworked his novels and plays. The exhibition is organized by the Thomas Bernhard Private Foundation (
-- Anja Zeidler

In connection with Graz as the 2003 cultural capital of Europe, the Literaturhaus Graz
is showing:
Thomas Bernhard: Transistor Sounds or: Cold Walls Filled with Music
May to November (opening 22nd May 2003)
“With a simple transistor radio you can be in the eternal snow and right in
the middle of society at the same time .” -- Thomas Bernhard

Bernhard’s estate has a large collection of LPs, music, and several radios and tape recorders, evidence of his close relationship to music. Because recordings and radios play an important role in Bernhard’s plays, they make up a central installation within the exhibition: on several monitors visitors can view those stage productions in which radios, record players, and transistor radios are used by the actors. A catalogue of the exhibition (in German), Sprachmusik. Vom Klang der Worte. Grenzgänge der Literatur is available by requesting it from
-- Anja Zeidler

The exhibition
Thomas Bernhard und seine Lebensmenschen. Der Nachlass

(Thomas Bernhard and his 'Lebensmenschen'. The estate),
curated by Martin Huber and Manfred Mittermayer and designed by Peter Karlhuber, was first shown in Vienna and Linz in 2001 shortly after the 70th anniversary of his birth. From 6th June to 18th July it was at the Literaturhaus Berlin
the Kunsthalle Tübingen from 31st July to 12th September
and from 7th September to 28th October 2005 in Bratislava. The 12th appearance since 2001 is the Goethe Institut in Salvador da Bahia, Brasil, from 13th December 2005 until 28th January 2006.

After that it returns to Europe, where from 11th March until 23rd April 2006 it can be seen in Frankfurt's Holzhausenschlösschen, complemented by a special exhibition on “Thomas Bernhard & Frankfurt” and a symposium and other presentations in connection with the 75th anniversary of his birth, 9th February 2006:
-- Anja Zeidler

A catalogue of the exhibition in German is available from


New editions of
Gathering Evidence

were issued in May 2003.
A lecture on Thomas Bernhard in the Netherlands
in February 2003.
-- J.B. Spits
Thomas Bernhard in Edinburgh
From The Economist print edition, September 6, 2001

Of the many attractions at the Edinburgh festival this year, a chance to see Vienna's Burgtheater was among the most hotly awaited. This was a rare foreign outing by a company that until recently toured little, and the first modern appearance by the Burg in Britain ever. It showed two plays, Chekhov's "Seagull" in a subtle, dark production by Luc Bondy, and a less well-known piece, a stage adaptation of "Alte Meister" (Old Masters), the last novel by Thomas Bernhard (1931-89), who was post-war Austria's most renowned and controversial writer.
   Founded in 1741 as the theatre of the imperial court, the Burg survived, in Viennese fashion, numerous political upheavals, and is now an institution. It is, in effect, the national theatre of Austria and a representative of German-speaking drama generally, though its outlook is totally international, according to its director, Klaus Bachler. The Burg is Europe's largest stage company, with more than 120 actors and a staff of 600. All but 10% of its income comes from the state in a yearly subsidy of about $50m. Despite this, Mr Bachler stresses that the Austrian government never interferes or tells the Burg what to do or not do. "Alte Meister" was a convincing demonstration of its artistic freedom: Austria, we are told in the play, has been living a lie for centuries, and is now the worst state in the world. …
-- Garry Bates

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