The life of Thomas Bernhard is, as of his childhood, marked by a great financial, emotional and body precariousness.
It passes its youth to Salzburg, mainly under the wing of his grandfather, Johannes Freumbichler, writer, rewarded in 1937 by the price for State for the literature for its novel Philomena Ellenhub . Thomas Bernhard will always stress his happy childhood near his grandfather.
In 1939, Thomas Bernhard enters the Jungvolk , in 1941, it is sent in the center of education national-Socialist for child in Thuringe, in 1943 it enters a boarding school Nazi to Salzburg, city where its family settles in 1946.
In 1947, Thomas Bernhard stops the college and begins a training before, patient of the Grippe, it is sent to the hospital at the beginning 1949. His/her grandfather dies the same year, his mother the following year. He will learn these two deaths by chance in the newspaper.
Thomas Bernhard, reached pulmonary Tuberculosis, will leave the hospitals only in 1951. He will suffer all his life from the short breath and its literature will be strongly impregnated of these lived physical sufferings.
In 1950, it meets with the sanatorium Hedwig Stavianicek which will be his/her partner and friend, its " to be vital" and it divides from now on the tomb stone.
In 1952, it works as independent collaborator with the newspaper Demokratischen Volksblatt (thanks to a friend of its grandfather) and is published for the first time. Its very critical articles make scandal: Thomas Bernhard vigorously tackles there the typical hypocrisy of the town of Salzburg which he sees like a prison based on the Religion and the refusal to give up the values national-Socialists.
He studies, with the Conservatoire music and of dramatic art of Vienna like to the Mozarteum of Salzburg.
He writes its first novel Frost in 1962, a book which will be rewarded by many prices.
The absolute scandal is reached in 1968, when one gives to him a price of Austrian State for the literature. The Minister for education and all the persons in charge leave the room whereas Thomas Bernhard holds a speech tackling the State frontally, the Austrian culture and the Austrians. He says in particular: Austrian let us be apathetic We; we are the life as a general disinterest for the life .
But Thomas Bernhard concentrates more and more on theatrical works. In 1970, Ein Fest für Boris is a great success with the German theater of Hamburg. The same year it obtains the Prix Georg Büchner, the most important literary reward of Western Germany. These years mark the beginning of a cycle of 5 autobiographical works (which will appear between 1975 and 1982): the Origin , the Cellar , the Breath , the Cold and a child .
In 1975, it is a new scandal. The part “Der Präsident” ( the president ) has its first in Germany with Stuttgart, four days after that in Austria, that is to say on May 21st, 1975, i.e. the same day and in the same city where the first lawsuit of the Red Army Fraction is held. One can thus intend the actors to say: “One will finish some quickly with the anarchists, without another form of lawsuit”.
Part “VOR dem Ruhestand” ( Before the retirement ) described it, two years later, another old age: that of a German judge celebrating seals of it the birthday of Himmler. It is an attack against the minister-president of the Bade-Wurtemberg, which, the last days of the Second world war, was a judge of the Marine still condemning to died and having always hidden its past thereafter.
But it is of course with “Heldenplatz” ( the place of the heroes ), that Thomas Bernhard will attract himself the most troubles. For the 50 years of the annexation of Austria by Germany, the part tackles Austrian hypocrisy. The “place of the heroes”, in the center of Vienna, was the place of a speech of Hitler which was acclaimed by an enormous crowd. Thomas Bernhard considers that the Austrians did not change and work describes the suffering of Juif S alive in the obsession of these clamors, fifty years afterwards.
One can thus hear in the part: “There are today more Nazis in Vienna than in 1938”.
Thomas Bernhard dies three months after the first.
In its will, it prohibits the diffusion and the representation of its works in Austria (“whatever the form of its State”) for the fifty next years. But its heirs will cancel this aspect of the will.
Thomas Bernhard wrote 250 articles, 5 collections of poetry, 23 large texts in prose and news, 18 plays.
- Freezing ( Frost ) - 1962
- Disturbance ( Verstörung ) - 1967
- the chalk pit ( Das Kalkwerk ) - 1970
- Correction ( Korrektur ) - 1975
- the Nephew of Wittgenstein ( Wittgensteins Neffe ) -1982
- a child ( Ein Kind ) -1982
- the shipwrecked man ( Der Untergeher ) - 1983
- Extinction ( Auslöschung ) - 1986
- the origin: Simple indication , Gallimard, Paris, 2007, ISBN 2070783847
- Accounts 1971 - 1982 , " Quarto" , Gallimard, Paris, 2007, ISBN 2070783723
On T. Bernhard
- Chantal Thomas, Thomas Bernhard, the breaker of silence , Threshold, Paris, 2006, ISBN 2020804743
- " Thomas Bernhard and them his " G. Salem
- Tests of and on Bernhard
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