Goethe Dies

(Author) (Translator)

Product Details

$21.00  $19.53
Seagull Books
Publish Date
5.2 X 0.6 X 8.1 inches | 0.4 pounds
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About the Author

Thomas Bernhard (1931-89) grew up in Salzburg and Vienna, where he studied music. In 1957 he began a second career as a playwright, poet, and novelist, going on to win many of the most prestigious literary prizes of Europe and becoming a beloved cult writer around the world. James Reidel is a poet, editor, biographer, and translator.


"In Goethe Dies, this theme is carried straight to center stage as this quartet of works plays make-believe as a primer for Bernhard's cache of philosophical ideas. Interpolating four stories that'll lock together thematically, James Reidel's translation calls in that sense of the question and answer over one hundred and twelve pages - each question is phrased as a statement of intent, each answer making a mockery of its question. The four stories mark out an arc."-- "3 AM Magazine"
"A collection of four stories as bleak and biting as any of Bernhard's best. In each, the Austrian master summons Wittgenstein and Montaigne, tracing his abiding engagement with the philosophy of doubt. Elegantly translated by Reidl, translator of Franz Werfel and Georg Trakl, this slim and elegant volume offers a perfect introduction to Bernhard's uncompromising indictments of the delusions of modern life."-- "TANK Magazine"
"The traditional short story, however, comes with certain structural demands -- plot, economy, narrative tension, an epiphany -- that seem incompatible with Bernhard's torrents of vituperation. And yet he did write short stories, or at least short prose pieces, four of which have been collected in Goethe Dies. . . . What Bernhard serves up is very funny, but not at all in the way you imagined. Goethe is as compulsive and solipsistic as every other Bernhard hero and he spends the entire story obsessing over his place in German literature and Wittgenstein's superiority."-- "Los Angeles Review of Books"
"The four short fictions collected here show Bernhard at his best: brutal, bleak and unyielding. A true miserablist, Bernhard refuses to wrap the world in beautifying lies. But reading him is nonetheless a delight, because through the musicality and manic loquacity of his prose, he turns apathy into revolt, misery into exuberance."-- "Burley Fisher Books"
"The stories in Goethe Dies will satisfy our current craving for introductions to otherwise longwinded writers that are brief, characteristic, and to the point."-- "Hudson Review"
"Written in 1982 forthe literary supplement of Die Zeit on the 150th anniversary of the death of the most famous German writer of them all, 'Goethe Dies' is the title story in a clutch of four newly translated pieces. . . . An attractively produced little book."-- "Times Literary Supplement"