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THE VOICE IMITATOR: 104 STORIES BY THOMAS BERNHARD - Rare Review Copy of The First American Edition/First Printing - ONLY REVIEW COPY ONLINE

Bernhard, Thomas (Translated by Kenneth J. Northcott)

Published by Chicago, IL: University Of Chicago Press, 1997
ISBN 10: 0226044017 / ISBN 13: 9780226044019
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Bibliographic Details


Title: THE VOICE IMITATOR: 104 STORIES BY THOMAS ...

Publisher: Chicago, IL: University Of Chicago Press, 1997

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: As New

Dust Jacket Condition: As New

Signed: no

Edition: 1st Edition.

Description:

1st Printing. 104 pages. Published in 1997. Retrospective collection of stories. One of the greatest literary collections of the 20th century. Review Copy. Review Material laid-in. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited print run by a University Press as a hardcover original. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Thomas Bernhard's "The Voice Imitator" in a felicitous English translation. The author at his ruthlessly Minimalist best. "Gives us Bernhard's singularly pessimistic worldview in perhaps more digestible little chunks, some of them very little indeed. None of the 104 stories collected here are longer than a page, and with the tremendous variety of disaster and tragedy they contain (suicide, disappearance, murder, madness, corruption), there's not much room for characterization or plot. These read more like fragments, anecdotes, or snippets of news stories than conventional short narratives. Despite their brevity, however, these stories display all the signature elements of the Bernhardian oeuvre: Cynicism, misanthropy, contempt for his native country, and withering scorn for the futility of all human effort. They might be an acquired taste but one with undeniable force" (Publishers Weekly). His enigmatic and magical work has been championed by the most important and influential critics of our time such as George Steiner, Harold Bloom, and Susan Sontag. "The feeling grows that Bernhard is the most original concentrated novelist writing in German. His connections with the great constellation of Kafka, Musil, and Broch become ever clearer" (George Steiner). The Nobel Prize was not given to many major writers: Marcel Proust, Constantine Cavafy, Vladimir Nabokov, and in the discerning opinion of many critics and readers, Thomas Bernhard. "The art we need is the art of bearing the unbearable" (Thomas Bernhard). An absolute "must-have" title for Thomas Bernhard collectors. This is a Review Copy. The Review Material is laid-in. This title is a great book. As far as we know, this is the only Review Copy of the First American Edition/First Printing available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. A rare copy thus. One of the greatest writers of the 20th century. A flawless copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER THOMAS BERNHARD TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0226044017. Bookseller Inventory # 16338

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Synopsis: The Austrian playwright, novelist, and poet Thomas Bernhard (1931-89) is acknowledged as among the major writers of our times. At once pessimistic and exhilarating, Bernhard's work depicts the corruption of the modern world, the dynamics of totalitarianism, and the interplay of reality and appearance.

In this stunning translation of The Voice Imitator, Bernhard gives us one of his most darkly comic works. A series of parable-like anecdotes--some drawn from newspaper reports, some from conversation, some from hearsay--this satire is both subtle and acerbic. What initially appear to be quaint little stories inevitably indict the sterility and callousness of modern life, not just in urban centers but everywhere. Bernhard presents an ordinary world careening into absurdity and disaster. Politicians, professionals, tourists, civil servants--the usual victims of Bernhard's inspired misanthropy--succumb one after another to madness, mishap, or suicide. The shortest piece, titled "Mail," illustrates the anonymity and alienation that have become standard in contemporary society: "For years after our mother's death, the Post Office still delivered letters that were addressed to her. The Post Office had taken no notice of her death."

In his disarming, sometimes hilarious style, Bernhard delivers a lethal punch with every anecdote. George Steiner has connected Bernhard to "the great constellation of Kafka, Musil, and Broch," and John Updike has compared him to Grass, Handke, and Weiss. The Voice Imitator reminds us that Thomas Bernhard remains the most caustic satirist of our age.

Review: The work of late Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard was no one's idea of an uplifting read. Given to writing mostly dense, bleak, darkly comic, one-paragraph novels such as The Loser, Bernhard has rarely received the audience he deserves. The Voice Imitator, while unlikely to change this basic fact, does give us Bernhard's singularly pessimistic worldview in perhaps more digestible little chunks--some of them very little, indeed. (Here is the entirety of the short story "Mail": "For years after our mother's death, the Post Office still delivered letters that were addressed to her. The Post Office had taken no notice of her death.")

In fact, none of the 104 stories collected here are longer than a page--and with the tremendous variety of disaster and tragedy they contain (e.g., suicide, disappearance, murder, madness, corruption), there's not much room for characterization or plot. These read more like fragments, anecdotes, or snippets of news stories than conventional short narratives. Despite their brevity, however, these stories display all the signature elements of the Bernhardian oeuvre: cynicism, misanthropy, contempt for his native country, and withering scorn for the futility of all human effort. They might be an acquired taste--but one with undeniable force. With his black humor, deadly satire, and loathing for bureaucracy, Bernhard is the spiritual heir of writers such as Kafka, Grass, and Beckett--perhaps on a very bad day.

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Store Description: ModernRare.com is exclusively an online bookstore. Our physical address is 124 N. California Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60612, U.S.A. The main contact person is Salvador L. Cortes. He can be reached at 312-376-5000 during regular business hours, Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Chicago/Midwestern Standard Time. Email is usually the best way to reach us: info@modernrare.com We will respond to your email query within 24 hours. We are exclusively an online bookstore because we believe this is the best way to satisfy our customers' expectations. Unlike an open bookstore, where books are routinely handled and may deteriorate, we guarantee the condition of our books as described. We specialize in modern firsts, photography, the arts, and erotica. You will also find a fine selection of signed copies, Limited Editions, and memorabilia because our ultimate goal is to deepen the pleasure of collecting books. We carry titles that we ourselves like and believe in -- books that we think will excite, enchant, and endure. Please note: Payment needs to be made directly through ABEBooks. If you wish to make any other payment arrangement, please get in touch with us before placing your order. Thank you and happy collecting!