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It is 1967, in a Viennese hospital. In separate wards: the narrator named Thomas Bernhard, is stricken with a lung ailment; his friend Paul, nephew of Ludwig Wittgenstein, is suffering fom one of his periodic bouts of madness. Bernhard traces the growth of an intense friendship between two eccentric, obsessive men who share a passion for music, a strange sense of humor, brutal honesty, and a disgust for bourgeois Vienna.
"[Wittgenstein's Nephew is] a meditative fugue for mad, brilliant voices on the themes of death, death-in-life and the artist's and thinker's role in society . . . oddly moving and funny at the same time."—Joseph Coates, Chicago Tribune
"Mr. Bernhard's memoir about Paul Wittgenstein is a 'confession and a guilty homage to their friendship; it takes the place of the graveside speech he never delivered. In its obsessive, elegant rhythms and narrative eloquence, it resembles a tragic aria by Richard Strauss. . . . This is a memento mori that approaches genius.'"—Richard Locke, Wall Street Journal
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It is 1967, in a Viennese hospital. In separate wards, two men lie bedridden: the narrator, named Thomas Bernhard, is stricken with a lung ailment; his friend Paul, nephew of the celebrated philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, is suffering from one of his periodic bouts of madness. Beginning with his memory of the hospital, Bernhard traces the growth of an intense friendship between two eccentric, obsessive men who share a passion for music, a strange sense of humor, brutal honestly, and a disgust for bourgeois Vienna.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. He went on to win many of the most prestigious literary prizes of Europe (including the Austrian State Prize, the Bremen and Brüchner prizes, and Le Prix Séguier), became one of the most widely admired writers of his generation, and insisted at his death that none of his works be published in Austria for seventy years, a provision later repealed by his half-brother.
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