From the late Thomas Bernhard, arguably Austria's most influential novelist of the postwar period, and one of the greatest artists in all twentieth-century literature in the German language, his magnum opus.
Extinction, Bernhard's last work of fiction, takes the form of the autobiographical testimony of Franz-Josef Murau, the intellectual black sheep of a powerful Austrian land-owning family. Murau lives in Rome in self-imposed exile from his family, surrounded by a coterie of artistic and intellectual friends. On returning from his sister's wedding to the "wine-cork manufacturer" on the family estate of Wolfsegg, having resolved never to go home again, Murau receives a telegram informing him of the death of his parents and brother in a car crash. Not only must he now go back, he must do so as the master of Wolfsegg. And he must decide its fate.
Divided into two halves, Extinction explores Murau's rush of memories of Wolfsegg as he stands at his Roman window considering the fateful telegram, in counterpoint to his return to Wolfsegg and the preparations for the funeral itself.
Written in the seamless style for which Bernhard became famous, Extinction is the ultimate proof of his extraordinary literary genius. It is his summing-up against Austria's treacherous past and -- in unprecedented fashion -- a revelation of his own incredibly complex personality, of his relationship with the world in which he lived, and the one he left behind.
A literary event of the first magnitude.
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"Not every raving maniac is a genius. Many are called but few are chosen. It's a pretty exclusive club, but Bernhard made it... Like Swift, Bernhard writes like a sacred monster... He is a remarkable literary performer: a man who goes to extremes in ways that vivify our sense of human possibilities. however destructive."
-- Richard Locke, Wall Street Journal
"To date America has been sadly immune to the charm and challenge of Bernhard's work and the American public has deprived itself of the deep and serious pleasure of reading one of the great writers of this century... Already in Europe The Loser is known as one of the great works of world literature. Its arrival on these shores is a significant literary event." -- Thomas McGonigle, New York Newsday
"The book is an exemplar of linguistics scholar Roman Jakobson's 'axis of combination,' the stuff, the very bones of prose. This faith in what might be called the 'candor' of prose gives the book an enormous verve and power."
-- Gilbert Sorrentino, Washington Post Book World
"The appearance in English of The Loser two years after Bernhard's death is an occasion for both celebration and sadness. Celebration, because it provides yet another opportunity to draw attention to one of the century's most gifted writers: sadness, because it reminds one yet again how few people, and not only those in the English-speaking world, have read him."
-- David Plott, Philadelphia InquirerAbout the Author:
Thomas Bernhard was born in 1931 and grew up in Salzburg and in Vienna, where he studied music. In 1957 he began a second career as a playwright, poet, and novelist. A winner of the three most distinguished and coveted literary prizes awarded in Germany, he is one of the most widely translated and admired writers of his generation. His works already published in English include the novels Gargoyles, Tire Lime Works, Correction, Concrete, Woodcutters, Wittgenstein's Nephew, and The Loser, and a memoir, Gathering Evidence. A number of his plays have been produced off-Broadway and at the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, and at theaters in London and throughout Europe. Thomas Bernhard died in 1989.
For his translations of works by Thomas Bernhard, David McLintock was awarded an Austrian state prize in 1986, and in 1990 he won the SchlegelTieck Prize for his translation of Heinrich Boll's Women in a River Landscape. Mr. McLintock graduated from Oxford University, studied in Munster and Munich, and now lives in London.
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Book Description Quartet Qrime, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110704370859
Book Description Quartet Qrime, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0704370859