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Woodcutters (Vintage International) download epub

by Thomas Bernhard


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Salon No other book by Bernhard could possibly constitute a better introduction to his work as a whole.

Salon No other book by Bernhard could possibly constitute a better introduction to his work as a whole. Thomas Bernhard was born in Holland in 1931 and grew up in Austria. He studied music at the Akademie Mozarteum in Salzburg.

The book is written in Thomas Bernhard's curmudgeonly signature style, a rambling chaotic monologue, one episode following the other in darting succession, building the story one parcel at a time, culminating in a climax less of action than philosophical insight (1931-1989, Austria). The narrator (clearly a proxy for Bernhard) sits aloof and alone, in a comfortable chair at a cocktail party, held in honor of a famous actor performing on a local stage.

Woodcutters (German title: Holzfällen) is a novel by Thomas Bernhard, originally published in German in 1984

Woodcutters (German title: Holzfällen) is a novel by Thomas Bernhard, originally published in German in 1984. An English translation by Ewald Osers was published in 1985 under the title Cutting Timber: An Irritation; another English translation by David McLintock was published as Woodcutters in 1988.

The right of Thomas Bernhard to be identified as author of this work and of David McClintock to be identified as its . ISBN 978–0–571–27610–3. Thomas Bernhard, Woodcutters. Thank you for reading books on BookFrom.

ISBN 978–0–571–27610–3.

Thomas Bernhard (1931–1989) was an Austrian novelist, playwright and poet. He won many of the most prestigious literary prizes in Europe, including the Austrian State Prize, the Breman and Bruchner Prizes and Le Pix Seguier

Thomas Bernhard (1931–1989) was an Austrian novelist, playwright and poet. He won many of the most prestigious literary prizes in Europe, including the Austrian State Prize, the Breman and Bruchner Prizes and Le Pix Seguier.

Woodcutters' by Thomas Bernhard. In the novel, the narrator reluctantly accepts an invitation to an "artist dinner," where he soon discovers talentless poets, overambitious wives and a star guest who is a celebrated actor. The gathering goes on for hours

Woodcutters' by Thomas Bernhard. The gathering goes on for hours. live on and on and on, getting older and older and older, boring themselves out of their minds all their lives and remaining utterly futile," the narrator observes of the dinner guests.

Woodcutters (Vintage International). Author Thomas Bernhard Publisher Vintage Publication Date 2010-08-10 Section Fiction. Type New Format Paperback ISBN 9781400077595.

Woodcutters by Thomas Bernhard - book cover, description, publication history.

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Fiercely observed, often hilarious, and “reminiscent of Ibsen and Strindberg” (The New York Times Book Review), this exquisitely controversial novel was initially banned in its author’s homeland. A searing portrayal of Vienna’s bourgeoisie, it begins with the arrival of an unnamed writer at an ‘artistic dinner’ hosted by a composer and his society wife—a couple he once admired and has come to loathe. The guest of honor, a distinguished actor from the Burgtheater, is late. As the other guests wait impatiently, they are seen through the critical eye of the writer, who narrates a silent but frenzied tirade against these former friends, most of whom have been brought together by Joana, a woman they buried earlier that day. Reflections on Joana’s life and suicide are mixed with these denunciations until the famous actor arrives, bringing an explosive end to the evening that even the writer could not have seen coming.

Comments: (7)

Cordann
Opinion is everything in literature, and Mr. Bernhard has got it down to a snarky snarl. What a wonderful use of the stream-of-consciousness in a manner that is rather inventive. The unnamed narrator is at a Vienna "artistic party" where he doesn't want to be, and all the while, he is reflecting and criticizing everything around him. The novel is about the death of a friend, the party of a hated (but loved) couple, and about an actor that has a stroke of genius, to the momentary delight of the narrator. The effortless shifting from the recent past to the present is very remarkable; never is the plot dubious or confusing. The best part is from page 60 to page 80, in which a funeral and a luncheon are described in vivacious and energetic sarcasm. Although the repetition is aggravating, it actually becomes almost hysterically tiring after a hundred repeats ("I thought as i sat in the wing chair"). A very poignant slandered of society, but also of humanities (especially the narrator's own) hypocrisy and prejudices.
Mardin
This book first came out in 1984. It was translated into English in 1987 by David McLintock (and published in the US as Woodcutters) and in 1988 by Ewald Osers (published in the UK as Cutting Timber: An Irritation). The version by Osers was the one I read.

The novel was a late one by Bernhard (1931-89), who's known for his use of stream-of-consciousness in a distinctively repetitive, over-the-top way and for his lifelong opposition to the establishment culture of his native Austria. It was the 12th or so of his 16 published novels and has been called by some a good introduction to his work.

The book was in the form of a 146-page paragraph, a monologue by a nameless narrator who sat at a party in Vienna and meditated at length on his hosts, an old artistic couple he'd befriended in the 1950s but later grown apart from; other artists at the party; a former friend who'd killed herself and whose funeral he'd attended earlier that day; and an old actor from the Burgtheater who dropped in late. The narrator had returned recently to the city from London after decades away. His thoughts, spoken entirely to himself, revolved around the passing of time, lost friendships, and artistic pretension in Vienna and the Austrian state. Near the end of the party, the narrator observed the Burgtheater actor's own pronouncements and denunciations, spoken to an obnoxious guest. The narrator then left the party and ran through the streets, musing on loves and hatreds and vowing to write everything down.

For this reader, the style and denunciations were funny for the first 40-50 pages of the book, really began to pall for the next 60-70, and then became interesting again toward the end, as they mounted in force. Denunciations can be fun to read, but the author also felt connected to the guests as well as superior to them and was sensitive to the passing of time, which added some depth to the proceedings. The author's style and approach have been compared to the narration in Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground, and to Beckett, and for this reader the comparisons rang true, though allusions in Underground to religion were missing and the narrator wasn't quite as conflicted.

A younger author who writes in the style of Bernhard is Horacio Castellanos Moya of El Salvador, who's intensified it by adapting it to subjects like political repression, fear and brutality in Latin America in the novels Revulsion (1997) and Senselessness (2004).

Excerpts:

"Of course, and this has to be said, even in their hideousness and revoltingness [the guests] had, as it were, their Austrian charm."

"A by then totally dust-covered wall tapestry of her divorced husband was still a reminder that she had once been happy with that man."

"The way he said potato salad to the waitress . . . had almost made me feel sick."

"We are so intimately together with people that we believe it is a tie for the rest of our lives, and all of a sudden they disappear from sight and our mind overnight, that is the truth, I reflected in the wing chair."

"All these people who had once actually been artists or at least artistic, I reflected in the wing chair, were now only the larvae or the empty shells of who they had once been; I need only listen to what they were saying, I need only look at them, I need only come into contact with their products and I feel the same as I am feeling about this dinner, about this tasteless artistic dinner. What had all these people become over these thirty years, I reflected, what had all these people made of themselves over these thirty years? And what had I made of myself over these thirty years, I reflected? . . . they had turned everything into something thoroughly depressing, turned their whole happiness into one big depression, I reflected in the wing chair, just as I had myself turned my happiness into one big depression. Because there was no doubt that all these people had once, that is thirty, or even twenty years ago, been happy people, and now they were only depressing people, depressing just as I am ultimately only depressing and not happy, I reflected in the wing chair. Out of one single happiness they had made one single disaster . . ."

"They believe sincerely, most of the time, that they have become somebody, even though they have become nothing, to my way of thinking. They believe that, because they have made a name for themselves and received a lot of prizes and published a lot of books and sold their pictures to a lot of museums and had their books published with the best publishing houses and lodged their pictures in the best museums, and because this disgusting state has awarded them all kinds of possible prizes and pinned all kinds of orders to their chests, they have become somebody, but they have not become anybody, I reflected . . . . all those who remained in Vienna have become nothing, all those who have gone abroad have become something, that I may say straight away . . . . walking behind [my friend's] coffin were nothing but artistic corpses, writers, painters, actors, dancers and their hangers-on . . ."

"They always put on appearances because they were never capable of anything real, I reflected, everything about them was and always is nothing but appearances, even their social life, even their own relationship, even their own marriage never was anything but appearances, they put on the appearances of a marriage because they were, and are, unable to conduct a real one, I reflected in the wing chair . . . they have never lived an instant in reality, I reflected."

"It has always been said and claimed of the grammar school teacher Anna Schreker that she was the Austrian Gertrude Stein or the Austrian Marianne Moore, while in fact she has always only been the Austrian Schreker, a megalomaniacal Viennese local-talent authoress . . ."

"Mendacious paucity of thought . . . miscreants of Viennese literature . . . puffed-up literary bearing . . . they are nothing but small, phoney, ambitious state-fund beneficiaries who have betrayed literature and the arts generally for a few ridiculous prizes and a guaranteed old-age pension and who have demeaned themselves for the state and its pack of cultural bureaucrats and who have meanwhile, and with the same infamy, made their epigonal kitsch their habit, like climbing the stairs in the subsidy-dispensing ministries . . . . To be an artist in Austria is a vile and false road of state opportunities, a road paved with grants and prizes and wallpapered with orders and decorations and ending in a mausoleum in the Central Cemetery."

"You are one of those people who don't know anything and who aren't worth anything and who therefore hate everything else, it's as simple as that, you hate everything because you hate yourself in your pitiful condition. You keep talking about art and have no idea what that is . . . You are a stupid destructive person and you aren't even ashamed . . . ."

"We accuse these people of all kinds of intolerable and distasteful things and are no less intolerable and distasteful ourselves and perhaps a great deal more intolerable and distasteful, I reflected."

"While running I thought that this city, through which I was running, no matter how horrid it always seemed to me, always had seemed to me, was still the best city for me, this hateful, to me always hateful, Vienna was suddenly still the best, my best, Vienna and that these people, who I had always hated and whom I was hating and whom I would always hate, were still the best people, that I hated them but that they moved me, that I hated Vienna and that it moved me, that I cursed these people and yet must love them and that I hated this Vienna and yet must love it, and I reflected, while running now through the Inner City, that this city was nevertheless my city and always would be my city and that these people were my people and always would be my people . . . ."
crazy mashine
"Woodcutters" is the personal narrative of an Austrian composer and member of educated Austrian society, disturbed by the artificiality of city life, yearning for the simplicity of the country, and envious of those who see beauty so effortlessly in the simple things in life (1984). The book is written in Thomas Bernhard's curmudgeonly signature style, a rambling chaotic monologue, one episode following the other in darting succession, building the story one parcel at a time, culminating in a climax less of action than philosophical insight (1931-1989, Austria).
The narrator (clearly a proxy for Bernhard) sits aloof and alone, in a comfortable chair at a cocktail party, held in honor of a famous actor performing on a local stage. The actor arrives after a lengthy delay, and the group sits down to a midnight dinner, where the actor engages the group in charming, if stilted, conversation. Through it all, the effusive narrator volunteers how much he hates being there, how much he hates his hosts (while complaining how much he once loved them), how much he hates Austrian bourgeois society, and so on, until the party ends, the actor leaves, and the narrator sums up his thoughts. Hardly naive, he realizes most people don't much like him either, but also apologetic, he doesn't much care.
The work is a meditation on artificiality, playing on the contrast between the artifice of city life and the authenticity of the rural, and questioning whether the actor is still play-acting, even in this "casual" setting. Like other Bernhard works, it is written without a single paragraph break in all of its 181 pages. While interesting and capable, this work's conclusion and final insight is not as powerful or effective as those of works such as "Yes," "Extinction," or "Wittgenstein's Nephew." Also, it might have made more sense to English-language readers if the title were "Lumberjacks," to suggest its central conflict more clearly.
Arryar
I wish there was an entire genre of literature in the style of Bernhard. There is something soothing and meditative in the gently repetitive yet bitingly nihilistic mantra of Bernhard's prose. This book is unique because it actually has a central plot (despite many temporal digressions) and is somewhat brighter and more slapstick than Bernhard's usual tormented motif ... i.e. of a demented genius working on an impossible project while nursing an unhealthy woman attachment and inheritance issues. Love it - will likely read again and again.
Ghordana
It ia a book that a very well written about the relationships that the main character, maybe it is autobiographical, has with old friendships. The story elapses during a reception and he tells what is going on as an viewer. I found it very absorbent.
Qudanilyr
This is a much more intimate Bernhard, with clear tones of autobiographical material. Still, it has all the qualities of a Bernhard novel.
Woodcutters (Vintage International) download epub
Genre Fiction
Author: Thomas Bernhard
ISBN: 1400077591
Category: Literature & Fiction
Subcategory: Genre Fiction
Language: English
Publisher: Vintage; 1 edition (August 10, 2010)
Pages: 192 pages