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    Thomas Bernhard as Nestbeschmutzer, criticisms of society and self in Wittgenstein’s Neffe, eine Freundschaft and Holzfalien, eine Erregung.

    Doyle, Aisling (2006) Thomas Bernhard as Nestbeschmutzer, criticisms of society and self in Wittgenstein’s Neffe, eine Freundschaft and Holzfalien, eine Erregung. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    My thesis will aim to explore the later prose work o f Thomas Bernhard, in order to examine the author as a Nestbeschmutzer. The Nestbeschmutzer is an author who writes critically o f his/her own country, and my thesis will aim to investigate exactly how Bernhard fulfils this role. However, this investigation will not just be a straightforward examination of themes, as the Nestbeschmutzer author is bome out of a specific political, social and historical environment and must therefore be placed in this context. The Nestbeschmutzer is a product of the German speaking literary world and is typically concerned with an examination of the legacy of the war and a confrontation of the problems the war poses for the present generation. They aim to challenge and provoke members of society into dealing with the issues of the past and accepting some responsibility for their role, or the roles of their ancestors during the war years. Arising as they did from certain historical circumstances, I will endeavour to briefly explain these circumstances, which prompted their literary assaults on society. I will also give a brief history of the Nestbeschmutzer literary movement itself, and Bernhard’s controversial role in it, concentrating mostly on the reception of his most controversial text Heldenplatz, and the scandal which it prompted. The main body of my thesis will concern the criticisms levelled in the novellas. I have chosen the novels Holzfallen eine Erregung and Wittgenstein’s Neffe, eine Freundschaft, as both were written during the turbulent eighties, further reinforcing the importance of historical and social influence on the author. I have identified three main strands of criticism present in Bernhard’s other novellas, and seek to investigate if they are present in the novellas under study. These are a criticism of state, culture and the handling of the Nazi past. I also wish to explore a very interesting characteristic o f both novellas, namely the presence of the author in the text as a character. Both have also largely escaped critical attention; therefore an analogy o f them could yield interesting results. From the above, I intend to examine how Bernhard made his attacks on society and prove that he truly was a Nestbeschmutzer. I will then investigate the legacy of Thomas Bernhard in brief, and explore his influence on the Austria of today. This will include a study of expert opinions of the work of Bernhard, and end in a conclusion which proves his importance to the world of literature, and indeed to the world at large, beyond a doubt.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Thomas Bernhard; Nestbeschmutzer; criticisms of society and self; Wittgenstein’s Neffe, eine Freundschaft and Holzfalien, eine Erregung;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures > German
    Item ID: 7572
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2016 11:26
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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