Woodcutters

Thomas Bernhard, Author Alfred A. Knopf $15.95 (181p) ISBN 978-0-394-55152-4
Remaining in his present London digs would have been a blessing compared to wintering in his native Vienna, complains the narrator of the latest book by the celebrated Austrian novelist (Gathering Evidence). The narrator, a writer, runs into the Auersbergers on the street just after they learn of the suicide of their friend Joana, and the oppressive couple he has managed to avoid for over 20 years talks him into attending their ""artistic dinner party'' to honor an actor starring in the Burgtheater's production of Ibsen's The Wild Duck. And so the narrator plants himself unhappily in a wing chair, spurning conversation as the actor tarries past midnight. He reviews his grievances against his hosts and their pretentious friends, and thinks. He thinks so hard, and in such a flurry, that his account is set down in one long paragraph that starts on the book's first page and doesn't close until the narrative concludes. The nonstop stream of consciousness is demanding of the reader but fully appropriate to this satirical jeremiad. The narrator's crotchety, often vitriolic interior monologue illuminates his own personality and his relationships with the other guests and with Joana, who has played a part in the lives of everyone at the party. Compelled by the force of his memories, the narrator's thoughts progress toward a significant ephiphany, as he realizes that ``I cursed these people, yet could not help loving them.'' (January)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-571-27609-7
Paperback - 181 pages - 978-1-4000-7759-5
Paperback - 188 pages - 978-0-226-04396-8
Open Ebook - 96 pages - 978-0-307-83355-6
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-571-27610-3
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