Wittgenstein's Nephew

Thomas Bernhard, Author Alfred A. Knopf $17.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-394-56376-3
A ``partly autobiographical novel'' with the subtitle ``A Friendship,'' Bernhard's ( Woodcutters , The Lime Works ) 1984 work delineates the unusual relationship between the narrator, a writer not unlike Bernhard, and the brilliant but mad nephew of the phil- osopher Wittgenstein. Both men are confined to beds in the same hospital, the narrator in the pulmonary ward and Paul Wittgenstein in the asylum. Both are plagued with fears and doubts about the terminal nature of life. Acquaintances beforehand, they reach out now and build a friendship based on mutual support and respect that somehow thrives in this bleak and hopeless environment. Bernhard's style relies on ponderous repetition of words and ideas, which may be more natural in the original German. When successful this technique has the effect of a musical composition that reiterates a theme in variations. More often, though, it palls and results in maddeningly convoluted sentences that tend to numb the mind. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 99 pages - 978-1-4000-7756-4
Paperback - 106 pages - 978-0-226-04392-0
Paperback - 108 pages - 978-0-571-28841-0
Open Ebook - 53 pages - 978-0-307-83345-7
Ebook - 106 pages - 978-0-571-28842-7
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