Paper $12.00 ISBN: 9780226044026 Published October 1998

The Voice Imitator

Thomas Bernhard

The Voice Imitator
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Thomas Bernhard

Translated by Kenneth J. Northcott
114 pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 1997
Paper $12.00 ISBN: 9780226044026 Published October 1998
The Austrian playwright, novelist, and poet Thomas Bernhard (1931-89) is acknowledged as among the major writers of our times. At once pessimistic and exhilarating, Bernhard's work depicts the corruption of the modern world, the dynamics of totalitarianism, and the interplay of reality and appearance.

In this stunning translation of The Voice Imitator, Bernhard gives us one of his most darkly comic works. A series of parable-like anecdotes—some drawn from newspaper reports, some from conversation, some from hearsay—this satire is both subtle and acerbic. What initially appear to be quaint little stories inevitably indict the sterility and callousness of modern life, not just in urban centers but everywhere. Bernhard presents an ordinary world careening into absurdity and disaster. Politicians, professionals, tourists, civil servants—the usual victims of Bernhard's inspired misanthropy—succumb one after another to madness, mishap, or suicide. The shortest piece, titled "Mail," illustrates the anonymity and alienation that have become standard in contemporary society: "For years after our mother's death, the Post Office still delivered letters that were addressed to her. The Post Office had taken no notice of her death."

In his disarming, sometimes hilarious style, Bernhard delivers a lethal punch with every anecdote. George Steiner has connected Bernhard to "the great constellation of Kafka, Musil, and Broch," and John Updike has compared him to Grass, Handke, and Weiss. The Voice Imitator reminds us that Thomas Bernhard remains the most caustic satirist of our age.
Contents
Hamsun
The Voice Imitator
Character Assassination
Fourati
Brochure
Pisa and Venice
Fear
One-Way Journey
Inner Compulsion
Speleologists
In Lima
Almost
Example
Charity
Good Advice
Prejudice
Suspicion
Exchange
Early Train
Beautiful View
The Tables Turned
Hotel Waldhaus
Haumer the Logger
In Earnest
Too Much
Prescription
Disappointed Englishmen
The Most Successful Concert
Scientific Purposes
Profound and Shallow
Character
Moosprugger's Mistake
Mail
Claim
Comedy
Warning
Emigrated
Unworldly
At Their Mercy
De Orio
Photographers
Schluemberger
Discovery
Mimosa
A Famous Dancer
Guilty Conscience
Forgotten
Piccadilly Circus
Increased
In the Frauengraben
The Panthers
Wrong Note
The Auszugler
The Milkmaid
The Needlewoman
The Loden Coat
Papermakers
Boundary Stone
Two Brothers
Natural
Giant
Natural History
Question in the Provincial Parliament
Two Notes
Unrequited Love
Party of Tourists
True Love
Impossible
Feeling
A Self-Willed Author
Unfulfilled Wish
Presence of Mind
Supplemental Income
Silo
Famous
No Soul
The Prince
Prince Potocki
Lec
The Royal Vault
Contradiction
Fruitfulness
Coming to Terms
Decision
Civil Service
After You
Imagination
Expedition
Legacy
Double
Luck
Political Science
Consistency
Near Sulden
Perast
Madness
Care
In Rome
Withdrawn
Like Robert Schumann
Respect
Genius
998 Times
Returned
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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