CfP: Thomas Bernhard’s reception in the Anglophone World, 19-20 Nov 2015 (deadline: 15 June, 2015)


‘…under the spell’ – Thomas Bernhard’s reception in the Anglophone World

This event starts on 18 November 2015 and ends on 19 November 2015

Location: Senate House Malet Street London WC1E 7HU

In December 2001, the Germanist and author W.G. Sebald discusses his affinity for Thomas Bernhard’s unfailingly uncompromising moral pose that allowed him not to be rendered aesthetically ‘insufficient’ in a KCRW radio interview conducted by Michael Silverblatt. Sebald describes Bernhard’s style as a ‘periscopic form of writing’, something that he had appropriated in his novel Austerlitz.  And in April 2011, the writer and critic Geoff Dyer describes the tone of his non-fictional writing in an interview for The Paris Review as follows: ‘It’s funny, because people always say when they meet me having read me—or they read me having met me—that they are struck by how the tone is pretty similar, in real life and in the books. It’s not the same persona in every book. The Lawrence book contains a particularly irritable one. That’s partly a phase I was in at that point in my life. But more importantly because, stylistically, I was under the spell of Thomas Bernhard.’

This conference, taking place a few months before what would have been Bernhard’s 85th birthday, seeks to explore the impact of Bernhard’s works and poetics on writers, critics, translators and other literary professionals in the United Kingdom.

Contributions are welcome on all aspects of Thomas Bernhard’s literary, dramatic and academic reception in English-speaking countries, on the translation, the dissemination and the performance of his works.

Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words in German or English to Prof Jonathan Long ( and Dr Heide Kunzelmann ( by latest 15 June 2015.

Financial support for travel and accommodation will be available for selected Postgraduate students.

For this posting on the GRIB-blog click here.

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