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My Prizes: An Accounting Hardcover – November 23, 2010
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"My Father, the Pornographer" by Fang Lizhi
A son tries to understand his late father, by reading the 400-plus novels left to him in his father's will. Check out "My Father, the Pornographer".
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I have not read any other of the works of this now deceased Austrian writer, but I know from reading this one that he was gifted at his craft and possessed an intelligent mind capable of understanding and expressing the absurdity of much of Europe's twentieth century history.
While I cannot be sure due to my own language limitations, it seems to me that Carol Brown Janeway provides an excellent translation of Mr. Bernard's work.
Many autobiographical details emerge here; for example, we learn that Berhard drove a truck for a famous Austrian brewery. His dream was to drive a truck in Africa, delivering medicine. After writing 'Frost,' he considered abandoning literature altogether. Fans can be thankful he did not because we would not have such masterpieces as 'The Lime Works,' 'Correction,' 'Concrete,' and 'Extinction,' to name a few.
It's almost impossible to review this book without giving some of its content away, so be forewarned that a spoiler or two follows.
After accepting awards for books he'd written early on such as 'Frost' (1963) and 'Gargoyles' (1967), Bernhard decided that the accepting of awards and the taking of prize money that came with the awards was false and absurd. So even if he had been selected to win an award for, say, 'Correction,' he would have declined the nomination.
For the sake of this book, however, we as admirers of Bernhard's work can be grateful that he accepted the awards and the prize money. What he does with the prize money in two instances is astonishing and totally in character with Bernhard the existentialist. One impulsive incident in particular reminds me of the kind of joie de vivre Camus's Mersault experiences in 'The Stranger.Read more ›