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My Prizes: An Accounting Hardcover – November 23, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thomas Bernhard was born in Holland in 1931 and grew up in Austria. The winner of the three most distinguished and coveted literary prizes awarded in Germany, he has become one of the most widely translated and admired writers of his generation. His novels published in English include The Loser, Frost, Gargoyles, Correction, and Wittgenstein’s Nephew. The five segments of his memoir were published in one volume, Gathering Evidence, in 1985. Thomas Bernhard died in 1989.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (November 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780307272874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307272874
  • ASIN: 0307272877
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,536,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A short book that will be enjoyed by those interested in literature, the often-phony world of cultural prizes, and Thomas Bernard.

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.
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You would not expect a writer who denigrates the prizes awarded to him and those who bestowed them to be so human and engaging, but these accounts are little jewels. The author must have been wonderful to know. This is my favorite of the 3 or 4 works of his that I have read.
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I read this short but interesting book when it was first published about a year ago. I read it quickly and didn't bother to post a review, but recently I reread it and I think that fans of Bernhard the novelist might find interesting this account of the circumstances around various prizes he received. At a minimum, it gives Bernhard fans a glimpse into the writer as diarist.

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.
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it has enormous range and everybody should read it. I see him as a descendant of Robert Walser by the way. Great book!
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i was laughing before i'd finished the first page, and bernhard is not what i would call an amusing writer. just a wonderfully honest, perceptive satirist. he so enjoys making fun of pomp, traditions that never made any sense, etc., etc., etc. when i was young i wanted someone like berhnard but had to do with aldous huxley. bad compromise. if you want wit that stings, i recommend bernhard. and how can you resist a brand new book for a penny.
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