CFP: Thomas Bernhard and the Consequences (Essay Collection)


Olaf Berwald, Steve Dowden, and Gregor Thuswaldner, eds.


What are the consequences of Bernhard’s writing? This collection of essays (in English) will take up the question of Bernhard’s worldwide impact on fiction and theater since his death in 1989.

Like Kafka and Proust and few others, Bernhard created a unique style that captured the spirit of his time and place. Moreover, his themes were very narrowly focused on his time and place. Yet, strangely, he has had a worldwide impact, especially on the most ambitious and worldly writers. How transferable are his prose and dramas? To imitate Bernhard would be a futile and corrosive as imitating Proust or Kafka.  Yet his mark is evident in writers as different as Geoff Dyer and W. G. Sebald, William Gaddis and Imre Kertész, Javier Marías and Susan Sontag. The list is quite long. Has turning him into a classic defanged his sharp bite? What is Bernhard’s fate at the hands of his academic admirers? What are the reasons professors outside of German Departments teach Bernhard in their literature classes? Are there philosophical consequences to be drawn from fictional prose that constantly vaunts philosophy without actually philosophizing? These and many other question remain open. We seek to publish a book that moves the study of Thomas Bernhard in new directions.

Please send one-page abstracts (250 words) and a short bio to all three editors:


Dr. Olaf Berwald [log in to unmask]


Dr. Stephen Dowden [log in to unmask]


Dr. Gregor Thuswaldner [log in to unmask]


Deadline for Abstracts: January 1, 2018



Gregor Thuswaldner, Ph.D.

Acting Provost

Dean of Arts and Sciences

Professor of Humanities


North Park University

3225 W. Foster Ave, Box 11

Chicago, IL 60625


[log in to unmask]

******************* The German Studies Call for Papers List Editor: Sean Franzel Assistant Editor: Olaf Schmidt Sponsored by the University of Missouri Info available at: