Heldenplatz was commissioned by Claus Peymann, director of the Viennese Burgtheater , to be performed for the hundredth anniversary of the theater's opening. The year also coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Anschluss when Nazi Germany annexed Austria. Heldenplatz is the square where Adolf Hitler was greeted on March 15, and he addressed thousands of jubilant Austrians. Bernhard wrote his play as a tragic reflection on the obsessive politics of nationalism , the denial of the past and the continued anti-Semitism within modern Austria.
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Start your review of Heldenplatz. Aug 22, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: drama , favorites , so-good-it-hurts , thomas-bernhard. After the Nazi era, is there a place in the public space for war heroes?
In his inimitable style, Thomas Bernhard shows the everyday fascism of conventional, conservative society, and the pain it causes victims and sensitive thinkers. He buys an apa After the Nazi era, is there a place in the public space for war heroes? Reading Thomas Bernhard again after many years, I am stunned at the continued relevance of his sharp tongue. Across the world, we have put up monuments to celebrate military success, and we proudly look up to people who lead countries into war and destruction, often representing an oppressive ideology or religion.
Who tells the stories of those who suffered from the victories of the national heroes? Who tells the stories of those who were terrified when they heard the masses roar in front of a populist leader? Who tells the stories of those who said no to violence and fame and honour and dominance and were punished for it? Thomas Bernhard does. His voice might not be welcome, as he calls everyday fascists by their proper names.
His voice might enrage those who need heroes to feel superior to other people, and to justify themselves and their historical identity. Where do we draw a line? Which military action is admirable, and which one is condemnable?
Reading Thomas Bernhard, I think it is time to put the victims of violence on pedestals: slaves, women, children, people resisting war and violence. Nurses, doctors, educators, philosophers, human rights activists.
Why do we still celebrate military power in a world that can be wiped out on a whim? Is it not time to reconsider the terms of honour and heroism and let go of public military glorification? Do we really still want our youth to admire and worship the warriors of the past? Military history belongs into textbooks and museums, and should be studied with care and thoughtfulness, but should it really decorate our public spaces?
I hear the victims of ideological warriors scream, just like Thomas Bernhard. Highly recommended! View all 22 comments. Shelves: theater.
Thomas Bernhard's final play, which caused a riot when it premiered in Vienna, represents the absolute zenith of one of his most important themes - the unspeakable rottenness of Austria. The title of the play refers to the packed public square where Hitler was greeted as a hero by countless cheering Austrians in The characters in the play remark "there are more Nazis in Vienna now than there were in " and "scratch under the skin of any Austrian today and you'll quickly find a mass murd Thomas Bernhard's final play, which caused a riot when it premiered in Vienna, represents the absolute zenith of one of his most important themes - the unspeakable rottenness of Austria.
The characters in the play remark "there are more Nazis in Vienna now than there were in " and "scratch under the skin of any Austrian today and you'll quickly find a mass murderer. If you enjoy Bernhard's novels, the texture of this play is remarkably similar. It's fascinating to see the monomania of his prose spread among numerous characters and dramatized externally.
He's canny in his use of the three act structure and the story builds to a surprising climax. He meant this play to be intolerable to his fellow Austrians - and in his parting gift to them, his aim was true.
View 2 comments. Sep 18, Ruth rated it it was amazing Shelves: drama , klassiker , favorites , read There is something really sad about reading Heldenplatz and knowing that life imitated art for Thomas Bernhard. He was a real character. Austria didn't know what to do with her unruly son. But I find Vienna is very amusing Amusing interesting amusing Getting to know Austria via Bernhard's novels has been exceptionally exhilarating! Check out Bernhard Heldenplatz for more. Feb 27, AnnaKarenina rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites.
Me and Thomas Bernhard go a long way back, this was my first book of this brilliant author, who became one of the most touching authors for me. I agree, you have to like Bernhard to really enjoy his work, for me this play was love at first read, overall I read it about 6 times already and it is one of my - I read i every years books.
It is a very deep book about people being haunted from the past, even though the war is over, they still feel haunted by the events which took place. While reading yo Me and Thomas Bernhard go a long way back, this was my first book of this brilliant author, who became one of the most touching authors for me. While reading you get a very uncomfortable feeling, as if you could feel the fear of the main character. It's a story about pain and scars which cannot be healed, not be cured, about a pain which will stay until death.
It shows a totally different view on the topic, the view of what happens after all is over, that there is more torture to the whole story as we suspected. Even though they survived, they never made it out of it alive. It is a deeply touching play. I would recommend everybody this book, who want to get started with Bernhard, it is a lot easier to read than most of his prosa, but still gives a good impression about his style.
Thomas Bernhard is one of the few authors who deeply touched me, who changed my perception, who broadened my horizon and I hope by reading this book, some people will catch the beauty I see in his work all the time. Apr 07, Marija rated it it was ok Shelves: read-in , read-in-german , school-assignment , classics , overpages , 20th-cent , author-male , nat-austrian.
Sadly, I found this book to irritating to enjoy. It was easy to read but not fun at all. Dec 17, Carla added it Shelves: uni. Another Uni book. When the text of a play includes no punctuation and whose lines are divided clearly yet seemingly arbitrarily, I generally assume there is a great deal of depth in the artistry. And that it's kind of a pretentious play.
That being said, one need not wade out too deep to get to the main thrust of "Heldenplatz Heroes' Square ," and that is: Austria sucks. When I read the phrase "things are worse now that fifty years ago i. Does Bernhard exaggerate in this play? Although the events of the last 20 years in Europe suggest to me that yes, perhaps he did somewhat, I have to profess a great deal of ignorance about the time and place that shaped this play.
So, for any scholars of lates Austrian politics and culture or people who just generally don't like Austria this is the book for you! Mar 23, Oleg rated it it was amazing. One of the best plays of the century, by one of its greatest playwrights. The play premiered in , its name referring to the Viennese square where cheering crowds welcomed Hitler 50 years earlier.
It quickly caused a scandal, sparking protests in Vienna before it even got to the stage. Of course, this all managed to spark my interest in the play.
However, unlike my previous choices all novels , this latest selection examines another side of his writing. Cleverly, and nastily, the writer chooses to focus the action of his work not on one hundred glorious years of Austrian theatre but on a rather less impressive milestone. Happy anniversary, everyone! As the housekeeper, Frau Zittel, prattles on, with the occasional interjection from Herta the maid, the reader or spectator wonders what is going on. However, an unforeseen event has necessitated a change of plans, namely his decision to plunge headlong over the balcony of his Viennese apartment.
‘Heldenplatz’ by Thomas Bernhard (Review)
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