As a reaction to the media and political campaign against the 1988 production of his play Heldenplatz mounted by Claus Peymann at the Burgtheater, Thomas Bernhard stipulated in his will that none of his work was to be performed, printed, or read in public in Austria for the term of their copyright. With the founding of the Thomas Bernhard Foundation this prohibition was rescinded, and the author’s work and ephemera were opened up for academic research. Recently, never-before-seen letters and materials have provided a new way of looking at the author. It has become possible to view his perceptions in the context of his time, from the ‘public figure’ and the master of exaggeration, to a writer whose work differentiates the stereotypes that he and his texts were involved with for many years.
Martin Huber (*1963) is director of the Thomas Bernhard Archive. He lives and works in Gmunden and Vienna. Since 1999 he has managed the estate of Thomas Bernhard in Gmunden, and has curated various exhibitions about him. He is also the editor of the collected works of Thomas Bernhard.