Mysticism and Utopia of Art in the Oeuvre of Thomas Bernhard

The oeuvre of Thomas Bernhard is – clearly – characterised by a consistent negative, disparate and basically life-negating outlook on the world which became manifested in sick, isolated individuals or never-ending tirades of hatred against almost everything and everybody. This resignation over the modern world, however, results from an attitude of loss, as can occasionally be read between the lines, over a lost or impossible unity with nature or his fellow beings (particularly in a family context). Mainly contained in his early works but also hidden in his later texts are tendencies of a quasi-romantic utopia of unity which is repeatedly represented in “other states”, a flowing together of impressions which can truly be called mystic; especially the creative act of writing constitutes a possibility, at least for a short time, of obtaining a feeling of unity of being. The dissertation aims to place such aspects in the foreground and to define Bernhard’s cosmos via those elements which are lost therein, with the important role of writing leading the way to the poetry of the author which has not quite been covered as yet.