UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Carnival and the theatre of eccentricity: An interpretation of the late plays of Thomas Bernhard, with special reference to Der Theatermacher, Ritter Dene Voss, Elisabeth II and Heldenplatz

Maliye, Iris Deepali; (2004) Carnival and the theatre of eccentricity: An interpretation of the late plays of Thomas Bernhard, with special reference to Der Theatermacher, Ritter Dene Voss, Elisabeth II and Heldenplatz. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

[thumbnail of out.pdf]
Preview
Text
out.pdf

Download (25MB) | Preview

Abstract

Despite the heated public controversy generated in Austria by the first performance of Thomas Bernhard's last play, Heldenplatz, at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 4 November 1988, the late plays as a whole have to date received surprisingly little detailed critical analysis. In all of them, blanket condemnations of Austria and the Austrians are delivered by the main characters, and those characters are eccentric in the sense that they reject and consciously invert and carnivalize the social norms and conventions which define and govern what is regarded as acceptable, polite or decent behaviour. The concept of eccentricity is central to the concept of carnival as defined by the Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin, which has had a major impact on a number of disciplines, including literary theory. My thesis undertakes to interpret Bernhard's late plays in the light of the Bakhtinian understanding of carnival; it concentrates particularly on the linguistic dynamism which privileges the eccentric's voice. The Bernhardian eccentric bestrides the stage of the Burgtheater in Vienna, validating life by translating it into a private theatre in which carnival predominates, mocking and upending the bourgeois conformism of the ordinary, noncarnival world of the audience. But although the eccentrics endlessly berate and carnivalize Austria, they remain bound to it and to all aspects of the Austrian heritage, precisely because that heritage provides them with an excuse to perform, to act. Their performance may be absurd, and it refuses all forms of dialogue with the family, dependants, servants and friends who watch it, but the energy the eccentric figures generate makes their lives (and perhaps the lives of those who watch and support them) tolerable.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Carnival and the theatre of eccentricity: An interpretation of the late plays of Thomas Bernhard, with special reference to Der Theatermacher, Ritter Dene Voss, Elisabeth II and Heldenplatz
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Language, literature and linguistics; Communication and the arts; Bernhard, Thomas
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10119552
Downloads since deposit
146Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item