Thomas Bernhard's 'Gargoyles'

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Doan Truong German Literature-Professor Broadbent December 10th, 2015 Gargoyles-Thomas Bernhard's Philosophical Novel of Distress The novel Gargoyles, published by Thomas Bernhard in 1967, tells the stories of a young man traveling with his doctor father around the suburban Austria to treat people. Most of the cases involve other stories such as barbarism, murder, cruelty to animals, and insanity due to self-isolation. With each visit, the eccentricities of the patients grow more monstrous and finally culminate in the Prince in their last visit. Through varying visits and the Prince's monologue, Thomas Bernhard shows his anger and disappoint towards Austrian society filled with disruption, decay, and madness in post World War II. Thomas…show more content…
The Prince's monologue is a journey from the body to the mind and reveals his occasionally lucid and deep conflicts with his family and society. His monologue is Bernhard's grieve for the corruption and shallowness of contemporary Austrian society. The doctor and his son come to the castle when the Prince is interviewing three potential men who would be his new steward. He refers silent men who can be able to listen to him talking like the Doctor, his only acquaintance, and later acknowledges that "the art of monologue is far higher art than the art of dialogue" (Bernhard, 147). Evidently, the Prince lives in a paradoxes created by himself and drowns in his madness and despair. His despair reflects Austria's efforts to define itself as a nation following the collapse of the monarchy and the trauma of second World…show more content…
His dream, a complex narrative, symbolizes Austria's negative past and loss of hope in the next generation. In his dream, the Prince's creation, his son would return to the estate after his suicide to destroy the castle by letting it running to the ground. However, all of the Princes' creations are coming from his ego and desire of self-destruct. The Prince's self-erasure signifies Austria's inability to abolish its horrors of World War II. In addition, the Prince mentions of Moser, mirror of Stalin, who would then give the castle and the whole estate to the people and let them farm. The idea of communism is represented through this. During post World War II, Austria was torn by two ideas, Nazi Germany and the Soviets. Thomas Bernhard implies Austria's lack of power and influence among the European countries and its thirst to regain its identity, language, and the growing politicization of

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