Wanderweg  After a period of near-obsession with the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard, I visited Germany and Austria to find locations from his life and works. I returned with this gloomy photo essay. Is it evocative for readers of Bernhard, as I'd hoped? I don't know. If nothing else, it's a quiet look into contemporary Austria. Biographical details in the captions are from Bernhard's memoirs or  The Making Of An Austrian , a biography by Gitta Honegger.  I first went to Ettendorf, Germany, where Bernhard's grandfather lived. Bernhard spent some of his childhood in Traunstein, on the other side of a small river. 

Wanderweg
After a period of near-obsession with the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard, I visited Germany and Austria to find locations from his life and works. I returned with this gloomy photo essay. Is it evocative for readers of Bernhard, as I'd hoped? I don't know. If nothing else, it's a quiet look into contemporary Austria. Biographical details in the captions are from Bernhard's memoirs or The Making Of An Austrian, a biography by Gitta Honegger.

I first went to Ettendorf, Germany, where Bernhard's grandfather lived. Bernhard spent some of his childhood in Traunstein, on the other side of a small river. 

 Bernhard wrote in  Gathering Evidence  of trying to ride his bike from Germany to Salzburg when he was 8 years old. I took a train.

Bernhard wrote in Gathering Evidence of trying to ride his bike from Germany to Salzburg when he was 8 years old. I took a train.

 Bernhard later lived in Salzburg, where he left school to work as a grocer's apprentice.

Bernhard later lived in Salzburg, where he left school to work as a grocer's apprentice.

 In some of Bernhard's novels, strange things happen at inns. I met a stranger in one. This is Aleksei Martynov, a student from Russia.

In some of Bernhard's novels, strange things happen at inns. I met a stranger in one. This is Aleksei Martynov, a student from Russia.

 Bernhard would listen to performances of the Salzburg Festival from the Mönchsberg, a mountain overlooking the city.

Bernhard would listen to performances of the Salzburg Festival from the Mönchsberg, a mountain overlooking the city.

 This man, Bruno, said to go to Bernhard's house in Ohlsdorf, and I went, expecting to find a humble farm house. Instead I saw the home of someone who had moved to the city, become enriched by it, and then bought a nice home in the country.

This man, Bruno, said to go to Bernhard's house in Ohlsdorf, and I went, expecting to find a humble farm house. Instead I saw the home of someone who had moved to the city, become enriched by it, and then bought a nice home in the country.

 Music students practice at the Mozarteum, where part of  The Loser  is set. Bernhard was an acting student here.

Music students practice at the Mozarteum, where part of The Loser is set. Bernhard was an acting student here.

 I asked the students if they could play the Goldberg Variations, a Bach composition central to  The Loser , and the students laughed and said no. Apparently it's a difficult piece.

I asked the students if they could play the Goldberg Variations, a Bach composition central to The Loser, and the students laughed and said no. Apparently it's a difficult piece.

 This is the Salzach River, or how I imagine the Aurach Gorge in  Correction  might look. The real Aurach was no roaring river. It was a pleasant stream.

This is the Salzach River, or how I imagine the Aurach Gorge in Correction might look. The real Aurach was no roaring river. It was a pleasant stream.

 This is the hospital in Grafenhof where Bernhard was a tuberculosis patient. Many of Bernhard's characters suffer from a lung ailment, and his own troubled him until his brother, a doctor, assisted him in ending his life.

This is the hospital in Grafenhof where Bernhard was a tuberculosis patient. Many of Bernhard's characters suffer from a lung ailment, and his own troubled him until his brother, a doctor, assisted him in ending his life.

 Bernhard met his life partner, Hedwig, while a patient at the Grafenhof sanitarium.

Bernhard met his life partner, Hedwig, while a patient at the Grafenhof sanitarium.

 This is Hohenwerfen Castle, or how I imagine Hochgobernitz in Gargoyles might look. Hochgobernitz was inhabited by a malicious patriarch who wanted to end his family.

This is Hohenwerfen Castle, or how I imagine Hochgobernitz in Gargoyles might look. Hochgobernitz was inhabited by a malicious patriarch who wanted to end his family.

 I wandered, though not too far from the road, into the Austrian Alps. I had  Frost  in mind, though I had not been sent to check up on someone's ailing relative.

I wandered, though not too far from the road, into the Austrian Alps. I had Frost in mind, though I had not been sent to check up on someone's ailing relative.

 The Kobernausser forest, site of the Cone dwelling in  Correction . I walked toward what I thought would be the exact center of the forest before turning back. I didn't want to be lost.

The Kobernausser forest, site of the Cone dwelling in Correction. I walked toward what I thought would be the exact center of the forest before turning back. I didn't want to be lost.

 This is the estate at Wolfsegg. In  Extinction  the narrator watches preparation for his parents' funeral from a window.

This is the estate at Wolfsegg. In Extinction the narrator watches preparation for his parents' funeral from a window.

 Bernhard once paid for his friend Paul Wittgenstein's three-hour taxi ride from Vienna to Gmunden, seen here.

Bernhard once paid for his friend Paul Wittgenstein's three-hour taxi ride from Vienna to Gmunden, seen here.

 Researcher Bernhard Judex works at the Thomas Bernhard Archive in Gmunden.

Researcher Bernhard Judex works at the Thomas Bernhard Archive in Gmunden.

 I drove and climbed the Aurach Valley looking for a hunting lodge on Mount Hochkreut. I read that it inspired the setting of  Correction .

I drove and climbed the Aurach Valley looking for a hunting lodge on Mount Hochkreut. I read that it inspired the setting of Correction.

 I wandered winding mountain roads.  Entschuldigen, Hund. Wo ist Aurach Schloss?

I wandered winding mountain roads. Entschuldigen, Hund. Wo ist Aurach Schloss?

 But I could not find it, just this tree in a clearing. In  Correction , the character Roithamer hangs himself from a tree in a clearing.

But I could not find it, just this tree in a clearing. In Correction, the character Roithamer hangs himself from a tree in a clearing.

 I did find the real-life shop of Hoeller, the taxidermist fictionalized in  Correction .

I did find the real-life shop of Hoeller, the taxidermist fictionalized in Correction.

 I continued east to Vienna, where I saw a performance of Ibsen's  The Wild Duck .

I continued east to Vienna, where I saw a performance of Ibsen's The Wild Duck.

 The narrator of  Woodcutters  spends most of his time watching and criticizing a dinner party whose star guest is an actor in a Vienna production of  The Wild Duck .

The narrator of Woodcutters spends most of his time watching and criticizing a dinner party whose star guest is an actor in a Vienna production of The Wild Duck.

 I compared people I met to the Austrians of Bernhard's works. Were they recognizable? I wanted to think so, but I wasn't sure. This mad man asked me to call him Kafka.

I compared people I met to the Austrians of Bernhard's works. Were they recognizable? I wanted to think so, but I wasn't sure. This mad man asked me to call him Kafka.

 This is the Steinhof hospital in Vienna, site of  Wittgenstein's Nephew .

This is the Steinhof hospital in Vienna, site of Wittgenstein's Nephew.

 Bernhard's novel  Old Masters  features Tintoretto's  White-Bearded Man  at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

Bernhard's novel Old Masters features Tintoretto's White-Bearded Man at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

 In  Old Masters , an aging man sits in front of  White-Bearded Man  every other day.

In Old Masters, an aging man sits in front of White-Bearded Man every other day.

 I left my  wanderweg , or trail, at a restaurant in Vienna.

I left my wanderweg, or trail, at a restaurant in Vienna.

  Wanderweg  After a period of near-obsession with the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard, I visited Germany and Austria to find locations from his life and works. I returned with this gloomy photo essay. Is it evocative for readers of Bernhard, as I'd hoped? I don't know. If nothing else, it's a quiet look into contemporary Austria. Biographical details in the captions are from Bernhard's memoirs or  The Making Of An Austrian , a biography by Gitta Honegger.  I first went to Ettendorf, Germany, where Bernhard's grandfather lived. Bernhard spent some of his childhood in Traunstein, on the other side of a small river. 
 Bernhard wrote in  Gathering Evidence  of trying to ride his bike from Germany to Salzburg when he was 8 years old. I took a train.
 Bernhard later lived in Salzburg, where he left school to work as a grocer's apprentice.
 In some of Bernhard's novels, strange things happen at inns. I met a stranger in one. This is Aleksei Martynov, a student from Russia.
 Bernhard would listen to performances of the Salzburg Festival from the Mönchsberg, a mountain overlooking the city.
 This man, Bruno, said to go to Bernhard's house in Ohlsdorf, and I went, expecting to find a humble farm house. Instead I saw the home of someone who had moved to the city, become enriched by it, and then bought a nice home in the country.
 Music students practice at the Mozarteum, where part of  The Loser  is set. Bernhard was an acting student here.
 I asked the students if they could play the Goldberg Variations, a Bach composition central to  The Loser , and the students laughed and said no. Apparently it's a difficult piece.
 This is the Salzach River, or how I imagine the Aurach Gorge in  Correction  might look. The real Aurach was no roaring river. It was a pleasant stream.
 This is the hospital in Grafenhof where Bernhard was a tuberculosis patient. Many of Bernhard's characters suffer from a lung ailment, and his own troubled him until his brother, a doctor, assisted him in ending his life.
 Bernhard met his life partner, Hedwig, while a patient at the Grafenhof sanitarium.
 This is Hohenwerfen Castle, or how I imagine Hochgobernitz in Gargoyles might look. Hochgobernitz was inhabited by a malicious patriarch who wanted to end his family.
 I wandered, though not too far from the road, into the Austrian Alps. I had  Frost  in mind, though I had not been sent to check up on someone's ailing relative.
 The Kobernausser forest, site of the Cone dwelling in  Correction . I walked toward what I thought would be the exact center of the forest before turning back. I didn't want to be lost.
 This is the estate at Wolfsegg. In  Extinction  the narrator watches preparation for his parents' funeral from a window.
 Bernhard once paid for his friend Paul Wittgenstein's three-hour taxi ride from Vienna to Gmunden, seen here.
 Researcher Bernhard Judex works at the Thomas Bernhard Archive in Gmunden.
 I drove and climbed the Aurach Valley looking for a hunting lodge on Mount Hochkreut. I read that it inspired the setting of  Correction .
 I wandered winding mountain roads.  Entschuldigen, Hund. Wo ist Aurach Schloss?
 But I could not find it, just this tree in a clearing. In  Correction , the character Roithamer hangs himself from a tree in a clearing.
 I did find the real-life shop of Hoeller, the taxidermist fictionalized in  Correction .
 I continued east to Vienna, where I saw a performance of Ibsen's  The Wild Duck .
 The narrator of  Woodcutters  spends most of his time watching and criticizing a dinner party whose star guest is an actor in a Vienna production of  The Wild Duck .
 I compared people I met to the Austrians of Bernhard's works. Were they recognizable? I wanted to think so, but I wasn't sure. This mad man asked me to call him Kafka.
 This is the Steinhof hospital in Vienna, site of  Wittgenstein's Nephew .
 Bernhard's novel  Old Masters  features Tintoretto's  White-Bearded Man  at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
 In  Old Masters , an aging man sits in front of  White-Bearded Man  every other day.
 I left my  wanderweg , or trail, at a restaurant in Vienna.

Wanderweg
After a period of near-obsession with the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard, I visited Germany and Austria to find locations from his life and works. I returned with this gloomy photo essay. Is it evocative for readers of Bernhard, as I'd hoped? I don't know. If nothing else, it's a quiet look into contemporary Austria. Biographical details in the captions are from Bernhard's memoirs or The Making Of An Austrian, a biography by Gitta Honegger.

I first went to Ettendorf, Germany, where Bernhard's grandfather lived. Bernhard spent some of his childhood in Traunstein, on the other side of a small river. 

Bernhard wrote in Gathering Evidence of trying to ride his bike from Germany to Salzburg when he was 8 years old. I took a train.

Bernhard later lived in Salzburg, where he left school to work as a grocer's apprentice.

In some of Bernhard's novels, strange things happen at inns. I met a stranger in one. This is Aleksei Martynov, a student from Russia.

Bernhard would listen to performances of the Salzburg Festival from the Mönchsberg, a mountain overlooking the city.

This man, Bruno, said to go to Bernhard's house in Ohlsdorf, and I went, expecting to find a humble farm house. Instead I saw the home of someone who had moved to the city, become enriched by it, and then bought a nice home in the country.

Music students practice at the Mozarteum, where part of The Loser is set. Bernhard was an acting student here.

I asked the students if they could play the Goldberg Variations, a Bach composition central to The Loser, and the students laughed and said no. Apparently it's a difficult piece.

This is the Salzach River, or how I imagine the Aurach Gorge in Correction might look. The real Aurach was no roaring river. It was a pleasant stream.

This is the hospital in Grafenhof where Bernhard was a tuberculosis patient. Many of Bernhard's characters suffer from a lung ailment, and his own troubled him until his brother, a doctor, assisted him in ending his life.

Bernhard met his life partner, Hedwig, while a patient at the Grafenhof sanitarium.

This is Hohenwerfen Castle, or how I imagine Hochgobernitz in Gargoyles might look. Hochgobernitz was inhabited by a malicious patriarch who wanted to end his family.

I wandered, though not too far from the road, into the Austrian Alps. I had Frost in mind, though I had not been sent to check up on someone's ailing relative.

The Kobernausser forest, site of the Cone dwelling in Correction. I walked toward what I thought would be the exact center of the forest before turning back. I didn't want to be lost.

This is the estate at Wolfsegg. In Extinction the narrator watches preparation for his parents' funeral from a window.

Bernhard once paid for his friend Paul Wittgenstein's three-hour taxi ride from Vienna to Gmunden, seen here.

Researcher Bernhard Judex works at the Thomas Bernhard Archive in Gmunden.

I drove and climbed the Aurach Valley looking for a hunting lodge on Mount Hochkreut. I read that it inspired the setting of Correction.

I wandered winding mountain roads. Entschuldigen, Hund. Wo ist Aurach Schloss?

But I could not find it, just this tree in a clearing. In Correction, the character Roithamer hangs himself from a tree in a clearing.

I did find the real-life shop of Hoeller, the taxidermist fictionalized in Correction.

I continued east to Vienna, where I saw a performance of Ibsen's The Wild Duck.

The narrator of Woodcutters spends most of his time watching and criticizing a dinner party whose star guest is an actor in a Vienna production of The Wild Duck.

I compared people I met to the Austrians of Bernhard's works. Were they recognizable? I wanted to think so, but I wasn't sure. This mad man asked me to call him Kafka.

This is the Steinhof hospital in Vienna, site of Wittgenstein's Nephew.

Bernhard's novel Old Masters features Tintoretto's White-Bearded Man at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

In Old Masters, an aging man sits in front of White-Bearded Man every other day.

I left my wanderweg, or trail, at a restaurant in Vienna.

show thumbnails