The project Wittgensteins Neffe (Wittgenstein’s Nephew), now accomplished, was aimed at a historical-critical edition of Thomas Bernhard’s (1931–1989) autobiographical narration, published in 1982.
Our work included the TEI-annotation of the text with an additional critical commentary concerning persons, places, institutions, as well as intertextual and biographical references. An introduction gives insight to the genesis and publication history; furthermore, the project presents the various early versions of the text to illustrate the author’s exceptionally complex process of writing and correcting.
This endeavour was made possible because of the digitalization of Thomas Bernhard’s estate, done by the ACE and predecessing institutions according to an agreement between the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Suhrkamp publishing house and Dr. Peter Fabjan, who manages the Bernhard-estate.
Wittgenstein’s Nephew was of special interest due to its references to the AAS, which awarded Thomas Bernhard with the Grillparzer Prize in 1972 – making for an infamous episode in the narration – and the city of Vienna in general.
However, the main theme of Wittgenstein’s Nephew is the friendship between Bernhard and the Viennese eccentric Paul Wittgenstein (1907–1979); the text is a very touching memento of his remarkable personality.