A RSB reader writes asking:
I would really like to get the best versions of Thomas Bernhard's work. I have not read him before, so (1) could you recommend the books (ie translation etc.), and (2) the order that I should read them in!"
So (as they say) I decided to ask an expert and consult Steve: who advises:
There are no versions to worry about. Only one novel has two translations (Cutting Timber/Woodcutters). Order ... well, chronologically is the easist, though reverse order would probably give the better impression: Gargoyles, The Lime Works, Correction, Yes, Concrete, Gathering Evidence (not a novel, but ...), Old Masters, The Loser, Cutting Timber, Extinction. I've left out one or two minor works but Three Novellas is great. See also thomasbernhard.org/works.
Worth noting that Gargoyles and The Loser are being re-issued this November and next July respectively (by Vintage USA) and remembering, too, that Michael Hofmann's new translation of Bernhard's Frost is due from Knopf in October.