It is 1967. Two men lie bedridden in separate wings of a Viennese hospital. The narrator, Thomas Bernhard, is stricken with a lung ailment; his friend Paul, nephew of Ludwig Wittgenstein, is suffering from one of his periodic bouts of madness. As their friendship quickens, these two eccentric men discover in each other an antidote to their feelings of despair on the unexpected strength of what they share - a spiritual symmetry forged by their love of music, black humour, disgust for bourgeois Vienna, and fear of mortality.
A restless blend of fiction and memoir, "Wittgenstein’s Nephew" is not only a haunting meditation on the artist’s struggle to maintain a foothold on reality, but an impassioned eulogy to a real-life friendship - newly illuminated by Ben Lerner's afterword.
'I absolutely love Bernhard: he is one of the darkest and funniest writers ... A must read for everybody.'
-Karl Ove Knausgaard