How We Learn Where We Live

E-book – $34.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3200-9

Paper Text – $34.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3201-6

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ISBN 978-0-8101-3199-6
Publication Date
December 2015
Page Count
240 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

How We Learn Where We Live

Thomas Bernhard, Architecture, and Bildung
Fatima Naqvi

How We Learn Where We Live opens new avenues into thinking about one of the most provocative writers of the twentieth century, Thomas Bernhard. In one of the first English studies of his work, Fatima Naqvi focuses on the Austrian author’s critique of education (Bildung) through the edifices in which it takes place. She demonstrates that both literature and architecture are implicated in the concept of Bildung. His writings insist that learning has always been a life-long process that is helped—or hindered—by the particular buildings in which Bildung occurs. Naqvi offers close readings of Bernhard’s major prose works, from Amras (1964) to Old Masters (1985) and brings them into dialogue with major architectural debates of the times. She examines Bernard’s interrogation of the theoretical foundations underpinning the educational system and its actual sites.

About the Author

FATIMA NAQVI is a professor of German and film studies at Rutgers University.


"Fatima Naqvi’s study fulfils a double function. It engages intensively with key narrative texts by Thomas Bernhard while offering a case study of the interaction between literature and architecture…. Naqvi makes clear beyond doubt that architecture is more than just a theme in these texts: it is fundamental to their structure. Bernhard’s oeuvre is read against a wide variety of text-types and forms of knowledge: architecture manifestos, philosophical works (Bloch, Foucault, Heidegger, Wittgenstein), texts on the history of art and architecture. The resultant complex contextualisation raises scholarship on Bernhard’s writings to a new level of reflection, and raises the bar for future research." —Austrian Studies

"The architectonics of Naqvi’s mode of argumentation and analysis perform the porousness and openness that ultimately emerge as Bernhard’s ideal space and model of education." —German Studies Review