was born in 1928 in Salzburg. He studied maths and physics in Graz and German and English language and literature in Vienna, Innsbruck and Marburg. In the 1970s he became known as the writer of books such as „Schloß mit späten Gästen" (Castle with late guests, 1975, turned into a film in 1981). From 1955 to his passing in 2006 he lived as a writer in Salzburg.
“I was a master of marvelling and a failure in believing,” Amanshauser once wrote on himself. In this attitude, open-minded and extremely sceptical at the same time, he spent decades in his lookout high up on Salzburg’s Festungsberg hill. Secluded, but not isolated; withdrawn, but not indifferent. With ingenuity and acuity, a playful humour and unapologetic seriousness he defended his convictions - against all forms of dogmatism, banality and megalomania. All his books tell this story; most of all, however, do his diaries - a seleciton of them is now published for the first time.
The observations and self-reflections in this book, alert, irritated, brilliant, scornful, dreamy and relentless to the point where Parkinson’s disease began its work of destruction, remind the reader how much Gerhard Amanshauser is missing in our time.
Gerhard Amanshauser has been called the "most important of Austria's as yet undiscovered authors" (Daniel Kehlmann). However, in the meantime even the major German-language media give regular space to the self-styled outsider who lives on the hill under Hohensalzburg Fortress. In this collection, the man who has no difficulty in describing the people on our planet as seen from a probe, takes a stand against all dogmas, with penetrating wit and an exceptional refusal to compromise. Entlarvung der flüchtig skizzierten Herren collects his most forcible writings from six decades – narrative, satirical, theoretical, always autobiographical. Gerhard Amanshauser has the staying-power for large-scale constructs, but he is also a master of small-scale, precise form. His point of view, always original, throws light on us all from unexpected angles, not least on himself. This makes the book a pleasure to read; rarely have literature and philosophy been so clearly and realistically presented. Amanshauser rejects banal discourse and the business of literature. He has no time for vanities, but pursues his radical, rigorous exploration of "modern" society and is, moreover, a brilliant stylist.
“As regards his will towards monomania, Gerhard Amanshauser cannot compare to his friend Thomas Bernhard. In terms of literary boldness, Thomas Bernhard cannot compare to Gerhard Amanshauser. Of all Austrian writers yet to be discovered, this cosmopolitan from Salzburg is the most important.”
FALTER, Daniel Kehlmann
“As Barbarian in the Prater” is more than the autobiography of its author born in 1928 in Salzburg. It is also an engaging novel about childhood and youth in Austria (1928-1950).