Our annual birthday celebration of Austria's maverick novelist and playwright Thomas Bernhard (1931–1989) once again promises enlightenment and entertainment. His celebrated novel Der Untergeher (The Loser) is an extended meditation on (amongst other things!), artistic success and failure, the individual and society, the corruption of institutions, and the love and power of great music. The celebrated Canadian pianist Glenn Gould and his famous performance of Bach's Goldberg Variations become potent symbols for the overwhelming power of genius in the battle of life against mediocrity. Piers Burton-Page and friends, including a real-life pianist, evoke the tragicomedy behind Bernhard's urgent novel.