Installed behind his desk with notebook, ashtray, whiskey, and “several typewriters of various calibers,” Werner Kofler embarks on a tour not through space but through literature, and through his abortive attempts at producing a work he can call his own. “Art must destroy reality,” he trumpets, yet, in the spirit of his “beloved Beckett,” each failed attempt at the writing desk only drives the effort endlessly, angrily on. The first English translation of a central figure in Austrian fiction, At the Writing Desk is a battle cry against every cultural and literary status quo.
Werner Kofler (1947–2011) was born in Kärnten, Austria, and died in Vienna. He studied education before beginning his writing career, primarily focused upon novels and plays. He was awarded the Arno-Schmidt-Preis in 1996, as well as the Buch.Preis in 2004, among other honors.