born in 1939 in Pichl, lives and works as a freelance writer in Klagenfurt. Numerous awards; f.e. the “Wilhelm-Raabe-Prize” 1984, the “Heinrich-Gleißner-Prize” 1994, the “Adalbert-Stifter-Prize” and the “Cultural Prize of Upper Austria” 2005.
In his 'Journey through Life', Alois Brandstetter created a tongue-in-cheek summary of his CV, and here the playful storytelling continues. On one of his walks, his eye is caught by an inscription: ‘Rubicon’, it says, and to his great astonishment, the name refers to a brutal-looking pickup jeep. Brandstetter begins to reminisce about cars and the trips he has taken in his life, about accidents and incidents, about paths, destinations, and the charm of meandering aimlessly through the world of things and of words. Observations about language alternate with anecdotes, memories with literary allusions, and ultimately, while we certainly don’t end up crossing the Rubicon, we do cross the finish line of a thoroughly enjoyable excursion with an incomparably hilarious author.
In his “Life Journey”, Alois Brandstetter recounts the remarkable story of how he made his way from 7th child of a miller and farmer to academic and author. Yet this pilgrimage into the past is delightfully tongue-in-cheek. Scenes and images from Brandstetter’s childhood and youth in rural Upper Austria alternate with humorous observations on modern life, as well as notes on impressions gained and encounters made as an avid reader. His travels on the trail of his namesake Saint Aloysius provide a fitting framework for the intimately and vividly narrated reminiscences.
From Austrian writer Adalbert Stifter to Rawlplugs, from Sebastian Brant’s “Ship of Fools” to the alarm system that his wife would like for Christmas, from holy relics to unholy bigots: Alois Brandstetter addresses the minutiae of everyday existence and the big questions of life with equal measures of inquisitiveness, insight and irony. Encounters with curious contemporaries and contemporary concepts give rise to reflections that are full of knowledge and worldly wisdom. The “certification of existence” which Brandstetter has to provide to the German Pension Department every year inspires him to deliver one of the most assertive and meaningful “signs of life” in this wonderfully enjoyable book.