The twelve nights between Christmas and Epiphany are a mystical time – a time in which nature stands still and the boundaries between our world and the supernatural realm appear suspended. In Alpine regions and Nordic countries, the Twelve Nights are the source of numerous fables. People talk to animals, goblins populate human dwellings, wishes come true and the Wild Hunt rides across the land. This openness to magic and folklore, this moment of pausing and taking stock, have long been a source of fascination to Harald Krassnitzer – and hold a special significance in our hectic times. In this book, Krassnitzer brings together his favourite legends and tales relating to the Twelve Nights, accompanied by personal reflections
Peter Rosei has always been on the move, led by an unfailing curiosity for landscapes and cities, people and their stories. 'The Great Road' for the first time brings together the chronicles of his travels across five decades and three continents. We get to know Peter Rosei as an acutely observant and knowledgeable traveller, who is open to impressions and images, scents and sounds. He steadily approaches the unknown and brings it close, without diminishing its fascination. This wonderfully labyrinthine book takes us from Peking to Los Alamos, from Seoul to Moscow, from Paris to Texas via Bratislava and Istanbul, brimming with the author's appreciation for the vibrancy of the world and the diversity of human life and survival.
Michael Köhlmeier's contemplations on We are a plea for an inclusive community. The We can soothe, because it offers the lonely I a home and a notion of where it comes from. This We can provide integration. It is close to the I, it tells stories. But We is also a uniform that can be worn. Anyone can become the enemy of this We, it turns us into opportunists and dogmatists. This military We generates myths to sanction ideologies. But how does one We turn into the other? How does intimate family history turn into an ardent desire to kill and die for something that nobody has ever seen? And what can be done to prevent this transformation? The great raconteur Michael Köhlmeier delves deeply into the two-faced nature of We.
Her voice often attracts attention for its distinctiveness, so she might as well be heard in another sense – as the voice of an author and the 'person of public interest' that Erika Pluhar has become in the course of her life. Pluhar is a prolific writer of speeches, essays and articles, declaring her personal stance on political and socio-political issues, paying tribute to contemporaries or saying farewell to people she cherished. Her opinion is both sought and provided, and she speaks out when she feels it is necessary.
Hidden away at Settecento, the shady 'Tsar' runs a modern-day boarding school modelled on Baroque-era music academies. Here, highly gifted boys are trained – and castrated – to enable them to sing the most spectacular roles, like the castrati of Baroque music. When Timo, a young boy with a magical voice, flees to Vienna and his mentor Matteo sets off in search of him, the music world is forced to confront reality. Matteo becomes a street singer and is both the hunter and the hunted. The Tsar is on his tracks and, in order to find Timo, he has to hold his own in the tough world of the homeless. Imbued with the sounds of Baroque opera, Daria Wilke's breathtaking story tells of a secret society that is prepared to pay any price for beauty.
In the second of his autobiographical works, Thomas Bernhard tells of the decision to remove himself from his life. Rather than continue attending school, he starts an apprenticeship in the cellar of a grocery store, on the outskirts of the detested town, in the ghetto of the have-nots and criminals. There he becomes acquainted with society's outcasts. He feels drawn to them and learns for the first time what it means to be accepted and to be 'useful'. Day-to-day life in the cellar turns out to be therapeutic. This place of limbo becomes a refuge, until a severe illness puts a sudden end to Bernhard's apprenticeship. In 'The Cellar', Lukas Kummer finds a relaxed pictorial language for the author's narrative tone. With precise strokes, Kummer accompanies Thomas Bernhard through what was probably the brightest period of his youth and throws a congenial light on the 'cellar'.
Four women at the end of a life stage – and at the beginning of a new one, in which they strike out on an unconventional path with humour and solidarity. Ella finds herself alone in her large period apartment. Finally alone? Or lonely after all? There's Rada, the Rumanian carer of her deceased husband, and Ella's sister, the colourful Maggie, who has returned after her international career. And there’s her neighbour Luise, who's been left for a younger woman. What kind of life do they want to have in their old age? What's possible? What's permitted? Will they be invisible or invincible? Fulfilled or frustrated? And most importantly – will they each live alone or all together? Their answer is brave and unconventional – and soon Ella's large apartment is full of life and heated discussions about politics, family ... and sex.
Christine Nöstlinger's new vernacular poems are profound, pithy and full of darkly humorous overtones. They tell of hopes and fears, of avarice and of dealing with old age. The work-shy "Jasmin from stairway four" is a drain on her husband's pocket, "West Street Station Rudi" observes life's little and big ladies on the station platform every day, quiet Mr Meier only reveals his secret fantasies of violence to his goldfish – is that reason to call the police? The verses gathered from Christine Nöstlinger's estate provide a nuanced look at life by focusing on the margins of society. A must for all friends of Viennese vernacular poetry and Nöstlinger fans.
What's to be done when ordinary life simply becomes too much? When your mother has to go into residential care and the family home must be cleared out and let. When everyone expects the narrator to finally look for a sensible job and start a family? When normality-induced melancholia hits, there's only one thing for it – hit back. Ideally where it’s least expected. A revolt is instigated in the care home; Jola delivers inflammatory speeches in her sequinned gown; the local youth gang of "domestic poachers" turns life in the small town upside down; a kidnapping morphs into a seaside mini-break, much to the delight of the home's residents. And then suddenly Malina appears. Malina, who’s prepared to do almost anything and sometimes oversteps the mark.
"Whatever you need, you take" Vienna in a gold rush: World War two is over, the black markets are booming, and shady characters are on their way to a new life. The brilliant first part of Rosei's cycle "Wiener Dateien" (Vienna files) span the period from corruption in postwar Vienna to the fancy homes of affluent business people in the 1980s.
With artistic ease, he creates an intricate web entangling the lives of parvenus and bon vivants, professors and politicians, perfect wives and superwomen. At the center of it all are Alfred and Georg, two very different friends: One is an anarchist, the other a baby boomer. Rosei's novel is intense, enthusiastically written prose portraying a city where everything has its price and nothing is sacred…