Henriette Lauber can look back at a life full of creativity and hard work. As a film cutter she experienced different worlds while working alongside her beloved husband. But all this was long ago and now she leads a withdrawn and almost isolated life in a small flat in the center of town. Her godson from Western Sahara, a politically active man who works in Algerian refugee camps, is the sole recipient of her love and attention. Then a dizzy spell in the hallway leads her to meet Linda, her young neighbor who begins to take care of Henriette and increasingly seeks her presence… Erika Pluhar tells the story of a friendship between to very different women, describing life patterns, the process of aging, and transience.
In memory of his idol Thomas Bernhard, the internationally renowned artist Erwin Wurm has created a unique special edition. In dedication to the author, Wurm has produced a series of new drawings – affectionate, wry and very personal. "The Cause" and its consequences: in five stories between fact and fiction Thomas Bernhard laid bare how he became the author he was – from his childhood and boarding school days in Salzburg, his apprenticeship and studies, through to his isolation in a lung sanatorium at the age of eighteen. Those who want to understand Thomas Bernhard's world will find the key to it here.
Modernity’s core endeavour is to increase our personal reach, our grasp on the world. However, according to Hartmut Rosa’s controversial theory, this available world is a silent one. There is no longer a dialogue with it. Rosa counters this progressive estrangement between human and world with what he refers to as “resonance”: a reverberating, unquantifiable relationship with an unavailable world. Resonance develops when we engage with something unknown, something irritating, something that lies beyond our controlling reach. The outcome of this process can’t be planned or predicted, thus a moment of unavailability is always inherent to the occurrence of resonance.
One December evening, a bright pink long-distance bus bearing the inscription SPERANZA sets off on its journey from Vienna to Romania. The nocturnal drive brings together people who spend their life in the grey zones of Europe’s labour market. Their pay secures their family’s subsistence, their absence creates new problems. Florin hires himself out as a harvest hand to enable his mother in Bucharest to retire. Daiana cleans private homes in Vienna, even though she has a degree. Ioan, one of the drivers, recounts his first border crossing. “Autobus Ultima Speranza” finds a language for a life spent continuously on the hop, for the hopes and disappointments, the restlessness and structural violence that accompany it.
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.
In the first of his autobiographical books, Thomas Bernhard carries out a root cause analysis that spares nothing and no one. The boarding school was a prison and the town of Salzburg a terminal disease, where destruction was omni-present. The only guiding light was his grandfather, who spoke to him about Mozart, Rembrandt and Beethoven. These “root causes”, which are more than just hinted at by Bernhard, leave indelible traces across all his work. With precise, sparing strokes and a poignant use of repetition and variation, Lukas Kummer has succeeded in creating a visual take on Thomas Bernhard’s recollections of the horrors of boarding school, war and National Socialism. This is a sympathetic graphic novel that approaches the great author with respect and originality.
A childhood spent in a state of exception – a touching story, unsparingly told. Anna is the daughter of an actress and a business-minded, power-hungry genius designer. Her parents are prominent figures in the public eye. The family suffers from the father’s excessive lifestyle, while the mother’s acting profession places increasing demands on her. Anna spends a lot of time in the care of frequently changing nannies, happy family occasions are rare. A joint holiday on Mykonos turns out to be a life-changing event for the young family, but puts even greater pressure on Anna’s childhood world. In an open and unsparing, yet sensitive manner, Erika Pluhar describes a childhood spent in a state of exception.
It’s hard to imagine a more dramatic and controversial documentary novel. In 1938 the Sandgrube vineyard – one of the most famous vineyard estates in the Wachau valley – is owned by the Jewish businessman Paul Robitschek. His partner is August Rieger. Robitschek and the supposed baron are business partners, as well as glamorous lovers. Denunciations clear the path for the Aryanisation of an estate that would eventually become the basis of the famous Krems vintners’ cooperative – a name that is synonymous with wine and culture far beyond the national borders. This Aryanisation has to date never been the subject of investigation. The authors were able to recover a hoard of documents, enabling them to tell a staggering story of betrayal and loyalty, love and business, destruction and repression.
Barbara Frischmuth's stirring début: the narrow world of a Catholic boarding school, the pupils and their aspirations, the teachers and their rules – the expression of a strict upbringing designed to restrict freedom of feeling, thought and action.
An anonymous narrator makes a complaint to the postmaster of a small Bavarian country post office about the weaknesses of the postmen: one is an alcoholic, the second a womaniser, the third has succumbed to a cultural vice. Of course, the com-plainant’s discontent also applies to the butcher, the vet, the teachers and others – in short: to the inadequacy of the world. The writer, a local resident, keeps complaining about the postal delivery. It is unreliable, he says; the postal delivery is the most unreliable thing. If that’s the way it is, says Blumauer, if that local resident is complaining about the postal delivery, then the following will happen: I shall complain about my moped.