A wonderfully wry story about a young woman, an old man and the power of literature.
As a bookseller, elderly Mr Roch has always been surrounded by books. Now he's written his own "novel of the century". It's all about literature, from Musil and Roth through to Bachmann and Handke – stories in which the notion of possibility often overrides reality. Mr Roch asks Lisa, a student and waitress in his favourite café, to type up the manuscript for him. As she can't read his writing, he decides to read it out to her, but his papers are in a dreadful mess. An ambivalent relationship develops between the old man who's brimming with stories and the young woman who doesn't believe everything he says. But Lisa has other worries too – her friend Semira is due to be deported. Can Roch's storehouse provide a refuge for her?
A unique pop-cultural game set in 1990s Belgrade – and a mad race against a time that truly screwed things up for the city's people.
Belgrade, 1995: Marko, his sister Vanja and Kasandra from the Roma settlement live in the "giant psycho-economical disaster" of 1990s Belgrade – a vicious circle of poverty, violence, inflation, drugs and new technologies. Yet in this inspired novel there aren't just gangs and dealers, there's also a crazy scientist and a time machine, there's a Balkan pop icon and kinky sex, there are bombardments and destruction, but also music and friendship. When the three young friends are catapulted into the war year of 1999, they realise that they have to rescue their city from the disastrous 90s. In a headlong race against the ticking clock they try to find the key to the time warp and re-write history.
Best-selling author Erika Pluhar’s new novel centres on a woman at a turning point in her life.
Fifty-one-year-old Hedwig Pflüger returns to the Vienna apartment hat she has inherited from her grandmother. She has kept away from the city and the old woman she grew up with for several decades. Now she faces a turning point in her life. The Viennese apartment is full of memories and in the stillness of the old building Hedwig starts to write about the past. The resulting account tells of a woman who struggled to meet the standardised requirements of her time; a woman who despite all her attempts kept sliding back into isolation and loneliness. But now, as she looks back and puts pen to paper, Hedwig learns to accept the present and open herself up to new challenges.
“Scent of the Soul” is a moving love story set amid the Syrian civil war and an authentic account of repression, revolution and the terror of the IS.
It's 2010 and the vibrant city of Damascus is full of life, but it’s the calm before the storm. Tarek, a Sunni Muslim, falls in love with Sanaa, who is Alevi. Against all odds, the two become a couple. But their secret meetings abruptly end when Tarek is called up. Through the military, he becomes entangled in acts of violence and antiques smuggling. He succeeds in fleeing to Europe, but when Sanaa tries to follow him, she is kidnapped by the IS and locked up. What Sanaa suffers in the IS prisons is based on authentic experiences, as Turjman cleverly weaves together fact and fiction to create a breathtaking novel that is highly relevant to our times.
Ein fundiertes Plädoyer für eine Gesellschaft, die der Verfügbarkeit der Welt Grenzen setzt.
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.
With “Astray”, Martin Lechner offers us another enigmatic and superbly entertaining game of deception.
Powerfully eloquent, funny and expressive, the novel tells of Lars, a school drop-out who evades military service in favour of community service in the workshops of a psychiatric hospital. There, Lars finds refuge from his mother, whose abusiveness is worse than that of any raging patient. This is also where Lars meets Hanna, a patient who swiftly gets him tangled up in all manner of delightful scuffles, but whose radical attitude soon takes on a threatening scale. Was it her who torched the workshop leader’s car? How long before the flames of their passion also devour Lars’ fragile attempts to find his place in the world? And can those who’ve gone astray ever find their way back to an orderly life?
The celebrated author and passionate gardener Barbara Frischmuth shares her thoughts on nature and language.
Nature and culture cannot be kept separate. They continuously intertwine, visibly and invisibly, but not always harmoniously. From the outset, humankind has tried to tame and subjugate nature. And the more spectacularly successful we are in doing this, the less we think about how dependent on it we still are. This shows most clearly in the language we use to try and label and describe nature – be it in the fictional, poetic, factual or scientific context. In her essay, Barbara Frischmuth seeks to illustrate how nature is discussed in literature, culture, science and in everyday life. To underestimate nature would be perilous. To value and even love it equals human enlightenment.
The essay series UNRUHE BEWAHREN (Keep Uncalm) is a response to an increasingly uncomfortable present tendency. At the heart of modern-day progress lies a wasteful unrest, while the past is progressively devalued and the future is robbed of substance. This is opposed by the principle of anachronism. Engaged contemporaneity should be coupled with the courage for caution and a passion for the outmoded. UNRUHE BEWAHREN is therefore also the theme to which the spring and autumn lecture series at Akademie Graz are dedicated.
Edited by Astrid Kury, Thomas Macho, Peter Strasser
Advice: Harald Klauhs
First published in 1977, “Wer war Edgar Allan?” marked Peter Rosei’s literary breakthrough. An enigmatic game of deception, it is also a rapturous homage to a deeply autumnal Venice and to Poe, the master of cryptic storytelling. Sympathetically adapted into film by Michael Haneke in 1984, the novel combines hallucinatory delirium with precise societal diagnosis. A drug-addicted student roams through Venice, a shady Contessa falls from the roof garden of her palazzo, a drug syndicate quietly rules behind the scenes, and a mysterious gentleman by the name of Edgar Allan seems to be pulling many dark strings. This new edition features Walter Pichler’s cult cover and makes the post-war classic available to a wide readership once more.
With no illusions but plenty of empathy, Peter Rosei explores the hardships of searching for happiness in the current times.
Lena from the Styrian village, Andràs from the Hungarian tower block and Eva Bartuska from the Czech town of Brno have all come to Vienna seeking happiness and fulfilment. They drift through the city propelled by the promise of social and economic betterment and the dream of true love. But what is this prized happiness? Sometimes it's a branch manager position, sometimes a wild night out, and often a flimsy illusion that shatters on the rocks of everyday hostility. Yet in this novel on the myth of happiness, Rosei strikes an uncharacteristically conciliatory tone. “And so, those who come eye to eye with the degradations of life and abandon all hope, ultimately still have a right to the happiness they long for.”
The doorbell rings at the 4th floor apartment of the Marboe family. “Something’s up with Tobias!” “Yes, he’s in the next room. We’re just getting the guest room ready for him.” “No, something’s up with him down on the street!” Since that afternoon of 26 December 2018, life for the Marboe family has never been the same. What happened to Golli Marboe is the worst that can happen to a father. Your own son or daughter committing suicide is a taboo subject even today. Marboe has written this book to his son Tobias. In it, he looks back on the first year following the tragedy. Were there signs he should have recognised? Was there anything that could have been done to prevent it? “Notes to Tobias” illustrates a father’s struggle to come to terms with what has happened, but it is also full of love and strength and the courage to carry on.