"Topografie der Erinnerung" is a collection of the brilliant essayist's most striking speeches and articles. They deal with topics as diverse as the massacre of Reichnitz in the last weeks of the war; so-called "Reibepartien" (scrub groups) where Jews were humiliated and forced to scrub the street; the myth of Galicia; Poland and Ukraine's postwar history; or Pollack's own family's entanglement with the Nazis. His investigations are always astute and critical, they are always aimed at keeping memory alive and against false claims of innocence. Time and again he asks the key question of memory politics: How can and must we deal with these memories today?
Every Saturday, three superheroines meet in a run-down café called Sette Fontane. There is Mascha, the brave supportive one, Direktorka, the inexperienced one ready for adventure, and Marija's granddaughter who has a flexible conscience and revenge in her veins. The three have dark, chaotic powers and want to bring justice to Vienna's suburbs as they plan a futile uprising of the middle class. "Lightening of Fate" and "Annihilation" are the weapons that grandma Marija already successfully used to destabilize an entire country. After failed appearances and painful years of learning in Berlin, Belgrade, Sarajevo and other cities, our three superheroines ultimately find triumph in the darkest of all happy ends.
Lechner's stories collide like waves. They pass on words, images, or moods, flow into one another and yet, remain self-contained. They are uncanny and high-spirited and tell us about desperate lakes and knees to fall in love with. They are about films we vaguely remember and brightly lit cities, silently bursting bubbles of blood and summers long brushed aside. They are all at home in a language where something new and unexpected awaits behind each turn. Lechner achieves this feat with humor, the absurd and sentences that give us a touch of the ungraspable.
Lilly spends seven summers with her Italian friends on Sardinia, savoring the uncomplicated, delightful air of an endless vacation – and time spent with Gianni, who is the opposite of a Latin lover, but impossible to forget. Seven winters bring Lilly back to Vienna and the unpleasant routine of her daily life: Her ex-husband has a new, young girlfriend, her best friend dies of cancer, and her father comes out of the closet and writes a tell-all book about it. And so Lilly escapes into a fantasy world, dreaming of life with Gianni, of having a child. But the last summer forces her to finally bring her wishes and reality face to face.
The successful intercultural theatre project “Wiener Wortstaetten” is celebrating its tenth birthday. Since 2005 it has hosted theatrical productions by writers from various countries speaking various languages and reflecting the diversity of the capital Vienna: Turkey, Russia, Iran, Bulgaria and states from the former Yugoslavia have all been represented. As well as enriching German-language literature with their stories, writing and performing for the ”Wiener Wortstaetten”, each writer also cooked unique soups, mixing ingredients from their old and new homes.
Short stories and recipes by Ibrahim Amir, Susanne Ayoub, Ana Bilic, Seher Cakir, Yasmin Hafedh, Michal Hvorecky, Jérôme Junod, Ursula Knoll, Rhea, Krcmárová, Valerie Melichar, Barbi Markovic, Azar Mortazavi, Goran Novakovic, Dominic Oley, Ewald Palmetshofer, Thomas Perle, Semir Plivac, Julya Rabinowich, Andreas Sauter, Gerhild Steinbuch, Marianne Strauhs, Bernhard Studlar, Robert Woelfl
Witty and inquisitive, Alois Brandstetter goes in search of his patron saint and namesake Aloysius. The journey takes him to Mantua in Italy at the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The thoroughly chaste Aluigi, who died young, has just been beatified, and his mother is looking to have his portrait painted for the new church being built in his name. The job is offered to Rubens of all people, whose work celebrates the pleasures of the flesh, but he turns it down and recommends the boy wonder Van Dyck, nineteen and highly talented. Letters fly between Mantua and Amsterdam. Will Aluigi’s Portrait ever be painted? Perhaps not on canvas but certainly in the form of an enchanting historical fantasy created by Alois Brandstetter.
Baku, Azerbaijan, spring 2011: the city is in uproar, protests against the authoritarian regime are growing louder. In the midst of it are Ali and Nino, Frida and Che, two young couples fighting not only against state repression but for their love, for freedom and self-determination, for happiness and a life they can call their own. Yet Verena Mermer evokes more than just the political struggles and everyday life in one of the last dictatorships on Europe’s borders. Her wonderful debut also plays an enthralling game with its characters, with the times and places, the myths of revolution and love and lures us into the labyrinth of poetic invention.
Love them or not, birthdays are unavoidable, not only ours but our uncles and aunts, parents and lovers, grandmas and grandpas, friends who don’t want to get older and children who can’t wait to. This book even considers people who flee to the ends of the earth (or the next bar) at the mere mention of a birthday party, as well as the chosen few with birthdays on 29 February, 1 May or New Year’s Eve or people already reborn a few times. Twenty-five contemporary authors have brought gifts: unusual, touching and unbelievable ‘birthday presents’. Reason enough to celebrate.
With short stories by Polly Adler, Ela Angerer, Bettina Baláka, Ruth Cerha, Friedrich Dönhoff, Petra Hartlieb, Monika Held, Peter Henisch, Wolfgang Hermann, Margarita Kinstner, Elisabeth Klar, Edith Kneifl, Konrad Paul Liessmann, Heidi List, Klaus Nüchtern, Klaus Oppitz, Kurt Palm, Verena Petrasch, Eva Rossmann, Tex Rubinowitz, David Schalko, Susanne Scholl, Dirk Stermann, Cornelia Travnicek, Anna Weidenholzer and lyrics by the band Gustav.
Following his time as an apprentice Bruno Melzer’s hopes for his time as His Own Master are not fulfilled. The dream of independence soon proves to be a fragile utopia. He undergoes a painful disillusion process doing monotonous work on a factory conveyor belt, then loses his remaining vestiges of freedom as a one night stand makes him a father. But along with the story of the worker Bruno, this famous novel paints a broader picture of social conditions and attitudes at the time, and remains highly relevant today.
Marriages might be made in heaven but they are lived out here on earth – for some a floor lower… Even beforehand, when choosing a partner, those keen to marry are faced with a tricky decision: money or love? There are countless traps, which even royal marriage-hopefuls can fall into: Henry VIII of England fell victim to the Photoshop effect back in the sixteenth century when he requested portraits of suitable marriage candidates. After the ceremony is completed it’s often no easier: who turns out to wear the trousers? And rumours of a blissful two-fold union are a myth: one half turns out to come with a mother-in-law, the other can’t manage with just one woman. And the dictates of church and state follow the couple right into the bedroom. Till death us do part. But help is at hand.