What is good for our mental wellbeing, from our baby years to old age? We live in times where mental illness and confusion are on the rise, our society is rapidly changing, and people are more and more stressed and overwhelmed. Only a few years ago, philosophers described this phenomenon as "a society of fatigue". Increasingly this fatigue seems to expand into fear and helplessness. The authors take readers on a journey through the wondrous world of our psyche. They answer questions that we have all encountered when our minds enter a state of emergency and they ask further questions in a world that's becoming crazier each day.
70, 000 years ago, humans were first able to form a thought about something that didn't exist. What sounds simple actually marks the birth of human culture and poses the outset for a range of inventions that have formed human nature and haven't necessarily changed us for the better. We thought up myths and religions and invented languages, money and racism. Now humankind is about to complete its greatest invention: itself. Science allows us to continue our own evolution. Renée Schroeder looks back at the short period of humankind's existence, takes a detour into genetics and proclaims a new age of enlightenment.
25 years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Europe's democracies are in a deep crisis. Old political camps are fading: the left is trading revolution for nationalism; the right is borrowing a useful enemy – the banks – from the left. It causes Boris Schumatsky great dismay to see the growing success of Russia's autocrats. Whether right, left or middle: Ruling is fun, freedom is tough. During the 1990s, a wave of postmodernism seemed to promise everlasting peace. Now the ease of those days, and with it an inability to tell apart truth and lies, has turned into a populist monster.
Boris Schumatsky delivers an astute analysis of current political trends and future prospects.
Rental chickens, guerilla grafting and other everyday ideas for a better world
How can we improve our carbon footprint while keeping our lifestyle? How can we stay aware and treat the environment with care? Thomas Weber has the answers and provides ideas that anyone can follow. Initiatives like "rent a chicken", "chop some thujas" and "free your slaves" are concepts that are unusual, but easy to translate into everyday life.
After the great success of "A Good Day has 100 Points", this sequel offers new ideas for a more sustainable lifestyle. Thomas Weber's suggestions are creative, fresh, and appealing.
The opening of the Psychedelic Shop on Haight & Ashbury on January 3, 1966 is not only the beginning of an era in pop culture. Ken Kasey and the Merry Pranksters are touring through the US with their public LSD Happenings. Even the Beatles are on acid and they're more famous than Jesus. And more controversial, too. In London's UFO club, Pink Floyd begin their ascent to the stars, just like Captain Kirk, Spock, and Bones. The cold war moves to outer space and students start moving to the streets. And a white whale is sighted in the Rhine…
Frank Schäfer paints a colorful collage of the year when postwar blandness was replaced by psychedelic pink paisley.
Austria's most famous female author of the 19th century was underestimated as a "poet of kindness & grace", yet she was so much more: Poetic realist, playwright, aphorist, proponent of women's rights, fighter of anti-Semitism, officer's wife, trained watchmaker, animal friend, and avid horseback rider. In the first German biography since 1920, Daniela Strigl traces Ebner-Eschenbachs life from her birth in Zdislavice castle to her late fame as an author. The multi-faceted author was always torn between her aristocratic background and her socialist opinions, between ethics and irony, ambition and humility, social obligations and her passion for writing. Maria von Ebner-Eschenbach unwaveringly held on to her goals, despite resistance from her family and bad reviews from theater critics. "If there is a belief that can move mountains, then it is the belief in one's own strength."
Hans-Jürgen Heinrichs in conversation with Gerhard Roth
To his interviewer, writer and ethnologist Hans-Jürgen Heinrichs, Gerhard Roth is not only the last great epic novelist, daring to write cycles such as “Die Archive des Schweigens” and “Orkus”, he is also one of the greatest masters of language, transgressing the boundaries between literature and history. In this in-depth, lively dialogue the two men fathom Roth’s great novels and address personal subjects such as the origins of writing, the significance of memory and indeed death. The reader embarks on the “Journey into the Unspeakable” Roth takes in his writing.
Thomas Bernhard was all that and more, as this comprehensive biography shows. The acknowledged expert Manfred Mittermayer has drawn together Bernhard’s life and work into one great story, reaching from his ‘origin complex’ – his grandfather Johannes Freumbichler’s family – to his premature death following years of illness. Mittermayer creates a nuanced picture of Bernhard’s multi-layered public image and the various phases of his private life, placing his most significant works of prose and theatre in relation to a life story inseparably bound to post-war history.
“I cannot deny that I’ve always led two existences: one which comes close to the truth, which I do have the right to describe as reality, and another which I have played out. Over time, the two together have formed the existence which keeps me alive.”
Thomas Bernhard, Der Keller (The Cellar – part II of his autobiography)
Still in brutal solitary confinement in the Mauthausen concentration camp at the beginning of the year, Nazi prisoner Leopold Figl awaits his trial on death row. In April, as the Russians already begin to enter Vienna, he’s released. Soon after Figl organises the improvised Viennese food supply. In May, he became the first Governor of Lower Austria. Finally, he led the People's Party in November in the parliamentary elections, which made him the first Chancellor of the Second Republic. Based on meticulous research Helmut Wohnout allows the life of Leopold Figl to make the year 1945 eventful in a new whole new light.
How Fundamentalism and the Surveillance State Threaten Our Democracy
Terrorist attacks and radicalisation directly cause oppression in Western society. The fear of "Islam" is associated with the expansion of the surveillance state. But how does Islamist terrorism impact us? Are fears of "foreign infiltration" justified? Or do they rather serve as a pretext for massive government intervention in our freedom? Christa Chorherr tirelessly shows how big the dangers of Islamism and terrorism in Europe really are – and what the consequences are for us all: state "protection", which degenerates into the escalating use of endlessly collected personal data and which leads to the increasing loss of our privacy.