“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.
The European wildcat population is increasing its spread. Yet most people have never encountered these shy animals, which share few similarities with our domesticated felines. Roaming through the wilderness, from the Scottish Highlands to the Black Sea, they are loved by some and ignored by others. Researchers have been using smart forensic methods to learn more about their secretive life and have discovered that wildcats aren’t as solitary as has long been assumed, nor is their habitat restricted to woodlands. Christine Sonvilla has followed the trails of these striking animals and offers an insight into the hidden lives of Europe’s little tigers.
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.”
Arzt’s narrative instantly sucks the reader into the turbulence of the day on which the “annexation” of Austria was decided on.
It’s April 1938 and student Karl Bleimfeldner returns home to vote against the “annexation” to Nazi Germany – the only dissenting voice in the village. The area is in a state of political frenzy and Karl’s daring action leads to repercussions. Rumours spread. The family falls silent. An overexcited mob sets out to confront the traitor in the woods. In “Voice of Dissent” Thomas Arzt acutely hones in on the 24 hours of April 10, 1938, during which the National Socialists succeeded in seizing power over Austria. Arzt tells the story of his great-uncle – in a feverishly restless tale about conformism, cowardice, hopelessness, fanaticism and resistance.
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.
How a political movement became a profitable label
From political struggle to lucrative catchword – a compelling analysis.
Feminism has undergone an astonishing change of image over the past few years. Superstars bandy about combative statements against sexism to appear politically engaged, advertising campaigns have adopted narratives on female self-determination as a standard tool, and career literature is spiked with calls for empowerment to gain a feminist hue. What is all the hype really about? And what threat does social media pose to the dialogue on equal rights? Beate Hausbichler takes a closer look at the bold claims of feminism which in truth harbour nothing more than self-glorification, image cultivation and marketing – and highlights the considerable threat this poses to a political movement.