Two people make a pair, or a couple, and their relationships can be ruins, arenas, traps, abysses, fulfilment. Coincidence, desire, and life itself create amazing couples: A little girl and her imaginary father make a fantastic pair of liars; a young woman teams up with her unborn child against its father who is interested in his art only; a prisoner and his visitor share intense memories through the glass that separates them.
These are some of the encounters Erika Pluhar describes in this book. All of them reveal the magic that arises in any relationship between two people, be they just acquaintances or lovers, a powerful and fascinating energy that inevitably shows its effect on everyone involved. The stories tell how people change whenever they cling to each other, find each other, lose themselves in each other – whenever they meet, touch or find the magic of being twosome.
It must have been an irresistible joy for Günter Brus to invent these “stories”, and they definitely make an irresistible read. The book contains a collection of legends, anecdotes, fables, parables, or “bonsai novelettes”, as Brus himself called them with a twinkle in his eye.
Whatever you call them, they burst with inventiveness and ignite the firework of a literary pyromaniac.
Pepi Prohaska is a young man with lots of imagination and no less chutzpah. One day it occurs to him that God has something in mind for him. At first he retreats to the outskirts of Vienna. Later he will be gathering disciples around him, will send letters with a spirit of contradiction to politicians and finally he will disappear mysteriously.
His biographer Engelbert, who had gone to school with him, describes this career with a mixture of fascination and religious fear. Their paths cross, sometimes in a funny, sometimes in a fatal way. The constellation of the reluctant friend and the provocative hero is one of the finest attractions of this book. A great picaresque novel, full of pranks and holy rage.
"Pepi Prohaska Prophet", first edition published in 1986, was Peter Henisch's first book at the Residenz Verlag. Now, twenty years later, a revised and extended reprint is available.
Bulgaria? Backward, corrupt and lazy?
As the new ambassador in London, Varadin Dimitrov, is designated to enhance the image of Bulgaria in the West. When he rings the bell at the respectable address of the embassy in Kensington one morning, he finds that there is indeed a lot of work ahead of him: a provincial mayor at hangover breakfast, the cook at loggerheads with his wife, the vacuum cleaner – broken.
Indeed, the civilized world owes thanks to Bulgaria for the invention of the water closet, but that does not help the new ambassador on his mission, nor does the fact that his predecessor refuses to clear the house as he is desperately fighting his return home. And above all: the freezer in the cellar houses ducks kidnapped by the Russian Mafia.
Mission impossible? Varadin Dimitrov seeks assistance with a PR-Agency that promises him access to London's high society – glitter, glamour and dozens of celebrities. One of them is his cleaning lady; she leads a double life and moreover she's been dead for the longest time. There's something terribly wrong here, isn't it ….
Alek Popov tells of the East in the West and the West in the East. In this novel full of wonderful characters he tells a story of pure folly, sounding as if all of this were not in the least bit funny.
English translation available
At seventeen, daughters never have an easy time with their mothers: The leech is always too short and in Czechoslovakia it must be still a bit shorter. When people say "a chip off the old block" mothers are usually more pleased than daughters. Jasmine Bukovská does not give her mom any reason for such a pleasure as she resembles her aunt: the woman whom her father loved and still loves.
Marriage was thwarted by family reason. Then came Róza, the younger sister, satisfied her curiosity about life with the would-be brother-in-law, got pregnant and could be married. Three daughters sprang from this marriage: Iris, Jasmine and Kamilla. Life gets cramped at home as well as in the entire country. Spring in the year 1968 is the time of the great departure: Iris, the elder sister takes advantage of a gap in the Iron Curtain and emigrates to the United States of America, and also for Jasmine the temptation of leaving home and her home country behind grows ….
Zdenka Becker is at home between two countries and in two languages. In a questioning tone, but without vain over-verbalization she tells of the loss of old commitments and the search for a new identity.
Carried off to Europe as a slave, a souvenir of an Africa expedition Gatterbauertwo is second footman to his master Alois Gatterbauer and looking for his home Uganda. After a time of meandering and after many detours he ends up in Hungary, goes to the dogs, and at the home of Count Pallavicini he is to be turned into a cultivated, converted catholic butler. He learns quickly: manners, waiting, German – but most of all he learns to hate.
When heir apparent Franz Ferdinand is killed in Serbia and World War I breaks loose he is well prepared for his new role: He goes to war – for a strange emperor, a strange god, and a country that is not his.
How can you survive Europe, the wild continent, the permanent war in the heart of darkness? And what does humanity mean, when man is nothing more than a cue ball of foreign powers – slave, soldier, object to look on, object of lust, a commodity?
Based on meticulously researched historic material Max Blaeulich draws the picture of a society degenerated to the core: Europe, a culture where moral values have been perverted by racist arrogance and greed; Europe, gloriously stumbling across dead bodies from one catastrophe into the next.
The quote from Dostoevsky tunes in for a grotesque pitch. Blaeulich is a master of this field, and he is in good company: Gogol, Canetti, Gombrowicz, Carlo Emilio Gadda, Sergio Pitol, just to name a few. The genre of the grotesque itself is a blossom of baroque art. Blaeulich is a baroque author not only because of his characterisations, but also because of his roaming, straying, slope-searching way of storytelling. LEOPOLD FÖDERMAIER, NZZ
Geobiological influences on the human body. The book presents the results of the authors fact-research of more than 3000 home- and workingplace-analizes.
Deeper causations concerning insomnia and illness could be found by uncovering geophatic disruptions.
They flock his book launch presentations. At his lectures they stand in line for getting dedications and personalized autographs. And when they have finished reading his latest book they write him letters. Yes, women love him – and he loves them in return. But who are those others, whom Dietmar Grieser renders homage to when he is to himself, aside from his professional life. In twenty-eight sometimes very personal portraits he makes them take curtain calls: women who in certain phases of his life have meant a lot to him, have left a very special impression on him, perhaps have shaped him, in any case women who have secured themselves a permanent place in Dietmar Grieser’s memory. Women, whom he met personally and who have accompanied him for some time on the paths that led him through life, find themselves next to others, whose fate has won him over. And yet others whose picture he “only” got to know in literature, in music, in pieces of the Fine Arts or on film screens.
Dietmar Grieser, the literary investigator: the man who found the bestseller gene.