Hidden away at Settecento, the shady 'Tsar' runs a modern-day boarding school modelled on Baroque-era music academies. Here, highly gifted boys are trained – and castrated – to enable them to sing the most spectacular roles, like the castrati of Baroque music. When Timo, a young boy with a magical voice, flees to Vienna and his mentor Matteo sets off in search of him, the music world is forced to confront reality. Matteo becomes a street singer and is both the hunter and the hunted. The Tsar is on his tracks and, in order to find Timo, he has to hold his own in the tough world of the homeless. Imbued with the sounds of Baroque opera, Daria Wilke's breathtaking story tells of a secret society that is prepared to pay any price for beauty.
October 26th 1915 was a fateful day for Vienna's leading architect and city planner. It was the day his wife Louise, 18 years his junior, died of cancer. Wagner had started to keep a diary when Louise was first diagnosed and continued to regularly record his memories of better days and comments on current developments. He intended the diary to be a memorial to is unparalleled love for Louise, yet it also reveals the misanthropic despair of a great artist. He considered himself to be at the peak of his craft and felt a Habsburg victory was close, bringing fresh opportunities to realise his plans. But old age afflictions and the miseries of WW1 took a growing toll on his day-to-day life. Rampant anti-Semitism, suffering and paranoia increasingly defined his thoughts. Three years on, the death of this patriarch coincided with the end of the Habsburg empire.
In the second of his autobiographical works, Thomas Bernhard tells of the decision to remove himself from his life. Rather than continue attending school, he starts an apprenticeship in the cellar of a grocery store, on the outskirts of the detested town, in the ghetto of the have-nots and criminals. There he becomes acquainted with society's outcasts. He feels drawn to them and learns for the first time what it means to be accepted and to be 'useful'. Day-to-day life in the cellar turns out to be therapeutic. This place of limbo becomes a refuge, until a severe illness puts a sudden end to Bernhard's apprenticeship. In 'The Cellar', Lukas Kummer finds a relaxed pictorial language for the author's narrative tone. With precise strokes, Kummer accompanies Thomas Bernhard through what was probably the brightest period of his youth and throws a congenial light on the 'cellar'.
Everything consists of a few building blocks, the elements. Nature, people, every single thing. One-hundred-and-fifty years ago, St. Petersburg scientist Dmitri Mendeleev applied a systematic order to all matter. Every element found its permanent place in the periodic table. But the periodic table has always been more than just a chart in the chemistry lab. Michael Pilz brings it to life by recounting the story from the beginning, and looking into the future at the end. He tells us about the old ores and elements of nature and about the antique concept of the four great elements. From the divine art of alchemy through to the scientific world of the periodic table and beyond, he provides a cultural history of world views and describes chemistry as the most joyful science of our time.
Four women at the end of a life stage – and at the beginning of a new one, in which they strike out on an unconventional path with humour and solidarity. Ella finds herself alone in her large period apartment. Finally alone? Or lonely after all? There's Rada, the Rumanian carer of her deceased husband, and Ella's sister, the colourful Maggie, who has returned after her international career. And there’s her neighbour Luise, who's been left for a younger woman. What kind of life do they want to have in their old age? What's possible? What's permitted? Will they be invisible or invincible? Fulfilled or frustrated? And most importantly – will they each live alone or all together? Their answer is brave and unconventional – and soon Ella's large apartment is full of life and heated discussions about politics, family ... and sex.
With reference to the current demands for an 'ethical economy', Ute Frevert explores the difficult relationship between capitalism and morality, and asks whether all goods and services should be categorically and indiscriminately priced into the capitalist market model. Against the backdrop of current debates around common commodities such as water, and services such as assisted dying and prostitution, this question is more relevant than ever. Equally compelling are Frevert's observations on the expectations of fairness, justice and solidarity held by those who participate in today's globalised markets, be it as producers or consumers. What are the consequences of these expectations? Can they effect changes in the markets? And how have morality and economic practices developed in the course of modernity?
Christine Nöstlinger's new vernacular poems are profound, pithy and full of darkly humorous overtones. They tell of hopes and fears, of avarice and of dealing with old age. The work-shy "Jasmin from stairway four" is a drain on her husband's pocket, "West Street Station Rudi" observes life's little and big ladies on the station platform every day, quiet Mr Meier only reveals his secret fantasies of violence to his goldfish – is that reason to call the police? The verses gathered from Christine Nöstlinger's estate provide a nuanced look at life by focusing on the margins of society. A must for all friends of Viennese vernacular poetry and Nöstlinger fans.
Milk is traditionally seen as a healthy staple food, especially in the western world. But its image has seen a significant shift in recent years. Since the cessation of EU milk quotas, the dairy industry has focused on increased production and on opening up new markets, especially in the Asian world. This expansion is leading to changes in the methods of animal husbandry. The rapid development divides milk producers into winners and losers of the restructuring. But what form of milk production do the farmers and consumers want? How healthy is milk in truth? And why is the milk market booming in the first place? What are the positive and negative aspects of this industry? Thomas Stollenwerk has written a factual book about milk that leaves no question unanswered.
Around the world, decisions were made in 1999 that transpired to be highly incendiary. Laczynski delivers a surprising analysis.
Financial bubbles and debt crises, Wladimir Putin and Donald Trump, the rise of China and the demise of Europe, talent shows and "Game of Thrones". Smart phones and social networks, populists and self-promoters, internet billionaires and Me Incs, 9/11 and the endless wars in the Near East – many of the developments that have shaped our era of crises and conflicts have their roots in 1999. It was a time when the future seemed within reach and the hope for world peace and prosperity for all seemed justified rather than naive. "Future's last year. How 1999 changed the world" details how the carnival of optimism came to an end and the course was set for the return of a past we thought had long been overcome.
What's to be done when ordinary life simply becomes too much? When your mother has to go into residential care and the family home must be cleared out and let. When everyone expects the narrator to finally look for a sensible job and start a family? When normality-induced melancholia hits, there's only one thing for it – hit back. Ideally where it’s least expected. A revolt is instigated in the care home; Jola delivers inflammatory speeches in her sequinned gown; the local youth gang of "domestic poachers" turns life in the small town upside down; a kidnapping morphs into a seaside mini-break, much to the delight of the home's residents. And then suddenly Malina appears. Malina, who’s prepared to do almost anything and sometimes oversteps the mark.