Economic crises, the success of populist parties, the return of nationalistic reflexes, the rapidly advancing digitalisation of everyday life and work are reason enough for pessimism. Discussions are held in an increasingly aggressive tone, blatantly displayed ignorance rules the virtual and real-world debates. It seems as if everyone has an opinion, but nobody has any idea where the socio-political journey is taking us. All the more welcome is this guide for living in such unsettled times – knowledgeable and well-founded, yet with plenty of humour and irony. This is a book that engagingly addresses the big topics of the present age: populism, fear of downward mobility and pressure to perform, increased harshness of communication, yearning for leadership, anxiety about the future.
A book about responsibilities, the meaning of life and happiness in our age. We live in a hysterical time. A time that enables material wealth and incessant communication, but abandons the individual to his feelings isolation. After the failure of the big political utopias, our longing for happiness, attachment and closeness is all the greater, but we are trapped in our fragmented, accelerated day-to-day lives. The humanist psychologist and author Catalin Dorian Florescu counters this with the image of a serene, creative person capable of relating to others. In the autonomous concentration on their own self, the individual can overcome the attention crisis of our times and build meaningful relationships to others and the world around them.
Green Islam – The beginning of a global environmental movement
How does the Muslim world deal with ecological issues? What is different about Eco-Islam? When and where did the first initiatives spring up? And how do Muslims incorporate this new awareness into their daily lives? The Eco-Islam movement is a strong voice in the battle for climate protection, from the founding of the environmental protection organisation IFEES by the British national Fazlun Khalid, through to the international Istanbul Conference in 2015. Wider society also plays an important role, providing commitment and new solutions. Ursula Kowanda-Yassin casts a critical eye on Europe, the US, the Arab World and Asia. This book is the first to offer a journey through the diverse world of Muslim endeavours for sustainability.
Adolf Holl has many professions: priest, scholar, prophet, heretic, writer, provocateur and eroticist. Born in Vienna in 1930 and ordained to priesthood in 1954, his international best-seller “Jesus in Bad Company” (1971, originally published in German as “Jesus in schlechter Gesellschaft”) brought him into conflict with the Catholic Church. As a result, his licence to teach was withdrawn and he was suspended from his priestly duties. His quick-witted questioning earned him rebuke from church authorities, but also great prominence. Harald Klauhs, a highly knowledgeable authority on Holl’s work, has now written a biography of this wayward thinker. Holl’s life as a tour de force through western intellectual history is at the same time a description of the Second Austrian Republic.
He was a controversial figure, decried as a pornographer, and had to fight for recognition. When Egon Schiele died of the Spanish flu at the age of 28, he left behind a vast oeuvre of 330 paintings and almost 3000 works on paper. Gregor Mayer portrays this extraordinary artist’s journey through life. He describes the context in which Schiele’s artistry developed and the sources from which he drew his inspiration. A sense of crisis, a notion of impending upheaval overshadowed the era in which Schiele was active. This outlook is not entirely alien to us. What makes this book particularly appealing is that Gregor Mayer succeeds in establishing a connection to our current times via Schiele’s life story.
With intellectual precision and an uncompromising approach, Olga Flor takes a stand against the kind of populist propaganda that is currently so eager to pose as representing the perceived majority opinion of a vaguely defined section of the public. These “politics of emotion” exploit justified fears, rather than analyse their true cause. The increasing lack of economic transparency and growing information density are their feeding ground, simplistic finger-pointing and “gut feelings” their ideological capital. Against this, Olga Flor sets the need for a public discourse that permits dissension and doesn’t shy away from the complexity of the facts, that aims to enlighten rather than obscure.
“Bad people are always fine.” With this mantra and other cynical remarks, the narrator has made himself the revered as well as hated focal point of a bored upper class clique. What nobody knows is that he lives off badly paid mini jobs and a very unusual gift: alcohol turns him into a mind reader. He’s a fraud who exploits the stupidity of the shallow hipster gang, but he’s also a charming improvisation artist who finds true love in the glamorous Tarán. Driven by necessity, he entangles himself in an increasingly absurd web of lies, in which tattooed Mafia bosses and wild car chases are part of everyday life. But this balancing act only succeeds until Mr Neubauer turns up...
Jana, the ambitious daughter of a tired-out hotel owner in the Slovakian Tatras, only has her beauty to help her realise her dreams of a better and more exciting life in the wealthy West. She encounters the profiteer Gstettner, who conducts his murky dealings from Vienna. No matter whether it’s fake designer goods or desperate refugees, Gstettner will trade with anything. Tone Kral, a farmer’s son from the Slovenian Karst region who ekes out a living as a waiter and gigolo, and the aged Viennese theatre critic Kalman complete the quartet. Eager for life, the four characters try to make their way in the grey zone between the old and new political order.
The founding years of the Austrian Republic 1918-1920
The war had come to an end, the monarchy was in ruins, the Kaiser abdicated. New states were hurriedly formed: one of them called itself the Republic of German-Austria. As yet, no borders had been defined for the new state, there was no constitution to govern the political structure. German-Austria wanted to attach itself to the German Reich, Vorarlberg to Switzerland and a few territories flirted with free-state ideas. At the same time, the founding years of the First Republic were also a great awakening towards modernity. They laid the basis for a social democracy, included women in the political process and brought a new zest for life. The authors provide a panoramic view of the experimental laboratory of a nation’s self-discovery – leading to the birth of the Austrian Republic.
Women aren’t like that, they’re totally different...
Uli Brée, creator of the Austrian satirical TV series “Vorstadtweiber”, tells stories about women. Stories that are moving or refreshingly funny, sincere or dishonest, poetically condensed or truthfully remembered. Nothing in this book actually occurred quite like that, yet it’s exactly how it happened. Uli Brée shines a light into dark corners, pays homage to bygone amours, lures us into a world of real and virtual desires and reveals himself as one who never stopped gazing in wonder at the strange yet familiar world of women. But most of all he reminds us of our own amorous adventures – as well as the subsequent comedowns. “A head for heights” speaks about first sex, crushes, moist boyhood fantasies, absurd dreams, the great passion, hormones and chocolate, and journeys through a dating app. It is a sensual and almost honest book which Uli Brée dedicates to all women, from A for adorable to Z for zonked.