There is a longing. A longing for a certain sensation, for a home town called Damascus, for the smell of jasmine. Jad Turjman is a young Syrian who enjoys his life to the full until war breaks out. When his call-up order arrives, he is quick to decide: fleeing to Europe is his only option if he wants to escape certain death. His chosen path is risky and arduous, but he encounters five "guardian angels" along the way. Eventually Turjman arrives in a place that he did not seek, where he is able to plant his jasmine again. Jad Turjman describes his escape with unparalleled intensity and sharp humour, subjecting the reader to a roller-coaster of emotions. Breathtaking.
Who was Gerhard Fritsch? One of the most significant Austrian authors of the post-war era, to be named in the same breath as Hans Lebert or Thomas Bernhard? A highly active literary figure, who as a reviewer, editor, critic and member of numerous juries significantly influenced the literary world of his time? A driven individual, who was married three times, fathered four children and in the end hanged himself dressed in women's clothes? The author of "Moos auf den Steinen" and "Fasching" who cut his life short was all that and more. Accessible to the public for the first time, his diaries offer an insight into his creative crises, flights of fancy and private transvestite yearnings. But above all, they show us Gerhard Fritsch as a tireless writer and enable an entirely new reading of his work.
"Whatever you need, you take" Vienna in a gold rush: World War two is over, the black markets are booming, and shady characters are on their way to a new life. The brilliant first part of Rosei's cycle "Wiener Dateien" (Vienna files) span the period from corruption in postwar Vienna to the fancy homes of affluent business people in the 1980s.
With artistic ease, he creates an intricate web entangling the lives of parvenus and bon vivants, professors and politicians, perfect wives and superwomen. At the center of it all are Alfred and Georg, two very different friends: One is an anarchist, the other a baby boomer. Rosei's novel is intense, enthusiastically written prose portraying a city where everything has its price and nothing is sacred…
Henriette Lauber can look back at a life full of creativity and hard work. As a film cutter she experienced different worlds while working alongside her beloved husband. But all this was long ago and now she leads a withdrawn and almost isolated life in a small flat in the center of town. Her godson from Western Sahara, a politically active man who works in Algerian refugee camps, is the sole recipient of her love and attention. Then a dizzy spell in the hallway leads her to meet Linda, her young neighbor who begins to take care of Henriette and increasingly seeks her presence… Erika Pluhar tells the story of a friendship between to very different women, describing life patterns, the process of aging, and transience.
In memory of his idol Thomas Bernhard, the internationally renowned artist Erwin Wurm has created a unique special edition. In dedication to the author, Wurm has produced a series of new drawings – affectionate, wry and very personal. "The Cause" and its consequences: in five stories between fact and fiction Thomas Bernhard laid bare how he became the author he was – from his childhood and boarding school days in Salzburg, his apprenticeship and studies, through to his isolation in a lung sanatorium at the age of eighteen. Those who want to understand Thomas Bernhard's world will find the key to it here.
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.
One December evening, a bright pink long-distance bus bearing the inscription SPERANZA sets off on its journey from Vienna to Romania. The nocturnal drive brings together people who spend their life in the grey zones of Europe’s labour market. Their pay secures their family’s subsistence, their absence creates new problems. Florin hires himself out as a harvest hand to enable his mother in Bucharest to retire. Daiana cleans private homes in Vienna, even though she has a degree. Ioan, one of the drivers, recounts his first border crossing. “Autobus Ultima Speranza” finds a language for a life spent continuously on the hop, for the hopes and disappointments, the restlessness and structural violence that accompany it.
Fear is a basic human emotion, but it shouldn’t rule a person’s life. Everyone feels fear at certain times. It is a primal feeling that can dominate our being. Nothing is as defining as mental anxiety. Fear paralyses us. Makes us ill. But it can also drive us to peak performance. Fear opens the gates of the human psyche for numerous mental disturbances: Panic, phobias and personal worries, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders and addictions. What is the nature of fear? What function does it have? How can fear be utilised or overcome? Why do people seek out fear by watching horror films or by participating in extreme sports? In their new book, Georg Psota and Michael Horowitz provide answers to these questions and present a way out of fear.
From Austrian writer Adalbert Stifter to Rawlplugs, from Sebastian Brant’s “Ship of Fools” to the alarm system that his wife would like for Christmas, from holy relics to unholy bigots: Alois Brandstetter addresses the minutiae of everyday existence and the big questions of life with equal measures of inquisitiveness, insight and irony. Encounters with curious contemporaries and contemporary concepts give rise to reflections that are full of knowledge and worldly wisdom. The “certification of existence” which Brandstetter has to provide to the German Pension Department every year inspires him to deliver one of the most assertive and meaningful “signs of life” in this wonderfully enjoyable book.
For Albert Einstein she was “our Madame Curie”, for the Nazis an unwanted Jew and for the tabloid press “the mother of the atom bomb”. Only the second woman to receive a doctorate in physics, Lise Meitner graduated from the University of Vienna in 1906 and established herself in the male dominated science community. In 1938 she fled from the National Socialists and settled in Sweden, where she achieved her big breakthrough together with Otto Frisch: the discovery of the principle of nuclear fission. But the Nobel Prize she deserved eluded her. She spent the final years of her life in Cambridge. The authors paint a portrait of Meitner’s life against the backdrop of the rapid progress of nuclear physics and the great catastrophes of the 20th century, and provide new insights in the world of this unique scientist.