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.
K. is an occasional critic, a second-tier commentator who nevertheless writes about important books for a number of well-known broadcasting companies. The discussions he holds with editors about recent publications by Martin Walser, Martin Mosebach, Thomas Hettche, Fritz J. Raddatz and many others are outspoken, witty and direct. At the same time, K. is increasingly preoccupied by questions of survival and moves from Stuttgart to Leipzig because the rents are cheaper. But the fight over time slots for book reviews gets harder ... Has K. himself become incapable of continuing his work, or is he the victim of a book review that is committing self-eradication?
Who can see through the jungle of Austria’s latest economic scandals? What caused them, who was pulling which strings and who made money out of them? Following years of research, investigative journalist Ashwien Sankholkar looks for answers and documents the nation’s most controversial corruption cases. Each one is like a crime thriller – from the Eurofighter scandal to the Buwog affair, from the Telekom Austria case to the Burgtheater scandal. But how did the mismanagement occur? Was it preventable? What could repeat itself? Sankholkar delivers a highly topical chronicle of the scandals and sketches out his personal approach regarding solutions. It is a spectacular book that provides a valuable contribution to the debate.
Nikolaus Harnoncourt devoted himself to the study of early music, the way it is played and the sound of period instruments from an early age. In 1953 he founded the famous Concentus Musicus with his wife Alice and other musicians. This was to provide a forum for his work on period instruments and the historic performance practice of renaissance and baroque music. It was not until four years later that the Concentus Musicus first performed in public. Alice Harnoncourt has brought together the unpublished diary entries and notes of her husband, which recount his explorations on the trail of early musical sounds. It is a fascinating and entertaining journey, during which Harnoncourt had to accomplish much to listen his way towards the original period sound.
We are taught to set ourselves targets. We train our body and function in accordance with social protocols. We try to be successful and a perfect partner in matters of the heart. But this balancing act is often not achieved. The body becomes tired and threatens to buckle under the stress, or we experience inner conflict. But who is in the right: body, heart or mind? How do I become me, and who am I? Our thoughts appear to be free, but in truth are tied to our body. Georg Fraberger, himself severely physically disabled from birth, illustrates how we can lead a balanced life through the harmonious connection of body, heart and mind.
Born into a Jewish pre-war family in Vienna, Fritzi’s childhood is characterised by visits to the Viennese Prater and early romances. As a young woman, she flees to England to escape Nazi persecution. She marries Theo, returns to Vienna and is a vivacious and warm-hearted mother to her daughter Lea. But sometimes, Fritzi is so overcome with a nameless sorrow that she cannot get out of bed in the morning. Later, her daughter Lea’s life also seems to be a success, full to the brim with marriage, children, grandchildren and career. Yet she too is haunted by dark dreams and family memories. When more and more people arrive in Vienna fleeing war and terror in Syria and Afghanistan, this challenges Lea’s feeling of helplessness and her successful life threatens to fall apart.