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Book Review: Deconstructing Karl Kraus

Book Review: Deconstructing Karl Kraus

It has to be an event when a writer who is “arguably America’s greatest living novelist” (so says the dust jacket blurb) goes to great lengths to present a revered and particularly difficult Austrian author to an American reading public in a meticulously produced annotated dual-language edition.  The result is an unusual and unusually challenging […]

Book Review: Voices in Exile

Book Review: Voices in Exile

“By banning Jewish composers, Hitler’s Reich amputated an essential limb from the body of German cultural continuity,” writes Michael Haas in his groundbreaking book on Jewish musicians persecuted by the Third Reich, entitled Forbidden Music: The Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis, published by Yale University Press in April. The former producer of Decca’s ‘Entartete […]

Book Review: Between Avant-Garde and Mass-Market High Culture

Book Review: Between Avant-Garde and Mass-Market High Culture

How do foreigners think of Austria? Ask a German or an Italian – as the Federal Ministry of Economy did in 2005 – and the top two responses are “Mozart” and “Sissi & Franzl”, the icons of music and monarchy. In fact, nearly all the figures named in the study – Freud, Klimt, Schiele, Strauss […]

Book Review: Media Madness in New Croatia

Book Review: Media Madness in New Croatia

“What’s up?“ “A blockhead is driving me nuts. I recommended him as a correspondent in Iraq. He’s gone there, and now he’s not reporting.” “Oo, sounds unpleasant!” Markatovic said. Sitting in the newsroom in Zagreb, Toni is beside himself: He should have known better than to hire his misfit cousin as a fledgling correspondent to […]

Book Review: The Parodoxical Erwin Schrödinger in Love and Work

Book Review: The Parodoxical Erwin Schrödinger in Love and Work

by Rennie Sweeney The intricacies of a life are woven inextricably into the weave of work and the professional world. In Erwin Schrödinger and the Quantum Revolution, biographer John Gribbin follows the thread through the Austrian physicist’s fascinating, often eyebrow-raising life alongside scientific milestones. Pleasantly readable, it’s an introduction to seminal ideas for those unfamiliar […]

Book Review: The Tale of Jozef Tiso: Priest, Politician, Collaborator

Book Review: The Tale of Jozef Tiso: Priest, Politician, Collaborator

While the tumultuous years from 1914-1945 are surely the most researched, and written-about in modern history, the story of the priest-turned-president Jozef Tiso and the fascist Slovak Republic he presided over has been inaccessible to the Anglophone world. But no longer. With the publication of James Mace Ward’s Priest, Politician, Collaborator: Jozef Tiso and the […]

Book Review: The Sleepwalkers

Book Review: The Sleepwalkers

For as long as history has been recorded, those writing it down have sought lofty justifications and simplified reasons behind tragic events. That is certainly the case with World War I—an affair that on the eve of its hundredth anniversary, has already inspired some 25,000 books, all striving to explain an event that quite literally […]

Book Review: Gathering Evidence

Book Review: Gathering Evidence

In addition to his plays, novels and poetry, Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard published an autobiography in five separate volumes in 1975, 1976, 1978, 1981 and 1982. Soon after, it was compiled into one and reissued as Gathering Evidence, a memoir, translated from the German by David McLintock. Never one for simple linear narration, Bernhard’s familiar […]

Book Review: Polish Patriot, Soldier, Spy

Book Review: Polish Patriot, Soldier, Spy

“In the Underground, it became a rule not to live in one place too long,” writes Jan Karski, in his memoir of the Polish resistance. Agents moved quickly from site to site in Nazi-occupied Europe. In Warsaw, they were beaten but fighting on, navigating borders while carrying messages to an outside world that wasn’t ready […]

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