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Ray Monk: Biographer For a New Age of Anxiety

Ray Monk: Biographer For a New Age of Anxiety

“He was difficult,” philosopher Ray Monk told me, as we sat over coffee at Café Landtmann talking about Ludwig Wittgenstein. “He knew how to please people – he grew up with impeccable manners – but he felt it was incompatible with the kind of person he wanted to be.  So later in life, he was […]

Murder and Mélange at Vienna’s Popular Kriminacht

Murder and Mélange at Vienna’s Popular Kriminacht

The crime rate was definitely up on 18 September, as local and international writers of detective fiction moved in on Vienna’s coffeehouses, reading from their high-tension stories of murder and mayhem. This year’s Kriminacht hosted 63 book readings in 54 locations – such a wide panoply demands a serious bit of sleuthing to make what […]

Book Review: Tatort Kaffeehaus, by Edith Kneifl

Crime at the Kaffeehaus: a Mélange of Books and Authors The Viennese coffee-house may have literary connections, but it is not usually associated with a Tatort, the site of an illicit deed. However, on a single evening in mid-September more than 45 Vienna coffee houses were indeed the backdrop for crime. The seventh annual Kriminacht […]

Tradition Under Threat

It is early Sunday afternoon, Oct. 31 at the Café Wortner in the 4th district, one of Vienna’s most appealing traditional cafes, recently voted “Best Kaffeehaus in Vienna” by the Chamber of Commerce (WKO) earlier this year. Partly it’s the setting, set back behind a fountain in a small triangular pocket park on the Wiedner […]

Mélange & Molière

Mélange & Molière

A minute table and two chairs next to a towering bookshelf was the only seat still available at Café Phil on this rainy evening. How convenient. Too convenient almost. There had to be a catch. But then again, the literary café, bookstore and cinema buffet is hard to categorise. I let that thought go and […]

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