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Book Review: Askold Melnyczuk’s The House of Widows

Book Review: Askold Melnyczuk’s The House of Widows

Hawelka at Noon Where does character come from? When we write, is it about what we observe, or about what we are? In making sense of our lives, we create a narrative and so in part, we are all works of fiction. I met Askold Melnyczuk in Cafe Hawelka in Vienna’s 1st District just before […]

Torberg in Exile

Torberg in Exile

Friedrich Torberg loved to write letters. When he died in Vienna in 1979, he left behind some 50,000 pages of correspondence to a wide circle of friends and acquaintances that has been produced several published volumes in his life time and after, and revealed a man who pleasured in companionship on paper. “My correspondence has […]

Human Rights & the Media

Human Rights & the Media

  On Dec. 10, 1948, Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady and the first US Delegate to the United Nations, signed the first Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in Paris. She had shepherded the revolutionary document through a minefield of political challenges, and is universally credited with its success. Webster University, in association with the […]

Literary Events: Dec.,/Jan., 2008/2009

EXPOSURE/AUSGESETZTHEIT A Bilingual German/English poetry performance on weather, origins, fate, female socialization and other forms of exposure. Written by, and featuring, Hillary Keel and Karin Seidner. Dec. 9, 20:00 Cafe Tachles 2., Karmeliterplatz 1 (01) 212 03 58 LABYRINTH OPEN MIC Come and read your own poems; simply add your name to the list and […]

Book Review: The Girl of His Dreams, by Donna Leon

Book Review: The Girl of His Dreams, by Donna Leon

More Death In Venice Donna Leon is a phenomenon in Vienna; readers are captivated by her characters – Commissario Guido Brunetti the Venetian detective, his academic wife Paula, his corrupt superior Questore Patta, and redoubtable executive secretary Segnorina Elettra.  This is genre fiction, with a formulaic structure, sometimes strained epithets that keep the characters firmly […]

The Klüger Campaign

The Klüger Campaign

This town really honours its honoured folk;  I expected the Gala evening for Eine Stadt, Ein Buch (One City, One Book) at the Rathaus celebrating author Ruth Klüger would be a respectable affair. The Viennese émigré’s seminal work Weiter Leben (Still Living) was selected as this year’s ‘Vienna book’ for the week-long celebration of reading.  […]

Need For Speed

Need For Speed

In the midst of the financial crisis, the ÖBB (The Austrian National Railroad) will unleash its €618 million high-speed train, the “Railjet.”  While some critics find the timing unwise in view of the financial crisis, the effects of the project, so far, have been nothing if not helpful. For one thing, over 150 workers are […]

The Universe in A Grain of Sand

There was a flurry of press coverage when the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland was turned on, and again when it was shut down by a technical problem shortly afterwards. The collider’s operation was a much-anticipated event in science, one that could confirm or undermine the most successful theories about how the universe is structured. […]

Jazz Nights: Opera Season Highlights

Saturday, Nov. 22.  Reveille at 5.00 a.m. in order to be there by 6.00 a.m.  Venturing out, it was still pitch black, but the year’s first snow had blanketed the cars parked in the street. There was very little traffic: some tired taxis and bustling early morning Bims. Got there before 6.00 a.m., armed with […]

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