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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 […]

The Ballad of the Wiener Kaffeehaus

(The above video is a reading of the poem “The Ballad of the Wiener Kaffeehaus” by BBC radio presenter Piers Burton Page.) The [ Café ] Central-people are always attracted like the murderer to the scene of the crime, to where they killed so much time, wiped out entire years.” – Alfred Polgar: “Theory of the Café […]

A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Parody and Psychoanalysis

Follow the tracks of Konstanze Mozart’s carriage to Baden-bei-Wien – long the home-away-from-home for countless Viennese hypochondriacs like her – and you’ll discover quite possibly the most beautiful small theatre in Central Europe. It’s one of 48 that the architect-duo Hellmer and Fellner erected from 1871 to 1913, after Vienna’s Volkstheater, but before its Konzerthaus. […]

Book Review: Cultural Amnesia, by Clive James

Battling Cultural Amnesia In the Kaffeehaus culture of fin-de-siècle Vienna, writes essayist Clive James, the richest life of the mind took place outside the university. It was a time when education was a life-long process, broader in many ways than the university, and more fun. “In Vienna there were no exams to pass, learning was […]

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