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Relearning Excellence

Relearning Excellence

Time was when the Vienna school system was among the most respected in Europe: Its Gymnasien prepared pupils for its universities and its Realschulen for technical or trade schools. It was elite and selective, and very good, with results to show for it. “The central Gymnasien account for most of the major figures in Vienna’s […]

A Dark Past at the Academy of Sciences

A Dark Past at the Academy of Sciences

As the 75th anniversary of the Anschluss, the annexation of Austria by Germany on 12 March 1938, looms, the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) will open its first-ever exhibition honouring those members of the Academy forced to flee Austria after the Nazis seized power. Titled The Academy of Sciences in Vienna, 1938-1945 and organised by […]

Nobel Peace Prize for EU

Nobel Peace Prize for EU

We are the Nobel Peace Prize, 12 Oct. by Reinhard Göweil […] The decision in Oslo has achieved one thing: The crisis-ridden EU under threat by nationalists sees itself united. For that reason alone, the Nobel Committee itself deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. The Prize has reinvigorated a debate that got buried by the Euro: […]

Book Review: Eric R. Kandel’s The Age of Insight

Book Review: Eric R. Kandel’s The Age of Insight

Nectar for the Mind Eric Kandel’s elder brother had just finished building his first short-wave radio receiver on 13 March 1938 “as the broadcaster described the earlier crossing of the Austrian border by German troops” reaching Vienna the following afternoon. “And for days on end, all hell broke loose. Viennese mobs erupted in nationalistic fervor, […]

What Must (and Must Not) Be Said

What Must (and Must Not) Be Said

Nobel laureate Günter Grass has made a career of talking about hard things. Like Oskar, the central character in his 1959 novel The Tin Drum, Grass is gifted with a piercing shriek that can be used as a weapon. His latest cry was a poem, “What Must Be Said”, that appeared in the Süddeutsche Zeitung […]

Günter Grass: What Must Be Said

                                            Why have I been silent, been silent too long, about what obviously is and has been practised in a simulated game, at whose end, we will as survivors, in any case, only be […]

Book Review: The Bridge on the Drina, by Ivo Andrić

Where Human Needs Cross In Yugoslavian literature, there have been few authors who drew the people so precisely yet remained so reluctant to choose sides as Ivo Andrić, the man who in 1961 won a Nobel Prize for Literature for his novel Na Drini Cuprija (The Bridge on the Drina). “From everything that man erects […]

Book Review: Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul

Istanbul: Between West and East In his foreword to Ara Güler’s Istanbul, the 2009 retrospective of the great Turkish photographer, author and Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk pays a distinct tribute to Güler’s richly textured black-and-white images by acknowledging how “through these photographs, I learned to look at Istanbul and recognize its essence.” Pamuk encountered the […]

A Helping Hand

We hear a lot these days about Herta Müller, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and read, more than anything else, over the infamous Security Services made unrelieved trouble for her that not only until the death of Ceausescu but whose dirty hands reach abroad as well, including after the end of Communism, even […]

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