Posts tagged Austria
No one reads Stifter’s 60-page novella Indian Summer:
In chapter four, we read about how Adalbert Stifter’s highly digressive, and as Frederick writes, ‘diffuse’ novel Indian Summer, so disturbed its readers that successive editions of the work radically reduced its three volumes of over 1,300 pages – one 1940 edition butchering it to less than 60 pages – as they were concerned to remove everything that did not pertain to the supposedly real story which, as Frederick demonstrates, is an insignificant aspect of the work: the entire novel having been focused on the time after this story and its very texture dependent on the feel of the resulting narrative dispersal.
This is another welcome submission from Nathaniel at Ausmalen. See his post Friedrich Achleitner as Beer-Drinker.
Friedrich Achleitner (born 23 May 1930 in Schalchen, Upper Austria) is an Austrian poet and architecture critic. Achleitner studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna from 1950–1953. He joined the Wiener Gruppe in 1955, participated in their literary cabarets, and wrote dialect poems, montages, and concrete poems. In 1983 he became Professor of the history and theory of architecture at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts.
A welcome submission from Nathaniel Davis at ausmalen: No one reads H. C. Artmann, who described himself in 1964:
My homeland is Austria, my fatherland Europe, my place of residence Malmö, my skin color white, my eyes blue, my courage varied, my mood moody, my intoxications correct, my endurance strong, my concern erratic, my longings like the compass rose, in a flash content, in a flash vexed, a friend of cheerfulness, in principle sad, affectionate towards girls, a big moviegoer, a lover of the twist, a lousy swimmer, a marksman at the shooting range, careless at cards, a zero at chess, not a bad bowler, a master at battleship, shot up in war, cut up in peace, a hater of police, a despiser of authority, an emetic to the left, itching powder to the right, uneasy with parents-in-law, a father of children, a Judas to mother, loyal like Pilatus, soft like Puccini, laid-back like Doctor Ward, shy at first, energetic towards morning, evenings always thirsty, bored at concerts, happy at the tailor, baptized in St. Lorenz, divorced in Klagenfurt, in Poland poetic, in Paris a breather…[continue reading]
—The Quest for Dr. U, Or, a Solitary Mirror in Which the Day Reflects (Atlas Press, 1993) [Atlas/Amazon]
—Under the Cover of a Hat (montage and sequences) and Green-sealed Message (90 Dreams) (Quartet, 1985)
—Skewed Tales (Atlas Printed Head series)
—Sweat and Industry (Atlas Printed Head series)
—poems in The Vienna Group: Six Major Austrian Poets
—the story “Blind Chance and Roast Duck” in Beneath Black Stars: Contemporary Austrian Fiction
Pictured: back cover of Under the Cover of a Hat, illustration by Chris Long (from the 50 Watts post Stacks of Books Crushing Me)
Karl Hans Strobl (Iglau, Moravia 1877–Perchtoldsdorf 1946): A fertile and popular writer (he published over 100 books) who was one of the leading figures in the fashion for fantasy literature in the first thirty years of this century, both through his own novels and stories, and through his activities as editor of anthologies and of a periodical called Der Orchideengarten (The Orchid Garden). Probably the best-known of his magic novels is Eleagabal Kuperus. He also wrote historical novels of an increasingly German nationalist tone and ended as a National Socialist hack. [Ed.: somehow I saw that coming]
The anthology includes two of his stories, “Die arge Nonn’” (The Wicked Nun) and “Der Kopf” (The Head) from 1911 and 1921.
No one reads Ilse Aichinger (b. 1921, Vienna). She and her husband, the poet, Günter Eich (now deceased), were honoured members of the exclusive and prestigious postwar literati constellation Gruppe 47—Wolfgang Hildesheimer (another author no one reads) was also a member; see here for an extensive roster.
Ilse Aichinger’s short stories—with their haunting imagery, deft escalations of strangeness, chilling humour, poetic concision and lyricism—will leave you stirred. “The Bound Man”, “Story in a Mirror”, “Speech Under the Gallows”, and “Where I Live” are excellent stories to read through first; the former three are her most highly acclaimed.
Sources in English (Amazon US links):
- Herod’s Children - her groundbreaking (and only) novel.
- The Bound Man and Other Stories - her must-have collection of short stories.
- Selected Poetry and Prose of Ilse Aichinger - a worthy compilation, but start with the previous.
Unfortunately, her books, in English translation, are out-of-print, making them difficult and (usually) costly to acquire. With that said, her writing has been included in many anthologies; here’s a listing, courtesy of IBL (be wary of shoddy translations):
- Best Short Shorts (1958)
- Great German Short Stories (1960)
- Modern German Stories (1961)
- Slaying of the Dragon, the (1984)
- Art of the Tale, the (1986)
- Evidence of Fire: An Anthology of Twentieth Century German Poetry (1989)
- Contemporary German Fiction (1996)
- Contemporary Jewish Writing in Austria (1999)
- Nightshade: 20th Century Ghost Stories (1999)
- Escaping Expectations (2001)
- Dedalus Book of Austrian Fantasy 1890-2000, the (2003)
Note: For the really keen, a Google search of Aichinger’s “The Bound Man” might be worthwhile. ;-]