Literature - Ubiquitous in the Alps
We love to read! In this section we will introduce you on a monthly basis to different novels, criminal stories, fairy tales, short stories or any other literaturary style, which take place or were written in the Alps. We will try to give you a broad overview of renown authors as well as newcomers and contemporary writers. And we will mention which of these books are suitable as a companion to your next trip to the Alps.
Vienna PassionFaschinger, Lilian: Vienna Passion.
Faschinger, Lilian: Wiener Passion. 1999
In the novel from Lilian Faschihnger several plot strands unfold, in fact, it is a book in the book. Book 1 tells of the young actress Magnolia Brown, specialist in Shakespeare and now discovered by a musical director as a potential Anna Freud for his latest project. Sofar not too unusual, Magnolia Brown has bohemian roots, a close relationship to Vienna and grew up bilingual.
Besides the Czech-Austrian roots, she is black US-American. The other narrative strand in the Book 1, is by Joseph Horvath, a former singer of the Vienna Boy's Choir, whose mother provided him with Mahler's Songs on the Death of Children rahter than medical supplies and tries to earn al living as a singing teacher if he does not spend time with one of his chronic diseases. No, this is neither comical nor morbid enough. In the room of her great aunt Pia - one no less eccentric personality - she finds the life story of a murderer: Rosa Havelka, taking place in the beginning of the 20th Century, primarily in Vienna.
The book is a a pleasure to reed which is less grounded in the action itself, but in the unbending, flowing, winding and twisting of the story. A wonderful creative narrator sets even weirdest characters in front of us, no cliches is lost, with twists and turns until the perfectly predictable conclusion. In side-narratives we learn how the zither game came to the canalisation, we read from the Empress Sisi, learn more about the life of Crown Prince Rudolph and his end, coffeehouse literati, neuropsychiatry and interpretation of dreams, the Prater, Lipizzaner, Cemetery of the Nameless, Vienna Boys' Choir, Schönbrunn Palace, Gloriette, Palm House - oh, all issues which probably would be raised in a travel guide - but not so wonderfully bizarre. Not at all absurd - but not without ironic viewing - is both the unbearable naivete and God credulity of servants and the Viennese society in the end of the 19th Century, sexual assaults, exploitation of domestic workers, the supposed mix of cultures in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and the difficulties to find a living.
A literary guide with irony, and certain sarcasm - highly recommended.
Lilian Faschinger, was born 1950 in a village near lake Ossiach in Carinthia (Austria), studied in Graz, Ph.D. English literature, numerous literary prizes and scholarships. Her novel "Magdalena sinner" (1995) has been translated into various languages. She lives and works in Vienna as a translator, writer of poems, short stories and novels.
The original is called "Wiener Passion" and was translated into English as "Vienna Passion".
Prepare yourself for a passionate trip to Vienna: