Book look: Postillon & Pferdeleberkäse

A popular satirical platform has presented a publication packed with funny fake news. “Der Postillon. Das Beste aus über 160 Jahren” features political and business reports as well as science and society information. The release was created by the editors of online magazine Der Postillon. As reality is getting increasingly harder to believe, some made-up news is endorsed, as the rising popularity of Der Postillon – which went online in 2008 – and competitors like Titanic shows. “Der Postillon. Das Beste aus über 160 Jahren” informs about Mark Zuckerberg’s toothpaste acquisition, the latest Elbphilharmonie scandal developments and incredible news about Cologne Cathedral.

Der Postillon. Das Beste aus über 160 Jahren
By http://www.der-postillon.com
Published by Riva (www.rivaverlag.de)

Austrofred has been busy. In the past few years, he has not only released an autobiographic book, his correspondence with fellow genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and a novel called “Hard On!”. The Vienna-based entertainer has also been interviewed a lot. There have been lectures, readings and shows as well as contributions for different magazines. The finest of his creative output on these occasions has now been compiled to a new book called “Pferdeleberkäse”. The artist describes his latest publication as nothing less than the best Austrofred book ever. Fans won’t disagree as it is packed with witty wisdom and cheeky claims beloved by so many over the years. Austrofred – who is much more than just another Freddie Mercury impersonator – does not shy away from controversial topics. The “Giving Gas” star writes about other celebrities, contemporary art and the difficult relationship between his home country and neighbouring Bavaria.

Pferdeleberkäse
By Austrofred (www.austrofred.at)
Published by Czernin (www.czernin-verlag.com)

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: the midfield magician

One of Italy’s most celebrated midfielders reflects in a new book on decisive moments of his career. Andrea Pirlo, the legendary playmaker of AC Milan and Juventus Turin, writes about the hurdles he had faced on his way into Serie A. The ex-Inter star describes his most emotional moments with the Squadra Azzura and reveals who had impressed him the most as far as teammates and coaches are concerned.

The book – which features several childhood photographs – is packed with amusing anecdotes which are certain to excite supporters of the 36-year-old strategist who now plays for MLS club New York City FC. At 160 pages, “Ich denke, also spiele ich” might not be a comprehensive autobiography. However, the book does a good job in taking football fans into the mysterious circles of world-class teams, managers and club bosses. Pirlo – the infamously introverted thinker – does not shy away from criticising certain teammates and bad developments in the business. This is one of the book’s strongest aspects.

“Ich denke, also spiele ich”, which features a foreword by Cesare Prandelli, is a celebration of true friendship as Pirlo reveals who have been his best mates through the years – in good and bad times. Fans can find out more about his strong ties with Alessandro Nesta. Pirlo also explains why he admired Antonio Conte’s coaching. Conte successfully managed Juventus before taking the national team hot seat.

Pirlo’s book features both – chapters about uplifting experiences in the locker room as Pirlo loves playing pranks at teammates. However, the soccer star also admits how hard it was to lose against Liverpool in the legendary Champions League final in Istanbul 10 years ago. The midfielder also recounts how older players gave him a tough time back when he joined squads as the youngest player due to his talent.

Ich denke, also spiele ich
By Andrea Pirlo and Alessandro Alciato
Published by Riva (www.rivaverlag.de)

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Colour and creation

A new exhibit is bringing German expressionism  masterpieces to Vienna.

“Farbenrausch. Meisterwerke des deutschen Expressionismus” (A Rush of Colour. Masterpieces of German Expressionism) is currently on display at the Leopold Museum. The comprehensive exhibition mainly consists of Osthaus Museum Hagen collection paintings. Brilliant portraits and landscape artworks by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Emil Nolde are the highlights of the exhibit. However, “Farbenrausch” also offers the chance to make unexpected discoveries.

The art of Christian Rohlfs still has not received the recognition it deserves – despite the painter’s skills and broad range of subjects. The Leopold Museum now dedicates one showroom to the painter’s outstanding oeuvre.

Overall, around 110 artworks are on display. Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Max Pechstein and many others are featured. The exhibition is a good opportunity to discover how the different artists influenced each other over the years. It reflects both personal environments and political and social developments such as the difficulties of life between the wars and the rise of the Nazis.

For opening times and ticket information, visit the Leopold Museum’s website: http://www.leopoldmuseum.org

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: Werder & words

The past few years must have felt like a rollercoaster ride to Werder Bremen fans – from one of the strongest teams in Germany to almost being relegated. Supporters of the club had to experience similar scenarios ever since the team competed in the Bundesliga. Werder won four league titles, most recently in 2004. Last season, they managed to avoid relegation. It seems as the tradition-rich club is no longer part of Germany’s soccer elite. Now Ben Redelings’ new book could bring some relief to Werder fans. The sports author collected memorable statements by players and amusing quotes by the team’s legendary manager Otto Rehhagel. Brilliant players played for Werder over the years – the midfield geniuses Mario Basler and Andreas Herzog as well as top striker like Rudi Völler and Miroslav. Their best statements and many funny photographs can be found in “Ben Redelings’ Werder-Album”. The book also features odd newspaper headlines concerning Ailton’s weight, Thorsten Legat’s stamina and other topics. If the upcoming season means many disappointments for Werder supporters, this book about the good old days will lift their mood.

Ben Redelings’ Werder-Album
By Ben Redelings
Published by Verlag Die Werkstatt (www.werkstatt-verlag.de)

Communication and language are excellent examples to demonstrate the immense pace of developments in our society. Thousands of terms have simply gone “out of order”. They are hardly used before becoming forgotten entirely. Technology advances while beloved traditions stop being relevant? It seems so, one may argue, before checking his Twitter profile for the latest news. Devices and appliances get replaced by others. Progress matters, no time to waste. These developments also affect our vocabulary. “Muckefunk & Sendeschluss. Wörter außer Betrieb” by Nikolai Kinast – now out by leading language subjects publishing house Langenscheidt – features dozens of words younger generations are probably not familiar with. Kinast’s collection is a lovely kaleidoscope packed with nostalgia and that “good old days” feeling. Discover the meaning of Kokolores, Ratzefummel and Sperenzchen!

Muckefunk & Sendeschluss. Wörter außer Betrieb
By Nikolai Kinast
Published by Langenscheidt (www.langenscheidt.de)

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: Eintracht & Eurovision

A popular series of football anecdotes collections has been continued as Ben Redelings presents his “Eintracht-Album”. Redelings has been releasing football-themed books for many years. Most of them focus on amusing aspects of Germany’s sport number one. His 160-page book about Eintracht Frankfurt features hundreds of memorable statements by former and current players of the Bundesliga team. Fans will find out why Theofanis Gekas, the club’s ex-striker from Greece, saw no sense in learning German. Former coach Felix Magath reveals his feelings regarding the birth of a child while ex-national team midfielder. In the book, Magath also explains the excellent condition of his players at the end of a season while Klaus Toppmöller discloses why he accepted the club’s offer and became manager. Bernd Hölzenbein, Jürgen Grabowski, Andy Möller and many others are featured as well. “Eintracht-Album” is not the only fan book Redelings released recently. The writer also collected funny quotes by players of 1. FC Köln, Bayern Munich, Werder Bremen and other German Bundesliga teams.

Ben Redelings’ Eintracht-Album
By Ben Redelings
Published by Verlag Die Werkstatt (www.werkstatt-verlag.de)

From its modest beginnings to the pompous present – the Eurovision Song Contest has gone through astonishing changes. Now a book unites the rather conservative idols of the 1960s with the glamorous 1970s and 1980s to the kitschy 1990s and today’s spectacular stars. “The Best of Eurovision Song Contest” by John Kennedy O’Connor focuses on facts and fun. On 130 pages, fans of the mega event find information about the most outrageous outfits, fantastic performances followed by fabulous fame – but also about embarrassing moments and utterly silly lyrics. A wild ride through the decades is guaranteed! Cliff Richard, Johnny Logan and Udo Jürgens are featured, representing the pop icons of the early ESC stage. Everything got a bit out of control throughout the many years of competitions – see Lordi and Stefan Raab. 2014 and 2015 were special years for Austria thanks to Conchita Wurst’s sensational landslide victory, resulting in global fame and making Vienna the host city of this year’s edition of the event. The last chapter of the book features a comprehensive statistics section, informing ESC enthusiasts about each county’s biggest successes.

The Best of Eurovision Song Contest
By John Kennedy O’Connor
Published by Edel (www.edel.com)

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: photos & fun facts

A new picture book publication offers a comprehensive overview on photography from its pioneering days – when photographers competed with painters – to the 1980s. The Fotografis Bank Austria Collection features around 640 images by photographers from different countries. Photographs taken by more than 60 snappers have been selected for a book which is released in connection with an exhibition in Salzburg. The city’s Museum der Moderne presented the photographs between October 2013 and January 2014. The exhibit called “Fotografie im Fokus. Die Sammlung Fotografis Bank Austria” (Focus on Photography. The Fotografis Bank Austria Collection) and the book by Hirmer of the same name include black and white photos of all genres – from landscape portraits to street scenes. A remarkable aspect is the high number of photographs which confront the spectator with open questions. The images are like puzzles, and they tell stories which often remain mysterious. To understand the working environment of the photography artists – Henri Cartier-Bresson, Man Ray and Trude Fleischmann are among the photographers selected for the book – the Hirmer release features informative articles by photography expert Simone Förster, former La Repubblica art critic Walter Guadagnini and others.

Fotografie im Fokus. Die Sammlung Fotografis Bank Austria
By Toni Stooss and Margit Zuckriegl
Published by Hirmer (www.hirmerverlag.de)

Why did French motorcycle helmet producers name their latest model “President”? Are paper bags really more eco-friendly than their plastic equivalents? Have you ever heard from a place called Disco Island? How much toilet paper are we consuming each year? In which German city did Pete Doherty live for several years? These are just a small selection of the hundreds of questions answered by a new book packed with quirky information. Overall, “Neon Unnützes Wissen 4” features 1,374 facts you might not necessarily need to survive. However, the range and creativity of this book is remarkable as it provides fun facts regarding showbiz, nature and famous personalities. It is highly informing and entertaining to browse through the different sections and subjects of the fourth part of a series created by Neon, a German magazine.

Neon Unnützes Wissen 4
By Sascha Chaimowicz and Oliver Stolle
Published by Heyne (www.heyne.de)

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas