Book look: old postcards, new novel

A new book takes us on a journey back in time. “Gruß aus Wien. Die Kaiserstadt in auf alten Ansichtskarten” is the name of this horse carriage straight into Vienna of the Habsburg era. This Sutton publication features dozens of coloured postcards depicting monuments all over the city. There are some horse carriages at Karlsplatz near the Stadtbahn pavilion by Otto Wagner. Children are playing at the Belvedere gardens where hundreds of tourists are going for a walk each day nowadays. At Mariahilfer Straße, few shoppers and just one tram can be seen – a significant contrast to the scenario at Austria’s most popular shopping avenue today. Other illustrations show a pond at the Arsenal where the Museum of Military History is located today. “Gruß aus Wien. Die Kaiserstadt in auf alten Ansichtskarten” is just one of many wonderfully nostalgic releases by Sutton. The company recently also presented “Rund um den Ring. Alltag und Festtag in Wien”, a book which creates an authentic picture of life around Vienna’s Ringstraße boulevard in the old days. Thomas Hofmann, the author who is also in charge for “Gruß aus Wien. Die Kaiserstadt in auf alten Ansichtskarten”, reveals why the a Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart statue was relocated. Hofmann also explains how the Viennese police tried to establish traffic rules. All of these small anecdotes and informative bits and pieces turn “Rund um den Ring. Alltag und Festtag in Wien” into a colourful and nostalgic trip into the past.

Gruß aus Wien. Die Kaiserstadt in auf alten Ansichtskarten
By Thomas Hofmann
Published by Sutton (

jonasOne of Austria’s most popular authors has released a new novel. “Der Jonas-Komplex”, a 720-page tome, follows unanimously acclaimed books like “Das bin doch ich” and “Das größere Wunder”. Glavinic entered the world of literature in 1998 . “Carl Haffners Liebe zum Unentschieden” portrays a chess champ’s inner struggles. “Der Kamermörder” is a phenomenal page-turner dealing with crime and guilt in times dominated by media and sensationalism. “Das Leben der Wünsche” received mixed reviews while “Meine Schreibmaschine und ich” offered interesting insights. Glavinic described his approach to writing, his routines and habits. The 44-year-old author from Graz who lives in Vienna recently criticised leftist elitists for patronising criticism of people who support right-wing populists. Glavinic justified his Facebook posting by underlining the importance of continued dialogue. Asked whether he would still be proud of Austria if far-right Norbert Hofer would become president, Glavinic told the Kurier: “What is ‘proud’ supposed to mean? I’m grateful of living in a country which offers so many possibilities of how to live my life. Two precedent generations made this possible, so there is nothing for me to be proud about. But I’m happy and grateful for being Austrian – and I’d still feel the same if Hofer gets elected.

Der Jonas-Komplex
By Thomas Glavinic
Published by S. Fischer (

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