Austrian Literature

Franz Grillparzer

Franz Grillparzer (1791-1872)

Grillparzer is emblematic of the late Austrian monarchy for several reasons. He described himself as split personality always drawn between rational thought and galloping fantasy.

Franz Grillparzer
Ferdinand Raimund

Ferdinand Raimund (1790–1836)

Raimund's plays are typical examples of romantic magical comedies with fairy stories, moral allegories and deus-ex-machina happy endings which are at odds with contemporary tastes.

Ferdinand Raimund
Johann Nestroy

Johann Nestroy (1801–1862)

Johann Nestroy is often dubbed the Austrian Shakespeare. Quite rightly: like the great master of English literature, Nestroy impersonated the one or other character of his plays himself until he died.

Johann Nestroy
Arthur Schnitzler

Arthur Schnitzler (1862 - 1931)

Arthur Schnitzler is one of Austria's literary heavyweights. He received extensive training in medicine and was especially interested in psychology, an interest that influenced his writing a great deal.

Arthur Schnitzler
Felix Salten

Felix Salten (1869 – 1945)

He is remembered for two publications which have little in common: Felix Salten was the one to cook up the heart-breaking story of a cute fawn named 'Bambi'. His other major novel is called 'Josephine Mutzenbacher'...

Felix Salten
Robert Musil

Robert Musil (1880 – 1942)

His first novel 'Die Verwirrungen des Zögling Törleß' (Confusions of Young Torless) was published in 1906 and hauntingly describes the experiences of a sensitive boy in an exclusive military school...

Robert Musil
Joseph Roth

Joseph Roth (1894 – 1939)

Joseph Roth was an acute chronicler of the downfall of the Habsburg empire and the reverberations for the Austrian people. Central to his work is the last imperial couple Franz Josef I (image) and Sissi.

Joseph Roth
Ingeborg Bachmann

Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1973)

Ingeborg Bachmann is one of the major players in Austrian literature. She has a reputation as a brilliant writer of poetry, prose and radio plays.

Ingeborg Bachmann
Thomas Bernhard

Thomas Bernhard (1931 – 1989)

Thomas Bernhard's relationship to Vienna and Austria was ambivalent. His texts often contain harsh descriptions of life in post war Austria. Reading Bernhard is highly pleasurable, it is also unnerving.

Thomas Bernhard
Peter Handke

Peter Handke (1942 – )

Peter Handke is journalist, translater and highly successful writer of plays and prose. Many of his works have been translated into various languages.

Peter Handke
Elfriede Jelinek

Elfriede Jelinek (1946 – )

Elfriede Jelinek is the younger counterpart of Austrian playwright Thomas Bernhard. As Bernhard she is at the same time a highly acclaimed writer and proverbial Beelzebub abused for her critical views.

Elfriede Jelinek
Cabaret in Vienna

Cabaret in Vienna

Vienna looks back on a thriving tradition of cabaret, a form of popular theater which often consists of short sketches, songs and parodies presented by a 'Conférencier', an eloquent entertainer.

Cabaret in Vienna

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