After all Austria is a state of mind. Like a long, heavy hangover from cheap white (Ger., Eng.) and NIL-cigarettes (overview, article Ger., traditionally oval and made from oriental tabaccos). Most parts of Austria (Ger., Eng.) are covered by mountains and so of no further interest here: It’s good for mountaineers, hunters and people who like to get lost in avalanches. Next to this impressing natural scenery is Wien, Vienna. Wien was the capital of one of the largest global spanning empires before the British even knew how to handle a ship, before America stumbled into white christian history. China, India, the Osman Empire and Russia were already in existence.
This metropole is stuffed with history, art, culture and lots of crazy people. The average Austrian hates all and everything (women, non-catholics, gays, name it!) and loves small dogs. And Wiener Schnitzel, and sometimes … yeah. The Austrian society is partly still somewhere in the 1950s and wants to stay there. They play, f.e. at the Opernball (Ger., Eng.), re-enact, the “good old times” – that is pre WW I, when the good old Kaiser (Ger., Eng.) was still in command – a desire for style, for nobility, greatness … melancholia with gold rimming.
What makes a difference between the Austrian society and the West-German one is the year 1968 and what it caused. The revolt of the students thirty years ago did change the face of the western German society beyond recognition, as did the French spring of anarchy (Mai 1968). Such a thing did not happen in the good conservative, catholic “Alpen-Republik”. The elites stayed unchanged, well I guess since 1918.
Vienna was and particularily is still a hotbed for new developments in art, in culture. The Spießer‘s (Ger., Eng. – this English article is not really fitting) “Wurschtigkeit” couldn’t-care-less-attitude, the still large amount of money (there are still Mäzene), the influx of a large variety of foreign impulses – remember Vienna was the capital of an empire, it is the western gate of Europe to the East – made the scene brizzeling.
Generally speaking the Austrians hate their artists while they are alive, as it happened to Thomas Bernhard (Ger., Eng.), happens to Elfriede Jelinek (Ger., Eng.) and others. A lot of writers worked themselves up on that special Viennese melancholic melange, and finally payed with their health as f.e. Helmut Qualtinger (Ger., Eng.), whose “Herr Karl” is a history lesson at it’s best, describes and explaines a lot, a whole generation – and their larmoyant self-styling as “victims”, yeah nobody came to the “Heldenplatz” (Ger. only, “Anschluss” Ger., Eng.), only accidentially … and Haider (Ger., Eng.) was just “Einer von uns” (one of us).
I think looking at the fine art of caricature of a land helps to understand and for Austria that means to look at the work of Manfred Deix (Ger. only, for a photogallery go here). The various scandals over the years that shattered Austria (bribery, pedophily, mafia-like structures), did not really change it – Deix and friends paint, draw and write, but the Austrian remains the same. “Und wirft der Arsch auch Falten, wir bleiben doch die Alten.”
To be fair, they are leapfrogging forward, as any non-developed country, and there is something as a “New Austria”, especially in economical terms.

And when you are fed up with Deixens flabby swelling ugly meat, have a look here, as an antidote.


9 thoughts on “Schnitzel

  1. The place where I live currently is kind of like staying constantly buzzed on malt liquor to avoid thinking about what a feckin grind everything really is.The average Austrian sounds a bit like my father, except for the small dogs part. Although my father is actually half-Lithuanian rather than Austrian.

  2. The place I live is perpetually behind the times, but only by about a decade.I don’t think I could live in a place like that… I am much too open-minded and liberal, without being a tree-hugging, pot-smoking hippy.But I would love to visit to see the architecture, galleries and feel the history. That is one thing N. America just doesn’t have… lots of history… we are much too young here, being the ‘newbies’ on the block.

  3. A city with castles and spires, gold edged.A city of spies, and much commerce.Now you’ve given me an inkling of the people.The cartoons did not need language, one can imagine.But to hate a place so much that the author will not allow publication or staging of his work- what slights must he have undergone. Monologues and tirade I can understand, it takes a particular skill; mine is silence. 🙂

  4. LilyMalt liquor? The Austrian developed Stroh-Rum, that is 80% alcohol.PonitaIn Vienna you can do nearly anything and maybe an eyebrow is raised. It has seen all. Architecture of any period, art of any kind from all over the world, it can be pretty overwhelming. But there is always a Konditorei in reach!MJSee new post. Aw, the Scots …Tom and IcyIn some areas of the Alps the Austrians do yodel, but these horns are from Switzerland. I do not know whether they are in goats a lot. Besides, the Austrian language is understandable for a Southern German, but the Swiss brabbel is just coughing …AustereFilled with castles. Spies since the days of the old Reich. That became another quality after WWII when the Russians were still there until 1955. International authorities, international companies, economically this land is well set.You refer to Bernhard. In a way the Austrian is double-faced as the eagle in the coat of arms: On one side soft, sentimental, melancholic “gold rimmed”, on the other side absolutely un-emphatic, plain idiotic, nursing his festering hate. If one looks for example at the Yellow Press there, the German “Bild-Zeitung” (where blood drips out in the morning) is just a weak province-paper in comparison to the Austrian “Krone” and others. And what the most astounding thing is: These papers do have the power to built opinion, they hit the nail and express and form Mr. and Mrs. Average’s look on the world.Silence is a virtue. But it must be heared.

  5. I’m still trying to decide whether or not to be offended by your snarky comments regarding Austria. (sigh) Maybe if I knew why Elizabeth had stayed at Aussee I could offer something to their defense. No record of marriage or births for her. Why did she go there and stay until her death when the rest of the family had come to America instead?I really want to go see Vienna, the Tyrolean Mtns, the Castles on the Rhine and now Verden of course, to look for old family graves.You know there was a time in Japan where a Writer was not successful until after he/she committed suicide. Sadly, one of my favorite writer’s, Akutagawa Rynosuke was one of these. He wrote a story about “Kappa” I think you would like.Prx

  6. ProximaSimple question, but what did she work? How did she earn money?Vienna has a lot of charme, you would like it I am sure. Near the central cemetery is a museum about the fine art of having a real good funeral in Vienna (“a’ schöne Leich”), very informative!Have to find out about that writer – sepuku in the morning? Ach …PortiaSooner or later one has to hit the bottle in Vienna – there are really a lot of places for this.Somewhere in Vienna the Balcans begin – there was (don’t know whether it still exists) a very large flea-market in one of the “Vorstädte” (suburbs), and exactly there you entered Eastern Europe.

  7. I don’t know. It’s possible that she did not work. The family was not poor, but there is nothing to provide clues about where the money came from. I know many of the family’s men had been in the military at one point or another. All five brothers joined the Civil war for the Union side almost immediately after they got off the boat here in America. One would think they would have been tired of war by then. Of course it is perhaps a family flaw that we never know when to stop fighting, even during times of peace. We die with our boots on.Prx

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