National Image, which to a country is what character is for a person, ranks as an extremely important concern for every nation and for the people living in it. Nowhere is this more true than in Austria which depends heavily on tourism and which welcomes foreign investment. Indeed, image for Austria becomes doubly important, for throughout its history the country has always stood in the shadow of Germany in the view of the outside world, where even the greatest Austrian accomplishments in all of the arts have generally been subsumed under the rubric of German literature, art, and music. In this context the aim of the essays contained here is to establish what the image of Austria has been historically and what it is today. The contributions examine the view of Austria projected in the writings of American, Austrian and German authors, ranging from the late nineteenth century to the present. While recognising the many appealing qualities -- the natural beauty and the former grandeur of the Monarchy -- the writers at home and abroad have at the same time candidly and unsparingly criticised political and social problems.
All together the analyses result in a multifaceted portrayal of the changing perception of Austria both externally and internally.