For centuries, Vienna had been the imperial residence and capital of the great multi-lingual, multi-national Habsburg Empire, and thus a magnet for the accumulation of power, prestige, wealth, and beauty. However, it is self-evident that not everyone could or should reside in the capital, that many talented authors, whether by choice or by chance, lived outside that glamorous city, in Kafka's words, far from the Imperial sun. At the outset of the twenty-first century, with technological advancements in transportation and communication with international publishing houses and chain bookstores, with e-mail and the Internet, for example is there any social, political, economic, or professional advantage to residing in Vienna, or has it become irrelevant today where artists live? Are their life experiences notably different, whether they reside in the capital or in any other city, large or small? Are authors choices of language or themes influenced by their provincial backgrounds? Thus the idea of "Beyond Vienna" is a compelling and timely topic.
This volume will attempt to address these questions, while serving as an introduction to nine authors poets, novelists, and dramatists and their relationships to the capital: Xaver Bayer, Alois Brandstetter, Gloria Kaiser, Christine Lavant, Anna Mitgutsch, Felix Mitterer, Elisabeth Reichart, Vladimir Vertlib, and Friedrich Ch. Zauner. The contributors are respected scholars who were personally invited to join this project and who ultimately determined which authors would be included.
Todd C Hanlin is professor emeritus of German at the University of Arkansas and has published a monograph on Franz Kafka. He has written on Hofmannsthal, Schnitzler, Peter Turrini, Peter Henisch, Paulus Hochgatterer, and translated novels by Anton Fuchs, Gustav Ernst, Gerald Szyszkowitz, Georg Potyka, and Peter Steiner, plays by Szyszkowitz and Felix Mitterer, as well as a volume on The Best of Austrian Science Fiction.