“Real Age”: Being an Emperor for once – Culture


Philip Boverman

On a list of things that one should be thankful for, if only because they are so wonderful to write about, Austria would be very high up there. And Vienna of course, especially Vienna. “What’s special about Vienna are the lunatics with a bourgeois facade, who function to a large extent, but could never move away from here because their misanthropic behavior would have so few consequences in any other city,” says Tonio Schachinger’s novel “Echtzeitalter”, which is one of the Retreats for such madmen explored: a Viennese boarding school with a proud tradition and a wall around the premises that keeps social-democratic impositions out and the students in, “academically mediocre, unambitious, but nevertheless conceited”, in which, as the narrator notes, Austria is not unlike.

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