• AustrianAnthology_Cover_FINAL-front

Patrick Greaney

Patrick Greaney is professor of German and Humanities at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is the author of Quotational Practices: Repeating the Future in Contemporary Art and Untimely Beggar: Poverty and Power from Baudelaire...

Sabine Zelger

Sabine Zelger is professor at the Kirchliche Pädagogische Hochschule in Vienna and Krems. She has published widely on modern and contemporary Austrian literature. She is the author and co-editor of several books on topics such...

An Austrian Avant-Garde

Patrick Greaney

Sabine Zelger

Translated by Patrick Greaney, with translations from the Slovenian by Ana Jelinkar and Stephen Watts

Literature | $20.00
In Other Words, Translation Series, Vol. 6
ISBN 13: 978-1-934254-71-4
Binding: Softcover, Perfect
Release: Fall 2020

A collection that re-visions the Austrian avant-garde, translated and published for the first time in English.

After 1945, a vibrant literary avant-garde emerged in Austria that has remained mostly unknown outside of the country. Their first publications appeared in a cultural and political environment still largely determined by seven years of Nazism (1938-1945) and four years of Austrofascism (1934-1938). Its writers drew on traditional and experimental methods to hollow out existing literary conventions and propose new ones, using montage, appropriation, satire, irony, and nonsense. Despite many shared intentions, though, the Austrian avant-garde was far from  unified. Some of its writers repeated the authoritarian gestures and practices of the fascist period; others contributed to the creation of feminist and queer counterpublics by creating alternative presses, new kinds of literary events, and political writers’ collectives.

An Austrian Avant-garde offers a critical survey of experimental writing from Austria that captures the tensions inherent in the history of the avant-garde. Starting with texts from the 1950s by the Vienna Group, the anthology offers a survey of the complex, contested landscape of post-1945 Austrian literature, with an emphasis on the work of women writers. The editors’ preface and their introductions to individual texts offer contextualization and commentary that make the anthology accessible to a wide readership.

With texts by:

  • Friedrich Achleitner
  • Ilse Aichinger
  • H.C. Artmann
  • Heimrad Bäcker
  • Konrad Bayer
  • Ann Cotten
  • Carola Dertnig
  • Elfriede Gerstl
  • Elfriede Jelinek
  • Ilse Kilic
  • Margret Kreidl
  • Florjan Lipuš
  • Friederike Mayröcker
  • Andreas Okopenko
  • Julian Palacz
  • Kathrin Röggla
  • Gerhard Rühm
  • Lisa Spalt
  • Herbert Wimmer

Praise for An Austrian Avant-garde

An Austrian Avant-garde profoundly expands our understanding of what experimental writing is and what it can do. This fantastic collection recalls to mind the premise of all radical avant-garde—its utopian potential to bridge the distance between art and life. No one can read these writers and remain the same.  – Fatima Naqvi, Yale University