Readings: Lydia Haider, Barbi Marković



Vienna can be pretty creepy, especially when the citycentre around the Hofburg is being closed off to host the Akademiker Ball. And it’s not just the barriers that suggest this as an exclusive event. In 2013, when former organisers of the Wiener Korporationsball were denied access to the location, the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) took over the organisation of what has since been called the Akademiker Ball. That is why, up to this day, “Burschenschaften” (student fraternities) are able to gather in the Hofburg and literally waltz alongside international guests from the far-right scene – under police protection, no less.

In seven chapters – each one corresponding to a room in the Hofburg – Lydia Haider’s splatter novel Am Ball: Wider erbliche Schwachsinnigkeit walks us through a ball night, giving account of outrageous, gory scenes that unfold there. Am Ball was developed in collaboration with Esther Straganz and published by RD - Edition. It was released on January 25th, 2019, the date of this years Akademikerball.

Lydia Haider lives and works in Vienna.


« darf uns also nichts wichtiger sein, als immerfort, wenn auch in, so doch gleichzeitig gegen die unerträglichen, entsetzlichen Clubs auszugehen.»

Or so says Milica, when Bojana completely gives up on Belgrade’s postwar nightlife to instead spend endless nights in front of her TV. Thomas Bernhard’s Gehen offers a similar configuration, but one that deals with three old men living in Vienna. When Karrer is hospitalised in the Steinhof psychiatric clinic, his two friends are left to continue their habitual strolls and daily complaints about their unbearable existence without him.

In Izlazenje (Rende-Verlag, 2006), Barbi Marković appropriates the narrative structure of Gehen but modifies its main characters as well as its setting, and translates it to Serbian. The three old men living in Vienna become three young women living in Belgrade, going out against the intolerability of going out. Izlazenje was translated into German by Mascha Dabić in 2009 and published by Suhrkamp as Ausgehen.

Barbi Marković lives and works in Vienna.

The readings will be in German.

Organised by Lucie Pia

From March to May 2019, Kathrin Bentele and Matthew Hanson – and guests – organize a series of events involving screenings, readings, and talks. Check back soon for more info – please join us!

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