en5/3 | Activities / Publications

The Hungarian Republic of Councils 1919 in Life Stories and Literature

This German-language volume derives from the conference 'Hungary 1919: The Allure of Communism', which was held in autumn 2014 by the LBI in partnership with the Institute for Hungarian Historical Research in Vienna (Balassi Institut - Collegium Hungaricum Wien) as part of the research strand 'Constructing the Subject'. The book is a collection of essays on diverse biographical and autobiographical questions in the context of the Hungarian Republic of Councils of 1919. The volume has appeared in summer 2017 as volume XV in the series 'Publikationen der Ungarischen Geschichtsforchung in Wien' (Publications of Hungarian Historical Research in Vienna).


Biography in Theory: Key Texts with Commentaries

http://www.residenzverlag.at/upload/titles/cover_1745.jpgA revised, English-language version of the volume 'Theorie der Biographie' has been published in summer 2017 by De Gruyter. The book contains theoretical texts on biography with commentaries by LBI researchers.

Publisher's announcement





Arthur Koestler

http://www.residenzverlag.at/upload/titles/cover_1745.jpgBorn in Budapest in 1905, Arthur Koestler was a pivotal European writer and intellectual who inspired, provoked and intrigued in equal measure. Koestler wrote enduring works of reportage and memoir but he is most famous for his political novel Darkness at Noon, which received widespread international acclaim. This book offers a fresh and unbiased account of the life and work of an enigmatic, challenging writer who continues to polarize opinion today.

Publisher's announcement



Reading Lives. On the Theory of Biography around 1800

http://www.residenzverlag.at/upload/titles/cover_1745.jpgIn the second half of the 18th century, the genre of biography became popular in an unprecedented way. Simultaneously, the fundamental aspects of biographical writing were being discussed theoretically for the first time in monographs and memoirs, as well as in the programmatic prologues of contemporaneous biographical anthologies. Tobias Heinrich describes this debate by addressing five central themes: Memory, Image, Example, Collective, and Writing. He shows how older concepts of memory culture and edifying reading were combined with the contemporaneous ideas about the legibility of the individual such as physiognomy  and psychology, thus creating the modern, hermeneutical understanding of biographical writing.

Publisher's announcement

Open Access text (in German)


Thomas Bernhard. A Biography

http://www.residenzverlag.at/upload/titles/cover_1745.jpgThis biography by the Thomas Bernhard expert and former LBI researcher  Manfred Mittermayer combines Bernhard's life and work in a grand narrative that stretches from the author's complex about his family origins to his early death after a long illness. Mittermayer portrays not only the author's many-layered public image but also the various phases in his personal life. The prose works and plays are related to a life story that is indelibly connected with post-war history.

Publisher's announcement (in German)



Mira Lobe. Doyenne of Austrian Children's and Young Adult Literature.

http://www.residenzverlag.at/upload/titles/cover_1745.jpgMira Lobe: a Jewish intellectual, who after an early life marked by flight and exclusion, found a home in Austria in 1950 and became a central figure in the redefinition of its children's literature. The first major biography of Lobe, written by Georg Huemer, is based on the author's papers and on numerous interviews.






I am Me. Mira Lobe and Susi Weigel.

http://www.residenzverlag.at/upload/titles/cover_1745.jpgThe renowned children's author Mira Lobe, together with the illustrator of her books, Susi Weigel, were the subjects of an exhibition organized by the Institute in partnership with the Wien Museum Karlsplatz. The accompanying catalogue, edited by LBI researcher Georg Huemer together with Ernst Seibert and Lisa Noggler-Gürtler, contains articles on the life and work of Lobe and Weigel.  Publisher link




European Journal of Life Writing, Vol. 3 (2014) & Vol. 4 (2015)

RegisterTobias Heinrich und Monika Soeting are the co-editors of a special volume of EJLW featuring articles developed from work presented at the 3rd IABA Europe conference 'Beyond the Subject - New Developments in Life Writing', which was organized by the Institute in Autumn 2013.

Link to the Journal



Hofmannsthal. Places: 20 Biographical Explorations.

This biography is based around the places where Hofmannsthal lived, worked and found inspiration. The authors describe the formative influences associated with particular locations, starting with his birthplace in Vienna's Salesianergasse  and his school, the Akademisches Gymnasium, via artistically significant places such as Café Griensteidl and the Burgtheater, to the cities that were important for Hofmannsthal, including Berlin, Munich, Venice and Paris.




Arthur Schnitzler: 'Später Ruhm'.

Fame comes late for Eduard Saxberger. A young man visits him and reveals himself to be a reader of a small book, with which Saxberger had once caused a furore. His literary admirer invites him to a writers' circle where he is honoured as a role model. At first ashamed to be reminded of the lost past, then fascinated by debates about what true art is, Saxberger finally joins the writers. But, as he is soon to discover, he is unable to produce new work.






Boredom is Poison. The Life of Eugenie Schwarzwald.

Eugenie Schwarzwald (1872-1940) was one of the most fascinating women of her generation. She campaigned enthusiastically for progressive education and social work, as well as communal kitchens and holiday camps. 'Frau Doktor' was also active as a journalist and invited writers such as Thomas Mann, Sinclair Lewis and Egon Friedell to her literary salon in Vienna, one of the most progressive of its time. Read more



The Last Austrian. Leopold von Andrian and his Estate in the German Literature Archive Marbach.

'The Last Austrian. Leopold von Andrian and his Estate in the German Literature Archive Marbach’, by Günter Riederer, has been published in the German Literature Archive's ‘From the Archive’ (ADA) series. Andrian’s literary estate, carefully looked after by the late American scholar of German literature Walter H. Perl, forms the point of departure for the present biography, that also examines the ideas, obsessions, and preoccupations of the ‘last Austrian’. Read more


Judaism in the Life and Work of Franz Werfel.

The result of a symposium organised by the University of California, Los Angeles, in conjunction with the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography in October 2010 in Los Angeles, the articles in this volume examine the various aspects of Judaism and facets of Jewish figures in the work of Franz Werfel. Key prose and dramatic works by the Prague-born, German-speaking writer are examined in this context. Read more


Bachmann, the Myth: Between Staging and Self-staging.

Ingeborg Bachmann was denigrated as a ‘fallen poet’ and hailed as a precursor of feminist critiques of patriarchy. The aim of this volume is not to write the biography of the poet anew, but rather to examine the media images, unstudied readings, and scholarly interpretations of the writer’s work, which still continue to shape public perception of Ingeborg Bachmann to the present day. Read more


Theory of Biography - Key Texts and Commentary.

This textbook is an anthology of the most important texts on the theory of biography. Groundbreaking, programmatic texts are presented in chronological order from the 18th to the 20th century, including contributions by Herder, Carlyle, Dilthey, Freud, Kracauer, Woolf, Foucault, and Bourdieu. Each text is accompanied by a commentary which highlights the text's importance and situates it in the history and theory of biography. Read more


Ernst Jandl Connected.

The Ernst Jandl DVD uses the connective possibilities offered by hypertext to link documents and texts, enabling a variety of pathways through the material. Many sources from Ernst Jandl’s extensive archive, held at the Literary Archives of the Austrian National Library, are presented publicly for the first time. The project of a multimedial Ernst Jandl DVD was developed in the context of the 'Ernst Jandl' research strand. Read more


The Ernst Jandl Show.

Ernst Jandl was constantly searching for new forms of artistic expression: alongside sound poetry, he wrote poems in dialect, experimental prose, autobiographical texts, radio plays, theatre plays, films and one ballet. As a performer he made his audiences laugh, sometimes roar. His appearances with the NDR Bigband or the Vienna Art Orchestra are legendary. He was a passionate jazz fan, chess player, teacher and poet, a unique perfomer and mediator both of his own texts as well as those of others. Read more


Biography - Contributions to its History.

The volume reflects upon the history of modern biography since Johann Gottfried Herder. The historical status and methodology of seminal biographies are systematically examined. The principle methodologies used here are those of hermeneutics, ideology critique, and narratology.
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Towards a Theory of Biography.

Wilhelm Dilthey created a point of direct access to one of the ultimate disciplines, despite his scepticism about the ability of biographical research to generate academic insights. His question – 'the individual is only a crossing point for cultural systems, organisations, in which his being is interwoven: how can they be understood through him?' – leads to the centre of contemporary debates. The volume focuses and reflects upon crucial questions for the theory of biography: it treats the tension between biographical evidence and construction, between the simultaneous presence and absence of the remembered, described, desired, and researched object. The chapters thematize the relationship between biography and gender, biography and mediality, biography and society.  Read more


Thomas Bernhard and the Theatre.

He claimed to have as many enemies as Austria has inhabitants and called himself a master of exaggeration. His plays such as ‘Heldenplatz’, which premiered in 1988 as a commission for Vienna’s Burgtheater under Bernhard’s director of choice, Claus Peymann, were a reliable source of scandal in Austria. Thomas Bernhard treated the culture industry and the history of his country with acerbity and subtle humour. Read more


Icons, Heroes, Outsiders: Film and Biography.

Biographical films have existed since the earliest days of cinema, and cover a broad variety of styles, from the Hollywood 'biopic' to the documentary film. The main focus of this volume is on biographical films of the last two decades. Read more


Mirror and Mask: Constructions of Biographical Truth.

The volume focuses on processes of manipulation, stylization and (un)masking which are used to construct life stories, looking also at the suppression and destruction of biography. What kinds of contradictions and gaps are created by biographical constructions, and what rhetorical and aesthetic strategies are employed? What political and ideological assumptions lie behind biographies? Read more


Thomas Bernhard: Life - Work - Impact.

Thomas Bernhard’s life and works overlap in complex ways. Many of his protagonists were modelled on the person who defined his youth, his grandfather Johannes Freumbichler. The proximity of his texts to real people and events has continually caused ‘upsets’, for example after the publication of his novel 'Holzfällen' ('Woodcutters'), which was taken to be a roman à clef. The utterances of his literary figures often correspond to things he said himself, rendering comparison between reality and fiction both tempting and fraught with difficulty. Read more


Ernst Jandl: Music, Rhythm, and Radical Poetry.

Together with previously unpublished texts by Ernst Jandl, this volume collects photographs, drawings, facsimiles and documents relating to Jandl’s activity as a poet and teacher. Texts both by and about Jandl in his capacity as a multilingual writer, essays on aspects of his life and work, and tributes and commentaries by close contemporaries all combine to provide to a vivid portrait of an author whose lyrical and flexible approach to language have guaranteed him not only a place in the literary canon, but also broader recognition in everyday culture. With contributions by Yoko Tawada, Wendelin Schmidt-Dengler, Daniela Strigl, Luigi Reitani, István Eörsi, Michael Hamburger, and others. Read more