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Literature, Film, and Culture Industry in Contemporary Austria

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Margarete Lamb-Faffelberger

Contemporary Austria habitually presents itself as the «cultural nation», or Kulturnation, where the promotion of culture is both of national and economic importance. In 1999, the government stated the value of culture in Austria as follows: «Our cultural heritage, contemporary culture, and art constitute major factors for both our own definition of cultural nation as well as the foreign perception of Austria.» Since the 1950s, Austria has nurtured a romantic attitude toward its past glory and embraced a cultural conservatism that hindered many Austrians from developing an open mind toward – and interest in – cultural criticism, artistic experimentation, and innovation. Therefore, most state funding continues to be channeled toward Austria’s established theaters and artists rather than the writers and filmmakers, who make significant contributions to the public discourse on cultural amnesia and historical revisionism by challenging with varying intensity and on differing aesthetic platforms Austria’s misguided self-promotion, such as Kulturnation par excellence.
Contents: Margarete Lamb-Faffelberger/Franz-Peter Griesmaier: Introduction – Herbert Hofreither: Austria: Small Country with Grand Culture? Cultural Industry, Cultural Policy, Art Funding in the Information Age – Walter Grond: Isn’t It Rather Easy to Think Positively? – Jürgen Koppensteiner: «I Would Have Liked to Be Peter Handke’s First Publisher»: A Conversation with Maximilian Droschl – Alfred Pfabigan: «Staatskünstler». The Debate about the Austrian System of Subsidy for Art and Artists – Bernhard Doppler: Hermann Nitsch’s Festivals. Observations from the Prinzendorfer Six-Day-Play in 1998 – Franz-Peter Griesmaier: Representationality and Realism: A New Look at Austrian Experimental Poetry – Carlotta von Maltzan: Voyeurism and Film in Elfriede Jelinek’s The Piano Teacher – Gerlinde Ulm Sanford: Alois Brandstetter and the Culture Industry in Austria – Pamela S. Saur: Market Forces and the Dramas of Karl Schönherr – Edward R. McDonald: Fritz Hochwälder’s Problematic Marriage of Medium and Message in The Holy Experiment and The Raspberry Picker – Robert Acker: Josef Haslinger’s Opernball: From Best Seller to Film Thriller – Mary Wauchope: Sissi Revisited – Ioan Lazarescu: Landeskunde in Film: The Didactic Documentary as Facilitator of Austria-Clichés.