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Posts tagged ‘Thomas Bernhard’


… occasionally people even drink a coffee in a coffeehouse, but that’s not the reason one goes there. –  H. Weigl, Austrian writer

Vienna and her coffeehouses are inseparable. At the turn of the century, Vienna boasted over 600 coffeehouses catering to every profession, social class, and mood. Then, as today, writers, business people, students, artists, intellectuals and international guests have come to treasu­re their time “alone in the company of others.” One Austrian poet in the early 1900s felt so at home in his Stammcafe that he used Café Central as his return address. You’ll find Herr Altenberg sitting there still, opinion-loaded and inspiration-ready at his Stammtisch directly inside the brass doors of the marble-pillared historical gem.


Große Brauner in Cafe Central

But perhaps you’d prefer something more 50s style like the favored café of Thomas Bernhard (Bräunerhof)? Or maybe you’d like to contemplate dreams and the subconscious along with the memory of Sigmund Freud (Café Landtmann)? Coffeehouses vary in atmosphere and offerings. Some will have chess, piano accompaniment, or singers, some not. But no matter what coffeehouse you choose, all of them will have great coffee.

You will be able to choose from a long list of cof­fees, and we’re not talking regular or vanilla-flavored. Your coffee will usually come served on a silver platter with a cup of water on the side and usually – though not always – the spoon delicately balanced atop the glass. Newspapers from around the world will be hanging on a newspaper rack, available for your perusal. In attempt to guarantee your time is undisturbed, the server will skillfully ignore you and refrain from slapping down your check until you kindly request he or she do so.


Einspanner in Cafe Museum

In today’s world of multitasking, need-it-yesterday, working-against-the-clock, don‘t you think you deserve some balm for the soul? Allow a black coat-and-tails waiter to serve up a Mélange and afford you a few glorious hours to sit back and smell the coffee.

Can’t go to the coffeehouse? Then bring a little coffeehouse home to you – Apple Strudel recipe:

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This post gives a list of coffeehouses and quotes about coffeehouses from famous Austrians:



Austrian word of the Week – Spirit Annihilation Asylum

“We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control. No dark sarcasm in the classroom.” —  Pink Floyd, Another Brick in the Wall

Print This PostGeistesvernichtungsanstalt: As I write, thousands of Austrian students who are nearing graduation are being subjected to one last round of tests – four written, and three or four oral. They fail? Tough luck, you don’t graduate. And you thought fixing the tassel on your funny cardboard hat was a lot of pressure at the end senior year. And maybe that’s why Austrian novelist, Thomas Bernhard, referred to schools as Geistesvernichtungsanstalten.  “Geist” is the mind or spirit — you might be familiar with the German (and English) term “Zeitgeist” – meaning the “spirit of the times.” “Vernichtung” means annihiliation – yes total destruction – Bernhard was never an author known for holding back or softening the blow. And an “Anstalt” is an institution – but more along the lines of an asylum. So what’s a spirit annihilating asylum? A school.

Now see if you can say the 26-letter word really fast, three times and KC will give you a gold star.

Nie mehr Schule… keine Schule mehr…

More Words of the Week

Beuschlreißer: Lung Ripper

Blechtrottel: Tin Idiot


Eierbär: Eggsbear

Eifersucht, Frühlingsmüdigkeit, Hungerlohn, Torschlusspanik, Schadenfreude, Weltschmerz, Katzenjammer, Freitod, Holzpyjama, Lebensmüde, Fernweh

Fetzenschädel: Rags Skull

Geistesvernichtungsanstalt: Spirit Annihilation Asylum


Häuslpapierfladerer: House Paper Thief


Krautwacher: Cabbage Guard

Putzgretl: Cleaning Gretl

Saubär: Pig Bear

Treppenwitz: Stair Joke

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Wappler swearing in Austria

Der Kleine Wappler – How to swear and bad mouth in Austria

Delve more into the Austrian creative side with their rant words: “Der Kleine Wappler” by Astrid Wintersberger, Residenz Verlag — book is completely in Austrian language.

Website of Austrian Dialect: