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Welcome to the Website of Vitalis Publishers

and welcome to the international section of our range of books. Here you can browse through our English, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Dutch, and Japanese titles, as well as have a look at a select choice of our German books. Please visit our German or Czech websites for our entire publishing programme.

 Prague  Rainer Maria Rilke
 Bohemia and Moravia  Fairytales
 Austria  Featured German Books
 Franz Kafka  Further German Titles


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Roman Neugebauer
A City of Dreams on the Vltava

With many colour pictures.
72 pages, 16,5x16,5 cm, thread-stitching, bound in half-linen, gold relief embossing, ribbon.
€ 9,60

German 978-3-89919-249-0 in stock
English 978-80-7253-348-0 in stock
French 978-80-7253-349-7 in stock
Spanish 978-80-7253-350-3 in stock
Italian 978-80-7253-351-0 in stock
Russian 978-80-7253-352-7 in stock

This little booklet is a collection of the must-see sights of Prague: the lofty Castle, the famous Charles Bridge, the Old Town Square with the astronomical clock. A charming illustrated guide to the City of Dreams on the Vltava.

O Prague, O solemn city, O city of martyrs, musicians and pretty maids …
Wilhelm Raabe

Harald Salfellner
Prague – A Guide

3rd edition.
With over 200 colour pictures.
208 pages, 11x19 cm, softcover.
€ 14,90

German 978-3-89919-341-1 in stock
English 978-80-7253-364-0 in stock
French 978-80-7253-365-7 in stock
Spanish 978-80-7253-366-4 in stock
Italian 978-80-7253-367-1 in stock
Russian 978-80-7253-368-8 in stock

This compact and detailed guide is packed with interesting and detailed descriptions of all the important buildings and monuments of Prague.

This city guide is produced and published in Prague making it particularly reliable and authoritative.

Thanks to our clear numbering system, you can explore the Golden City yourself without the restriction of prescribed routes.

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Harald Salfellner
Prague Cafés

With many colour pictures.
112 pages, 13x21 cm, softcover.
€ 9,90

German 978-3-89919-088-2 out of stock
English 978-80-7253-199-8 in stock
French 978-80-7253-200-1 in stock
Spanish 978-80-7253-202-5 in stock
Italian 978-80-7253-201-8 in stock

Exploring the coffee houses of Prague is a rewarding pastime. From the kavárna of old Prague to the jazz café of the music-loving Czechs – there are any number of welcoming and original cafés where it is a pleasure to chat, read, write or simply relax. If you want to know where the best coffee houses are to be found and how much of Prague ’s lively café culture still remains, sit down with a cup of mocca or turka and let this little book be your guide to the café scene of the Golden City.

Harald Salfellner
Prague – The Golden City (hardcover)

A book of photographs and texts.
112 pages, 19x25 cm, thread-stitching, hardback, title embossed in gold,
ribbon. With more than 250 colour pictures.
€ 19,90

German 978-3-89919-187-5 in stock
English 978-80-7253-330-5 in stock
French 978-80-7253-331-2 in stock
Spanish 978-80-7253-320-6 in stock
Italian 978-80-7253-321-3 in stock
Russian 978-80-7253-322-0 in stock
Chinenisch 978-80-7253-353-4 out of stock

Prague is known as the Rome of the north, Kafka's city, the city of a hundred spires. This illustrated volume, with excellent photography and informative accompanying texts, leads you through the city on the Vltava on both well-known and more secluded paths; it offers an insight into its history over the centuries and conveys an impression of its mysterious atmosphere. Whether as a gift or as a souvenir this book will take you on an atmospheric journey into the heart of the Golden City.

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Harald Salfellner
Prague – The Golden City

With many colour pictures.
112 pages, 19x21 cm, softcover.
€ 9,90

German 978-3-89919-246-9 in stock
English 978-80-7253-333-6 in stock
French 978-80-7253-334-3 in stock
Spanish 978-80-7253-336-7 in stock
Italian 978-80-7253-335-0 in stock
Russian 978-80-7253-337-4 in stock
Chinese 978-80-7253-338-1 in stock
  Korean 978-80-7253-374-9 in stock


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Harald Salfellner (Ed.)
The Prague Golem
Jewish Stories of the Ghetto

64 pages, 15x21 cm, softcover, jacket.
With illustrations in b&w.
€ 9,90

German 978-3-89919-099-1 in stock
English 978-80-7253-188-2 in stock
French 978-80-7253-110-3 in stock
Spanish 978-80-7253-111-0 in stock
Italian 978-80-7253-245-2 in stock
Russian 978-80-7253-258-2 in stock

Prague has been one of the most significant cities in European Judaism for many centuries. Alongside notable buildings such as the Old-New Synagogue, the Pinkas Synagogue, the Old Jewish Cemetery and the Jewish Town Hall, there are the stories, myths, and legends of the old, mysterious ghetto. These stories about the wise Rabbi Loew, the Golem and the wealthy Mordecai Maisel allow us to visualize the long lost world of Jewish Prague.

Bohemia and Moravia

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Roman Neugebauer
SchieleAn Illustrated Life

With many colour pictures.
80 pages, 15x21 cm, softcover, relief
€ 9,60

German 978-3-89919-318-3 in stock
English 978-3-89919-319-0 in stock
French 978-3-89919-320-6 in stock
Spanish 978-3-89919-321-3 in stock
Italian 978-3-89919-322-0 in stock
Russian 978-3-89919-323-7 in stock

Egon Schiele had many faces: the exceptionally talented artistic genius; the sensitive creator of peaceful landscapes and the shameless narcissist, who produced no fewer than 170 self-portraits; and the perpetual child and sex maniac, in whose studio young women and girls lifted their skirts. His work undoubtedly ranks him among the greatest artists of the Modern age. His scandal-prone life is the stuff of legend, immortalised in novels and films. But who was the real Egon Schiele?
Featuring over 150 illustrations, this fascinating book paints a portrait of one of the most intriguing artistic personalities of the 20th century. Step by step, we follow Schiele through his life – from childhood to his happy interlude in Krummau, from the crisis of his arrest to the artistic triumph that came only shortly before his death aged just 28.


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Roman Neugebauer
MuchaAn Illustrated Life

With many colour pictures.
80 pages, 15x21 cm, softcover, relief embossing.
€ 9,90

German 978-3-89919-240-7 in stock
English 978-3-89919-241-4 in stock
French 978-3-89919-242-1 in stock
Spanish 978-3-89919-244-5 in stock
Italian 978-3-89919-243-8 in stock
Russian 978-3-89919-245-2 in stock

Alphonse Mucha is world famous for his seductively beautiful panneaux and posters. As a decorative artist he shaped the appearance of a whole age: in the years around 1900, “Le Style Mucha” was the epitome of cosmopolitan elegance.
Lavishly illustrated, this volume explores every facet of Mucha’s art, from the very beginnings, through the success of his posters, to his monumental later work. Insightful texts follow the artist through his life, leading the reader into the studios where the famous “Mucha women” were created and unfurling a panorama of a turbulent era.


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Harald Salfellner
The Best Czech Recipes

80 pages, 11x16 cm, hardcover, a cook book with colour photographs.
€ 9,60

German 978-3-89919-100-4 in stock
English 978-80-7253-212-4 in stock
French 978-80-7253-253-7 in stock
Spanish 978-80-7253-252-0 in stock
Italian 978-80-7253-251-3 in stock
Russian 978-80-7253-273-5 in stock

Just as in the days of the Emperor, people flock to the Czech Republic today to savour tasty local specialities, ranging from the fine delicacies of the international spa centres of Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), to the hearty rustic stews renowned in the Krkonoše (Giant Mountains) and the Šumava (Bohemian Forests). This little book is a collection of the best recipes both old and new, presented in such a way that they can be easily prepared in the average modern kitchen. We wish you every success with them and "bon appetit", or as we say here: „Dobrou chut’!"

From the contents: Prague Ham Loaf, Bohemian Pork Goulash, Bohemian Bread Dumplings, Moravian Sparrow, Carp with Anchovies, Pancakes, Bohemian Hotcakes, Prague Nut Cake and a lot more.


Božena Němcová
The Grandmother (Babička)

Illustrated by Karel Hruška, with a preface by the translator.
German edition: 400
pages, 13x21 cm, hardcover, ribbon.
English edition: 380 pages, 13x21 cm, softcover.
€ 12,40

German 978-3-89919-095-3 out of stock
English 978-80-7253-288-9 in stock

The Czech author Božena Němcová (1820–1862), born in Vienna, paints an entirely unsentimental portrait of the country habits and customs of Bohemia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and depicts the people she encountered during her childhood: teachers, maids, farm workers, millers, foresters, priests, to name but a few. The central character of this story, set in Eastern Bohemia, is a grandmother, full of simple wisdom, goodness and love, who personifies an ideal of maternal care. The Prošek family live in this country idyll but their father’s work means that he is compelled to spend a large part of the year in the imperial city of Vienna. Thus, their grandmother is brought home to look after the children and the property. This is the background against which the author unfolds the most important prose work in Czech literature and creates "one of the best female characters in world literature".


Gabriela Salfellner
The Best Imperial Recipes

80 pages, 15x21 cm, softcover, a cook book with colour photographs.
€ 9,60

German 978-3-89919-402-9 in stock
English 978-3-89919-403-6 in stock
French 978-3-89919-404-3 in stock
Spanish 978-3-89919-405-0 in stock
Italian 978-3-89919-406-7 in stock
Russian 978-3-89919-407-4 in stock

Today, bakers and cooks the world over are re­creating specialities which originated in the old Austrian Empire long ago. A large portion of inventiveness, seasoned with a few hearty pinches of influence from Bohemia and Hungary, combine to create exquisite dishes, whether sweet or savoury, delicate or substantial, that were prepared in the royal kitchens in the days of Sisi and Franz Joseph.

Many famous recipes, from Tafelspitz to Kaiserschmarren, illustrated with full-page, colour photographs, just begging to be tried at home.

From the contents: Hapsburg Soup, Martini Goose, Wiener Schnitzel, Nut Soufflé with Chocolate Sauce, Salzburger Nockerln, Sachertorte and a lot more.

Juliana Weitlaner
Maria Theresa An Illustrated Life of an Empress

With many colour pictures.
120 pages, 15x21 cm, softcover, gold relief embossing
€ 14,50

German 978-3-89919-456-2 in stock
English 978-3-89919-457-9 in stock
Czech 978-3-89919-458-6 in stock

Maria Theresa of Austria – a Baroque concerto grosso, a cantata of beauty, magnificence and imperial splendour. Juliana Weitlaner has been granted an audience with the empress and paints a delicately shaded portrait of this true Viennese woman, which includes the battle for her father’s legacy, the endless wars with Frederick of Prussia and the great reforms introduced later in her life. We catch glimpses in these pages of a dewy maiden, a loving wife and strict mother, and also of the prudish guardian of public morals in her black widow’s weeds. There are bright days in Schönbrunn Palace and dark hours at the Hofburg as Maria Theresa extends a gracious hand to us as the greatly acclaimed ruler, the greatly tried human creature and the greatly loved mother of the nation.


Juliana Weitlaner
Franz Joseph I An Illustrated Life of an Emperor

With many colour pictures.
80 pages, 15x21 cm, softcover, gold relief embossing
€ 9,60

German 978-3-89919-449-4 in stock
English 978-3-89919-450-0 in stock
French 978-3-89919-451-7 in stock
Spanish 978-3-89919-452-4 in stock
Italian 978-3-89919-453-1 in stock
Russian 978-3-89919-454-8 iin stock
Czech 978-3-89919-455-5 in stock

Franz Joseph defined his era and exemplified the old Austria. Installed on the throne as a young prince in 1848, he governed the Imperial State with a firm hand, for 68 years. Despite everything that fate threw at him, he was at the helm as the monarchy experienced its final flourish and ultimate decline. He saw the purpose of his office as to protect his people from their politicians. When he departed this life in 1916, the multi-ethnic state lost its most important linchpin. This book recounts the glittering heights and bitterest tragedies of his life with historical astuteness and a certain literary licence. A biography whose beauty is in its brevity.


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Karl Tschuppik
Elisabeth – Empress of Austria

With many colour pictures.
80 pages, 15x21 cm, softcover.
€ 9,60

Abridged version based on the original texts by Karl Tschuppik (1928/1929)

German 978-3-89919-339-8 in stock
English 978-3-89919-334-3 in stock
French 978-3-89919-335-0 in stock
Spanish 978-3-89919-336-7 in stock
Italian 978-3-89919-337-4 in stock
Russian 978-3-89919-338-1 in stock
Chinesisch 978-3-89919-340-4 in stock

Austria in 1854: The young Bavarian Duchess Elisabeth takes the hand of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph in marriage in the festively decorated Augustiner Church in Vienna – amid the rejoicing of the people, “Sisi”, the child of nature, becomes the Empress of Austria. This fairytale beginning is soon darkened by deep shadows. When the golden cage becomes too restrictive, Elisabeth flees from the constraints of court and travels wistfully through distant countries – always searching for true happiness.
The powerful language of Karl Tschuppik’s texts on the life of the Empress Elisabeth still cannot be equalled and it recreates the splendour and the tragedy of the monarchy.

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Harald Salfellner (Ed.)
Mozart – An Illustrated Life

With many colour pictures.
80 pages, 15x21 cm, softcover, gold relief embossing.
€ 9,60

German 978-3-89919-373-2 in stock
English 978-3-89919-374-9 in stock
French 978-3-89919-375-6 in stock
Spanish 978-3-89919-376-3 in stock
Italian 978-3-89919-377-0 in stock
Russian 978-3-89919-378-7 in stock

On a cold January night in year 1756, a child is born in Salzburg’s Getreidegasse: his name is to become known across the world: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. As a young boy, he delights audiences from among the noble families of Europe; as a grown man in the imperial city of Vienna, he battles for his livelihood as an independent musician and composer – leaving behind an eternal musical treasure house. This book shows us Mozart’s life by means of clasical biographies and numerous illustrations, and leads us into a world in which magic flutes and money troubles go hand in hand.

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Harald Salfellner (Ed.)
Klimt – An Illustrated Life

With many colour pictures.
80 pages, 15x21 cm, softcover, gold relief embossing.
€ 9,60

German 978-3-89919-379-4 in stock
English 978-3-89919-380-0 in stock
French 978-3-89919-381-7 in stock
Spanish 978-3-89919-382-4 in stock
Italian 978-3-89919-383-1 in stock
Russian 978-3-89919-384-8 in stock
Czech 978-3-89919-234-6 in stock

He is the Jugendstil master, the founder of the Vienna Secession; his pantings which sell for record pricesand his lifestyle are the stuff of legend. His portraits, the golden Adele Bloch-Bauer for example, and pictures of women, like Danaë, are instantly recognisable, emblazone across coffee cups and umbrellas. However, what do we actually know about the man himself, who summoned up such erotic female beauty? This little book provides an overview of his life, his successes, his scandals and affairs. Set against the background of the Belle Époque, it recreates the world of one of Austria’s greatest painters, lavishly ilustrated with photographs from Klimt’s litefime as well as his best-known pictures.

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Harald Salfellner
A City of Dreams on the Danube

With many colour pictures.
72 pages, 19,5x19,5 cm, thread-stitching, bound in half-linen, gold relief embossing, ribbon.
€ 9,60

German 978-3-89919-326-8 in stock
English 978-3-89919-327-5 in stock
French 978-3-89919-328-2 in stock
Spanish 978-3-89919-329-9 in stock
Italian 978-3-89919-330-5 in stock
Russian 978-3-89919-331-2 in stock
Czech 978-3-89919-168-4 in stock
Japanisch 978-3-89919-235-3 in stock
Chinesisch 978-3-89919-227-8 in stock

Getting to know Vienna for the first time: an encounter with the medieval town, the residence of the Hapsburg dynasty and one of Europe’s most important cultural metropolises. A delightful illustrated book about the city of dreams on the Danube.

Nothing has changed in Vienna for hundreds of years. Except that the Kaiser does not visit any more.
Fritz Molden

Harald Salfellner (Ed.)
Austrian Fairytales
Collected from Old Sources

Illustrated throughout in colour by Lucie Müllerová.
48 pages, 19,5x19,5 cm, thread-stitching, bound in half-linen, gold relief embossing, ribbon.
€ 9,60

German 978-3-89919-147-9 in stock
English 978-3-89919-148-6 in stock
French 978-3-89919-149-3 in stock
Spanish 978-3-89919-150-9 in stock
Italian 978-3-89919-151-6 in stock
Russian 978-3-89919-152-3 in stock
Tschechisch 978-3-89919-333-6 in stock
Chinesisch 978-3-89919-332-9 in stock

“Stick on!” cries the dashing young man who wants to court the Princess, and soon everyone is stuck to his little magic wagon: the sooty chimneysweep, the hearty baker’s boy with his tasty bread rolls, the curious shop girl in her apron – and it will be the same for all lovers of fairytales who pick up this book. It is a journey in seven-league boots through the Austrian countryside, telling the best-loved folk tales along the way from the banks of Lake Neusiedl to the Alpine valleys of Vorarlberg. In Lower Austria a fantastical tree grows up to the sky; in Tyrol a bear is transformed into a handsome Prince; and in Salzburg a magic coffee mill spews out so much wheat that the grains fly out of the chimney. Even the sullen Princess has to laugh heartily, and in the end they all live happily ever after.

Interested in more books of fairytales? Please click here.

In stock of März 2018

Vitalis Mini-Calendars 2018

(7,5 x 10 cm)

English € 3,80 each


978-3-89919-365-7   Klimt Beethovenfries 978-3-89919-490-6

Art Nouveau

978-3-89919-370-1   Monet Claude 978-3-89919-474-6
Brueghel Pieter 978-3-89919-371-8   Moser Kolo 978-3-89919-489-0
Cats in Art 978-3-89919-350-3   Mozart 978-3-89919-475-3
Erotic Art 978-3-89919-491-3   Mucha Alfons 978-3-89919-476-0
Dürer Albrecht 978-3-89919-461-6   Mucha Girls 978-3-89919-349-7
Empress Elisabeth 978-3-89919-462-3   Prague City of Dreams 978-3-89919-477-7
Friedrich Caspar David 978-3-89919-463-0   Renoir August 978-3-89919-478-4
Empress Maria Theresa 978-3-89919-464-7   Roses in Art 978-3-89919-479-1

Vincent van Gogh

978-3-89919-465-4   Schiele Egon 978-3-89919-480-7

Golden Lane

978-3-89919-466-1   Schiele Egon Landscapes 978-3-89919-481-4

Golden Prague

978-3-89919-467-8   Seurat Georges 978-3-89919-488-3
Golden Vienna 978-3-89919-468-5   Strauss Johann 978-3-89919-482-1
Historic Prague 978-3-89919-469-2   Toulouse-Lautrec 978-3-89919-483-8
Historic Vienna 978-3-89919-470-8   The Dog in Art 978-3-89919-484-5
Kandinsky 978-3-89919-493-7   The Vienna State Opera 978-3-89919-485-2
Kafka Franz 978-3-89919-471-5   Vienna Cafés 978-3-89919-486-9

Klimt Gustav

978-3-89919-472-2   Vienna City od Dreams 978-3-89919-487-6
Klimt Landscapes 978-3-89919-473-9      



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Franz Kafka

Harald Salfellner
Franz Kafka and Prague

A Literary Guide

With many colour pictures.
120 pages, 15x21 cm, softcover.
€ 9,60
German 978-3-89919-061-8 in stock
English 978-80-7253-303-9 in stock
French 978-80-7253-304-6 in stock
Spanish 978-80-7253-305-3 in stock
Italian 978-80-7253-306-0 in stock
Russian 978-80-7253-307-7 in stock
  Tschechisch 978-3-89919-324-4 in stock

“Franz Kafka was Prague and Prague was Franz Kafka”, Johannes Urzidil once wrote. And indeed, following the traces of Kafka’s life, your way leads right into the heart of the old royal seat on the Moldau River .
Every fiber of Kafka’s being was rooted in Prague ’s soil, everywhere in his works the city and its people shine forth between the lines. This compact guide invites its readers into Kafka’s world. It teaches you to see Prague as Kafka saw it.
Packed with concise texts and more than 150 historical illustrations, this guidebook has become a Prague classic in its own right: Always up-to-date, for many years and through many editions, it has been the standard reference for all those who are willing to let themselves be guided and carried away: by the poet Franz Kafka and by the Golden Prague of about a hundred years ago.

"An unbelievable treasure trove of historic political events, of cultural history and quotations from Kafka’s works is opened up when Harald Salfellner begins to narrate.”
Deutsche Welle

Franz Kafka and Prague by Harald Salfellner is by far the best of several works on that subject”.
Richard Burton, Prague. Cities of the Imagination

Franz Kafka
The Castle

Illustrated by Karel Hruška.
German edition: 404 pages, 13x21 cm, hardcover, thread-stitching, ribbon.
English edition: 384 pages, 13x21 cm, softcover.
€ 12,90

German 978-3-89919-128-8 in stock
English 978-80-7253-299-5 in stock

"The words that can be said about this book are merely tentative asides. A person must glean for himself line by line how the ominous severity of the final verdict emerges from an often lovely coexistence of irony and reverence. With this book he has now fully emerged into the domain of great, timelessly prophetic art, of a Dante, a Hölderlin. That which remained denied to a faltering, stammering generation, and that for which it ecstatically bled itself to death: in these fragments all this steps into the light of our time in artistic perfection." (Hans Sahl)

Franz Kafka
A Country Doctor

With illustrations by Karel Hruška and an afterword on the creation and impact of the text by Elisabeth Fuchs.
German edition: 104 pages, 13x21cm, hardcover, thread-stitching, ribbon.
English edition: 100 pages, 13x21cm, hardcover, thread-stitching, ribbon.
€ 9,90

German 978-3-89919-239-1 in stock
English 978-80-7253-325-1 in stock
French 978-80-7253-284-1 in stock
Spanish 978-80-7253-327-5 in stock
Italian 978-80-7253-328-2 in stock
tschechisch 978-80-7253-339-8 lieferbar
chinesisch 978-80-7253-355-8 lieferbar

Franz Kafka (1883–1924) wrote these short stories in the Golden Lane, at the Prague Castle. They were published in his lifetime under the title A Country Doctor. In all of these stories, Kafka conjures up a partly irrational, partly unpredictable, and always frightening world that is difficult to escape. In one case, a malfunctioning doctor's bell triggers a series of misfortunes; in another case, strange nomads appear against whom even the Emperor is powerless. Talking jackals or the indefinable Odradek lead the reader into the surreal. Is there a way out of this terror? The keeper of the Law provides an answer – "It's possible, but not now."

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Franz Kafka
Letter to Father

Illustrated with drawings by Franz Kafka and including an afterword on the creation and impact of the text by Elisabeth Fuchs.
German edition: 92 pages, 13x21 cm, hardcover, thread-stitching, ribbon.
English edition: 88 pages, 13x21 cm, hardcover, thread-stitching, ribbon.
€ 9,90

German 978-3-89919-248-3 in stock
English 978-80-7253-344-2 in stock
French 978-80-7253-346-6 in stock
Spanish 978-80-7253-347-3 in stock
Italian 978-80-7253-345-9 in stock

The Letter to Father (1919) was never sent but is considered the key to Franz Kafka's (1883–1924) literary work. This impressive testimony to a dramatic father-son conflict is an exceptional document in world literature. At once an indictment and a self-analysis, it gives the reader an insight into the complex inner life of its author. In a vivid captivating style, Kafka attempts to settle accounts with his authoritarian father, who appeared to him so tyrannical and onmipotent that he could write: "Sometimes I imagine the map of the world spread out and you stretched diagonally across it."

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Franz Kafka
Lost in America

With illustrations by Karel Hruška and an afterword by Anthony Northey.
German edition: 320 pages, 13x21 cm, hardcover, thread-stitching, ribbon, jacket.
English edition: 312 pages, 13x21 cm, softcover.
€ 12,90

German 978-3-89919-166-0 in stock
English 978-80-7253-316-9 in stock

“The story that I’m writing, which, I must say, is laid out into the endless … is called Der Verschollene [The Missing One] and takes place exclusively in the United States of North America,” Franz Kafka wrote to his beloved, Felice Bauer. The story of the young Karl Rossmann, a sixteen-year-old, whom his parents send to the New World from his Bohemian homeland, was indeed laid out without end. Of his three novels, this was the one on which the author spent the most time over the longest period of time, but like The Trial and The Castle it remained an unfinished torso.
The Prague jurist and insurance official Franz Kafka only knew about America from flickering silent movies, from travelogues, and from the tales of a number of relatives from his widely branched out family. The story of the lost Karl Rossmann is a different kind of immigration story, one of an innocent plunged suddenly into the world of deceitful adults. But like the Dickens-novel the author realized he was writing, was the story supposed to end happily in an Oklahoma of wonders?

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Franz Kafka

With illustrations by Karel Hruška and an afterword on the creation and impact of the text by Elisabeth Fuchs.
80 pages, 13x21 cm, hardcover, thread-stitching, ribbon.
€ 9,90

German 978-3-89919-105-9 out of stock
English 978-80-7253-255-1 out of stock
French 978-80-7253-281-0 in stock
Spanish 978-80-7253-282-7 in stock
Italian 978-80-7253-283-4 out of stock

"Kafka's little meditations form something previously unknown in German literature; I know no model." (Hans Kohn in Selbstwehr, Dec. 20, 1912)

"This appears to be the way that leads to Parnassus: something like this is profound and fashioned with a most sensitive touch." (Kurt Tucholsky in Prager Tagblatt, Jan. 1, 1913)

"Stylistically unbelieveably mature, with the facility of the French masters, rhythmic as the lamentations of lonely young women …" (Otto Pick in Bohemia, Jan. 30, 1913)

"I can well imagine someone who comes upon this book and from that moment on, changes his life and becomes a different person. (Max Brod in März, Feb. 15, 1913)

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Franz Kafka
The Metamorphosis
as well as "The Retransformation of Gregor Samsa" by Karl Brand

124 pages, 13x21 cm, hardcover, thread-stitching, ribbon.
With illustrations by Karel Hruška and an afterword on the creation and impact of the text by Elisabeth Fuchs.
€ 9,90

German 978-3-89919-250-6 in stock
English 978-80-7253-340-4 in stock
French 978-80-7253-343-5 in stock
Spanish 978-80-7253-341-1 in stock
Italian 978-80-7253-342-8 in stock
Russian 978-80-7253-289-6 in stock

"When Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from troubled dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous insect. He lay on his back, which was as hard as an armour plate, and saw, as he raised his head a little, his vaulted brown belly divided by stiff, arch-shaped ribs, and the bed covers which could hardly cling to its height and were about to slide off completely. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the rest of his bulk, waved about helplessly before his eyes."

Included in this edition of Kafka’s famous short story is the Re-Metamorphosis of Gregor Samsa. This narration, published at the time in the Prague daily paper Prager Tagblatt, is a work by Karl Brand (1895–1917), an acquaintance of Kafka’s who suffered an untimely death due to laryngeal tuberculosis.

Franz Kafka
The Trial

Illustrated by Karel Hruška.
German edition: 288 pages, 13x21 cm, hardcover, thread-stitching, ribbon, jacket.
English edition: 272 pages, 13x21 cm, softcover.
€ 12,90

German 978-3-89919-122-6 out of stock
English 978-80-7253-298-8 in stock

"Somebody must have defamed Josef K., for without having done anything wrong, he was arrested one morning. His landlady's cook, who always brought him breakfast at about eight o'clock, did not appear that day. This had never happened before."

Niels Bokhove / Marijke van Dorst
A Great Artist One Day
Franz Kafka as a Pictorial Artist

With many illustrations in b&w.
112 pages, 19x25 cm, hardcover, thread-stitching, ribbon.
€ 19,90

German 978-3-89919-188-2 in stock
English 978-80-7253-236-0 in stock

When we speak of the work of Franz Kafka (1883–1924), we instinctively think of his literary work. It is less well known that Kafka also loved to draw. From early on his friend and literary executor Max Brod was of the opinion that Kafka was "an artist of particular strength and individuality as a draughtsman too" and that it was unjust merely to regard his drawings as a "curiosity".
This book brings together the author's drawings, accompanied by the relevant texts, providing a unique and comprehensive documentation.

"… an attractively laid out book. The large-format reproductions of the drawings are presented face to face with appropriate passages from Kafka's writings, diaries and letters, so that the interplay between contemplating the images and our impressions of the texts provides an insight into Kafka's productive imagination." (Hartmut Binder, Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

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Franz Kafka – Day by Day
A literary daybook

Ed. by Harald Salfellner,
53 colour pages on art paper, perforation, 24x29 cm.
€ 19,90

German 978-80-7253-317-6 out of stock
English 978-80-7253-292-6 out of stock

“Kafka was Prague and Prague was Kafka. Never was Prague so perfect, so typical of herself than she was during Kafka’s lifetime, and never will she be so again.”
Such was the striking formula with which Johannes Urzidil described the close relation between his friend Franz Kafka and his city. Franz Kafka – Day by Day illustrates with impressive pictures and short, entertaining articles how widely and how deeply the famous author was rooted in Prague ’s soil. On 53 pages, one for each week of the year, the reader gets to visit the homes and writing places of Kafka, is introduced to his friends and family, and follows the poet on his ways through the ancient imperial city.
Be it as a picture book, as an entertaining read, or as a perpetual calendar: If your heart throbs for Kafka, if your soul longs for the Golden City on the Vltava, this little literary daybook is a wonderful tonic – Day by Day.

Harald Salfellner
Through the Year with Franz Kafka
365 Days in Pictures, Texts, Dates, and Facts
A Perpetual Calendar Booklet

152 pages, 10,5 x16,5 cm, thread-stitching, softcover, ribbon.
€ 9,90

German 978-3-89919-108-0 out of stock
English 978-80-7253-268-1 out of stock

Franz Kafka's writing has fascinated generations of readers all over the world and includes some of the most famous works of literature written in the German language in the twentieth century.
This compact book takes the reader through the year with stimulating information about Kafka, extracts from his letters and works, and numerous illustrations. With ample space for notes.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke
Letters to a Young Poet

German edition: 84 pages, 13x21 cm, hardcover, thread-stitching, ribbon.
English edition: 80 pages, 13x21 cm, hardcover, thread-stitching, ribbon.
€ 9,90

German 978-3-89919-104-2 in stock
English 978-80-7253-203-2 out of stock

At the beginning of 1903, a pupil at the military academy in Wiener-Neustadt, Franz Xaver Kappus, sends a few poems to Rainer Maria Rilke, already a famous poet, and asks him to examine these texts. A few weeks later, he receives a blue-sealed envelope with a Paris postmark: this is the first of a total of ten letters in which Rilke addresses the subject of his writing, his reading, indeed his entire view of life. To this day, the Letters to a Young Poet are among the best-loved of all Rilke’s works.

Rainer Maria Rilke
Two Prague Stories

With illustrations by Karel Hruška and an afterword by Harald Salfellner.
German edition: 140 pages, 13x21 cm, hardcover, thread-stitching, ribbon.
English edition: 148 pages, 13x21 cm, hardcover, thread-stitching, ribbon.
€ 9,90

German 3-89919-085-8 out of stock
English 80-7253-234-0 out of stock

The young poet Rilke grew up in an atmosphere of German-Czech conflict, reflected in his early Two Prague Stories. "King Bohusch" is based on an actual incident involving the subversive organization "omladina". Rilke's second Prague story, "The Siblings", ends on a note of reconciliation, unlike "King Bohusch" – and unlike the actual course of German-Czech relations. This book is key to an understanding of this joint history.

Interested in more books by Rainer Maria Rilke? Please click here.


Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
The Story of a Dog

Illustrated throughout in colour by Lucie Müllerová.
32 pages, 19x25 cm, thread-stitching, bound in half-linen, gold relief embossing, ribbon.
€ 12,90

German 3-89919-039-4 out of stock
English 80-7253-070-4 in stock
Czech 80-7253-087-9 out of stock

The most well-known Austrian animal story is familiar to generations of readers and has become a true classic, with many film and television adaptations. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach tells the fate of a hunting dog, Krambambuli, obtained by District Hunter Hopp in exchange for a dozen bottles of Danzig cherry brandy. Hopp's hunting companion means the world to him – then in the forest they encounter the previous owner again: a vagabond drunkard and poacher …

Karel Jaromír Erben / Božena Němcová
Czech Fairytales

Illustrated throughout in colour by Lucie Müllerová.
116 pages, 19x25 cm, thread-stitching, bound in half-linen, gold relief embossing, ribbon.
€ 14,90

German 978-3-89919-062-5 in stock
English 978-80-7253-276-6 in stock
French 978-80-7253-277-3 in stock
Spanish 978-80-7253-278-0 in stock
Italian 978-80-7253-279-7 in stock
Russian 978-80-7253-093-9 in stock
Czech 978-80-7253-354-1 in stock

The Czech people, like every nation on earth, have their very own wealth of fairytales, passed down from generation to generation since time immemorial. Despite the familiarity of the basic themes, Czech fairytales retain their distinctive features, attracting young and old alike. Stories such as “The Princess with the Golden Star on her Forehead” or “Fire Bird and Red Fox” by Božena Nĕmcová and Karel Jaromír Erben offer an insight into the lives of the ordinary people in Bohemia and Moravia, as well as their wishes and dreams, which is not only romantic, but also thrilling. Thus that most magical phrase, which reminds adults of their childhood and brings a twinkle to children’s eyes, still casts a spell like no other: “Once upon a time…”


Harald Salfellner
Fips' Birthday
A Story from Golden Lane in Prague

A book suitable for children aged three and above.
Third, revised edition. Illustrated throughout in colour by Lucie Müllerová.
32 pages, 21x29 cm, thread-stitching, bound in half-linen, gold relief embossing.
€ 9,90

German 978-3-89919-098-4 out of stock
English 978-80-7253-204-9 out of stock
French 978-80-7253-205-6 out of stock
Spanish 978-80-7253-209-4 out of stock
Italian 978-80-7253-210-0 out of stock
Russian 978-80-7253-211-7 out of stock

For over a thousand years, Prague Castle has towered proudly over the roofs of the city from a high hill. Here mighty princes, kings and emperors held their glittering courts and determined the fate of the land of Bohemia .
A little to the side of the palace, a quaint little lane has survived to this day: the Golden Lane. In the past, its charming and colourful little houses were mainly inhabited by simple and poor people. The tiny houses often have just a single room! For many centuries the gatekeepers – who guarded the castle gates – had their lodgings here. Old legends also tell of so-called alchemists, who used the little houses’ narrow cellars in their search for a recipe to produce gold – the lane owes its varied names such as “Golden Lane”, “Alchemists Lane” and even “Goldmakers Lane” to them.

About fifty years ago, the last residents left the narrow Golden Lane. But the tiny lane is by no means unpopulated: All kinds of animals have moved into the rows of houses abandoned by the people – cats, sparrows, cockchafers, glow-worms – and even the little monkey Fips, the hero of this tale.

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Harald Salfellner (Ed.)
Jewish Fairytales and Legends

Illustrated throughout in colour by Lucie Müllerová.
64 pages, 19x25 cm, thread-stitching, bound in half-linen, gold relief embossing, ribbon.
€ 14,90

German 978-3-89919-060-1 in stock
English 978-80-7253-237-7 in stock
French 978-80-7253-269-8 in stock
Spanish 978-80-7253-270-4 out of stock

A Water Prince living in the Moldau, talking animals, flying demons, packs of thieves and kind-hearted folk, intermingled with frequent appearances by King Solomon and David from the Old Testament – these are the colourful threads that make the cloth of Jewish fairytales and legends.
Brimming with profound worldly wisdom and driven by a deep belief in a higher justice, they give new and old insights into the Jewish worldview and culture. So sit down and listen: “Once upon a time there lived a King in Persia …”

Adalbert Stifter
Rock Crystal
A Christmas Tale

Illustrated throughout in colour by Lucie Müllerová.
54 pages, 19x25 cm, thread-stitching, bound in half-linen, gold relief embossing, ribbon.
€ 14,90

German 3-89919-068-8 out of stock
English 80-7253-166-2 out of stock
Czech 80-7253-165-4 out of stock

In this beautifully illustrated book, Adalbert Stifter (1805–1868) leads us into the unspoilt nature of the mountains. The title Rock Crystal denotes the majestic world of the craggy perpetual ice in which two children lose their way on Christmas Eve. The story of this cold wintry night is narrated here, the story of two villages, a story of reservedness and concern, of estrangement and reconciliation. Stifter describes this world with a gentle touch and thus creates a timeless Christmas narration casting its spell on all generations anew.

Interested in more books by Adalbert Stifter? Please visit our German or Czech pages.

Featured German Books

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Preface (PDF) ...

Hartmut Binder
Gustav Meyrink
Life under the Spell of Magic

First edition.
Includes 303, partly colour images.
784 pages, 17x24 cm, thread-stitching, hardcover, ribbon, jacket.
€ 49,90

German 978-3-89919-078-6 in stock

This latest work by Hartmut Binder represents nothing less than the first comprehensive biography of Gustav Meyrink to meet the needs of a more demanding readership. The life of one the most important German writers of both satire and fantastic literature has long been hidden from our view by a veil of questionable legends and myths. Here, this is finally lifted.
Hartmut Binder uses a wealth of hitherto unknown archive materials and printed sources as well as many historical illustrations to guide the reader through Meyrink’s unhappy childhood, and to bring to the fore the Prague dandy, the sportsman, the mystic, the quarrelsome litigant who provoked a public scandal, the failing bank owner who was imprisoned on remand for months following fraud accusations. He describes the translator in Munich as well as the successful author, who retreated to Lake Starnberg in Southern Germany.
Special attention has been given to the years Meyrink spent in Prague . The unique atmosphere of the old imperial metropolis on the Vltava river, the many legends and typical figures that wander through the narrow lanes have left a distinct mark on both the early satires and the successful novels Walpurgis Night and The Golem, which are presented in detail.

Hartmut Binder is a professor of German Literature. The intimate knowledge of Old Prague at the dawn of the Hapsburg monarchy and of the German-Jewish cultural heritage handed down to us in the archives acquired by Hartmut Binder in decades of research forms the indispensable basis for this biography of Gustav Meyrink, whose quality and wealth of detail are a consequence of this expert knowledge.

From the contents:
•  The Early Years of a “Very Unhappy Child”
•  Gustav Meyrink as a Competitive Rower
•  Affairs of Honour and Public Scandals
•  Imprisonment on Remand in Prague
•  Fascination with Mysticism and the Occult
•  An Editor in Vienna
•  Global Success with Fantastic Novels
•  At Lake Starnberg
•  Meyrink’s Death

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Hartmut Binder
Southward Bound with Franz Kafka (Mit Kafka in den Süden)
A Journey in Historical Images to Switzerland and the North Italian Lakes.

First edition, with more than 250 colour images.
418 pages, 23x30 cm, thread-stitching, bound in half-linen, ribbon.
€ 79,90

German 3-89919-058-8 in stock

This lavish volume details Kafka’s journeys to Switzerland and Italy in 1909, 1911, and 1913 with both text and images. Using both contemporary sources, especially travel writings and train schedules, and extensive field research, these trips have been meticulously reconstructed down to daily routines. The travel log and other previously neglected publications by Max Brod, who sometimes accompanied Kafka, have been a major help in understanding the sketchy diary entries of Kafka himself, which mostly highlight small and disconnected details. Moreover, by evaluating these documents it has been possible to identify situations and events that are mentioned in Kafka’s notes, where they remain fragmentary and incomprehensible to the reader as these notes were meant only as personal aids to memory.
The author Hartmut Binder is an expert on Franz Kafka and in the course of his long career has published many essential studies on the life and works of the Prague writer. He has used his own archive of historic images and maps, collected over the years to illustrate the outcome of this research: 469 images, mostly historical and some in colour, have been carefully selected to closely match Kafka’s own unique sense of perception and to bring his travel experiences to life – after all they were among the inspirations for his literary output.
The latest work by Hartmut Binder is yet another must-have for anyone fascinated by the life and works of Franz Kafka. It is an enticing literary guidebook that allows the reader to follow on the heels of the great Prague writer on his southbound journeys – whether in reality or just in imagination.

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Paul Leppin
Prague Rhapsody (Prager Rhapsodie)
Poems and Short Prose

184 pages, 13x21 cm, hardcover, illustrated with drawings by Hugo Steiner-Prag
€ 9,90

German 3-89919-029-7 in stock

Stroke by stroke, character by character, Paul Leppin’s prose sketches capture the image of Prague . Paul Leppin chats pensively about the old photographs belonging to his relatives, guides us to wine taverns, dreams of silver drain pipes, relates stories of the watchmaker, muses on growing old, remembers an everyday backyard tragedy, and tells us of the meeting of former classmates.
It is one of the most beautiful books ever to bid farewell to Old Prague.

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Heinrich Pleticha
Wanderer, if You Ever Come to Prague (Wanderer, kommst du nach Prag)

240 pages, 13x21 cm, thread-stitching, hardcover, ribbon,
with colour images by Václav Jansa.

€ 17,40

3-934774-41-5 in stock

It would be hard to find another city in Europe so overflowing with stories, tales, and legends as the Old City of Prague. They tell of emperors and kings, saints and heretics, sorcerers and fools, grand figures in history and notorious ghosts. Heinrich Pleticha has brought them back to life in 140 short stories, accompanying the reader on a stroll through the Golden City. Atmospheric colour images by the Prague painter Václav Jansa further enhance the charm of this original and informative travel guide.

The Infant Jesus of Prague • The Foundation of Prague • Libussa and Premysl • The First Defenestration • Hašek and his “Good Soldier Schwejk” • The Great Blood Court of Prague • St Prokop and the Devil • The Flight of the Winter King • Tycho Brahe and the Bells • The Death of Rabbi Löw • The Foundation of the New Town and much more.

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Erich M. Posch
When Austria was still Bohemian
(Als Öst'reich noch bei Böhmen war)

232 pages, 13x21 cm, hardcover, ribbon, jacket.

€ 12,90


German 978-3-89919-126-4 in stock

When Austria was still Bohemian ... that was “many years ago”, and now when Austrians and Czechs look at each other across the border, misunderstandings have been sown on either side. However, where history has dug a ditch, stories can build bridges. Over about one hundred little chapters Erich M. Posch points to occasionally surprising details to show the connection between the countries and their peoples – as well as explaining how a pink tank came to Prague and from where the notorious bandit Hotzenplotz embarked on his prowls across the world. And at the end, when the question of how much Austrians and Czechs still have in common arises, we are bound to agree with the author: a lot.

About the Author:
Erich M. Posch was born in Graz, Austria, and has worked in business throughout western and most of eastern Europe. Thus he also came to Prague, where he learned Czech at Charles University and was able to get to know the Czech people and culture.

Rainer Maria Rilke
Stories of God (Geschichten vom lieben Gott)

120 pages, 13x21 cm, thread-stitching, hardcover, ribbon.
€ 9,90

German 978-3-89919-103-5 in stock

“I believe this book contains a few kernels which may grow into trees,” Rainer Maria Rilke revealed in a letter to a friend in 1900, shortly after the Stories of God were first published. The young poet had conceived them in only seven consecutive nights. They tell of the hands of God, of singers in the expanses of Russia, of a thimble that came to be God – in short, they tell of a world in which faith is alive and God is immediately present.

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Rainer Maria Rilke
Sacrifice to the Lares (Larenopfer)
Early Poems

With illustrations by Karel Hruška
96 pages, 13x21 cm, thread-stitching, hardcover, ribbon.
€ 9,90

German 978-3-89919-106-6 in stock

Sacrifice to the Lares
(1895), the collection of poems written by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) when he was only twenty years of age, is dedicated entirely to his hometown of Prague. Like a poetic guide he takes the reader through the Golden City, looks down from the Hradschin at its spires, cupolas, and palaces, relates its history and commemorates its people. While ethnic tensions in the country were continuously increasing at the end of the nineteenth century, the Czech, German and Jewish people still form a natural unity in the Sacrifice of the Lares – thus Rilke’s poems continue to give life to a city that no longer exists.

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Harald Salfellner
Mozart and Prague

Second, enlarged and revised edition.
With many images in colour and b/w.
375 pages, 11x19 cm, thread-stitching, ribbon, jacket.
€ 19,90

German 3-89919-076-9 in stock

Prague is the second city after Salzburg to be inseparably linked with the name of Mozart. Here in the Bohemian capital he enjoyed his greatest moments of triumph, here even the ballad mongers and guttersnipes took to the arias of his operas, whereas the audiences of imperial Vienna looked down their distinguished noses on his music. Herr Kapellmeister Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart graced Prague with his presence on five occasions, and it is a rewarding pleasure to trace his footsteps, to be transported into a Prague, in which night watchmen still extinguished the street lanterns and brave officers collected bridge tolls. This musical companion brings the bygone days of the Rococo period back to life and resounds with the music of the late 18th century, more than that, however, it guides the reader to all the Mozart sites in Prague and introduces the contemporaries that the great composer met.

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Harald Salfellner (Ed.)
Old Prague (Literary Travels)

336 pages, 11 x 17 cm, softcover with backflaps.
€ 9,90

German 978-3-89919-096-0 in stock

“To see the world by travelling should also always imply attempting to understand the worlds one passes through, grasping the local social reality, if not really experiencing it. It also should imply never forgetting the importance of history for the present and future states of societies. Such an – inevitably political – way of travelling not only strengthens one’s judgment. It also opens up a new reality, at least for travellers who also appreciate how to listen with their hearts.” (Frank Michel)
Combining literary and historical texts as well as those devoted to regional studies, the Vitalis Literary Travels series offers portraits of individual cities, places, and regions. The series caters less to mass tourism, than to the demands of true travellers, whose journeys begin long before they actually embark – in their minds. The handy booklets also make a souvenir of lasting value as a unique collection of maps and images turns every book in the series into a bibliophilic gem.

Includes texts by Ludwig Bechstein · Alois Jirásek · Adalbert Stifter · Friedrich Schiller · Heinrich Pleticha · Hartmut Binder · Arthur Schopenhauer · Božena Němcová · Wilhelm Raabe · Franz Grillparzer · Hans Christian Andersen · Caroline Pichler · Jan Neruda · Rainer Maria Rilke · Jaroslav Kamper · Fritz Mauthner · Oskar Wiener · Detlev von Liliencron · Johannes Urzidil · Franz Kafka · Gustav Meyrink · Jaroslav Hašek · Paul Leppin · Hans Watzlik · Willy Haas · Hugo Salus and many more.

♦ Interested in other titles in our Literary Travels series? Please visit our German or Czech pages.

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Oskar Wiener
Old-Prague Peep Show (Alt-Prager Guckkasten)

156 pages, 13x21 cm, hardcover, ribbon page markers, with photographs of Prague.
€ 9,90

German 3-89919-007-6 in stock

Oskar Wiener’s (b. 1873 in Prague, †1944 in Theresienstadt) Old-Prague Peep Show (1912) displayed images and figures of the city stemming from a time before it ceased to be romantic. He acted as a guide for the German poet Detlev von Liliencron, a frequent and popular visitor to Prague who professed that he had “decidedly been born here once”. Wiener took him to the ancient lanes and to the secluded, eerie nooks and corners, for which von Liliencron thanked him in several lines of his casual epic poem Poggfred. Here he declares how much he enjoyed dining with the master poet Oskar Wiener in the Blue Star Hotel. This was at the turn of the century, when Detlev von Liliencron was the patron saint of the young Prague poets, including Rainer Maria Rilke. (Josef Mühlberger)




Further German Titles

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