Salon Fes in ViennaFairy tale marblesBrigitte Hochrainer plays Sagar Veena

Recommended books

There are many stories, topis and books, I would like to share – three of them are already online, some more will follow ...

Michael Jackson

The Politics of Storytelling. Violence, Transgression and Intersubjectivity

Hannah Arendt argued that the 'political' is best understood as a power relation between private and public realms, and that storytelling is a vital bridge between these realms - a site where individualised passions and shared views are contested and interwoven. In this book, the anthropologist Michael Jackson explores and expands Arendt's ideas through a cross-cultural analysis of storytelling that includes Kuranko stories from Sierra Leone, Aboriginal stories of the stolen generation, stories recounted before the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and stories of refugees, renegades, and war veterans.
Focusing on the violent and volatile conditions under which stories are and are not told, and exploring the various ways in which narrative reworkings of reality enable people to symbolically alter subject-object relations, Jackson shows how storytelling may restore to the intersubjective fields of self and other, self and state, self and cosmos, the conditions of viable sociality. The book concludes in a reflexive vein, exploring the interface between public discourse and private experience.
Jackson: "To reconstitute events in a story is no longer to live those events in passivity, but to actively rework them, both in dialogue with others and within one's imagination."

Museum Tusculanum Press. University of Copenhagen 2002. 320 pages. Euro 36,99 (online)

Tim Mackintosh-Smith

Travels with a Tangerine. A Journey in the Footnotes of Ibn Battutah

Ibn Battutah set out in 1325 from his native Tangier on the pilgrimage to Mecca. By the time he returned twenty-nine years later, he had visited most of the known world, travelling three times the distance Marco Polo was supposed to have covered. Spiritual backpacker, tireless social climber, temporary hermit and failed ambassador, he braved brigands, blisters and his own prejudices. The outcome was a monumental travel classic.
Captivated by this inquisitive, indefatigable man, award-winning travel writer Tim Mackintosh-Smith set out on his own eventful journey, retracing the first stage of the Moroccan's eccentric trip from Tangier to Constantinople. Tim proves himself a perfect companion to this distant traveller, and the result is an amazing blend of personalities, history and contemporary observation.
In a hotel in Morocco the receptionist shows Tim a picture of Ibn Battutah (IB):
" 'But it's a photograph,' I said.
'Yes. A very old photograph.'
'And he's smoking a water-pipe.'
'Ah, IB knew that water-pipes are healthier than cigarettes.'
'But tobacco came from America, and photography was only invented a hundred and fifty years ago.'
'IB', said the receptionist, with unanswerable finality, 'was a very great traveller.' "

Picador. London 2002. 351 pages. Euro 10,99 (online)

A. A. Milne

Winnie-the-Pooh. 80th Anniversary Edition

A. A. Milne's first stories about Winnie-the-Pooh, the most famous bear in the world, were published eighty years ago. This beautiful anniversary edition of "Winnie-the-Pooh" celebrates the enduring popularity of Pooh and his Forest friends. Discover what happens when Pooh goes visiting and Piglet meets a Heffalump, not forgetting when Eeyore loses his tail and Pooh finds one! E. H. Shepard's witty and loving illustrations are reproduced in colour to complete this truly delightful gift edition.

Picador. London 2006. 160 pages. Euro 17,95 (online)