Surely a candidate for a Triologism Trophy? What a fun image, a perfect 19th century refined salon scene set in stark contrast to Winder’s own home context, where his attempt to listen to Hugo Wolf vies with computer games in the next room and planes overhead.
And that Viennese hostess!
I enjoy listening to them in our kitchen, with a bowl of nuts and some beer, generally with the background sound of large passenger planes roaring overhead every few minutes and our second son in the sitting room playing a computer game like Afghan Rough-House or KriminalKrew. This is hard to relate to the salon of a Vienna society hostess, all ruche, inlay work and satins (and that’s just the hostess), with the recital being listened to by a handful of posh whey-faced neurasthenics.
For a great sampling of Winder’s triologisms, and a quote-packed tribute to his earlier book on Germany, see our bestellar review.
Source: Simon Winder, Danubia: A personal history of Habsburg Europe (London: Picador, 2013), p. 422