Sunday Music

We live in strange and violent times. People do shoot at each other for no understandable reason, a Mistkerl decides to kill as many people as he can, and finally NATO country and wannabe member of the EU Turkey sees an attempted coup d’état : What a week.
No wonder that conspiracy theories are en vogue, which suggest that secret groups run the world, like the Bilderberger, the Norfolk conclave, or simply cats. And of course the internet is the source of all evil. Here we should stop for a moment and read Sir Tim’s, professor van Schewick’s & professor Lessig’s letter about network neutrality, it’s worth a thought or two.
That was my “good deed” for the day, time to crawl back on the sofa.
Today’s Sunday Music comes from Bob DUNN (Ger., Eng.) & his Vagabonds, a title called You Don’t Know My Mind. I hope you enjoy the music.
May we all be spared from the free-flowing madness !

*

*

Sunday Music

What a delightful weekend it was – I did near to nothing at all. There was one hour of cleaning activity, and some clothes were thrown into the washing machine, but that was that. I enjoyed it beyond description to stay in bed on Saturday morning and having the sun shine on my feet. Last week I had my share of psychopaths, especially those on the road – I think it’s the weather : When the sun comes out and the temperatures rise above 28° C the average Franconian brain stops working, not that it would be too active in the rest of time. Anyway, all that was, now is a new week. Rain & thunder is forecast, I am happily expecting it.
Now let’s hear a little piece composed by LISZT Ferencz (Ger., Eng.), performed by Olivier GARDON (Fr., Eng.), En Rêve. (Here is a version by the Belgian pianist Catherine van LOO, just for comparison.)
I hope you enjoy the music ; sometimes I think it’s the only escape from this world of barbarity.

*

*

Book Report

It’s about time for the bi-monthly book-thingy, as it is requested by Our Lady of the Stripey Pantyhose (see the chapel here in picture seven).

Fiction

In May I had two weeks off and felt the need to spend my time reading on the sofa. For reasons that are not clear to me I wanted to re-read Arno SCHMIDTs (Ger., Eng.) Kaff oder Mare Crisium. There exists an English translation (Boondocks / Moondocks) by John E. WOODS (Ger., Eng.), who is actually finishing the translation of the monumental Zettel’s Traum (Ger., Eng.) (Respekt !). After this, he announced, he will regard his work as finished. The English summary of the work in the linked wikipedia-article is as concise as it can be :

The novel is set in 1968 at 4 AM in the Lüneburg Heath in northeastern Lower Saxony in northern Germany. It follows the lives of Daniel Pagenstecher, visiting translators Paul Jacobi and his wife Wilma, and their teenage daughter Franziska. The story is concerned with the problems of translating Edgar Allan Poe into German.

Boring stuff y’know.
I own the Zürcher Kassette. Das erzählerische Werk in 8 Bänden mit Beiheft, Zürich 1985 (Haffmanns) (zweite Auflage, sigh !, here’s a link to that book-moloch) – and as it is with Arno, I could not stop and read the other stuff too.

As an antidote I escaped in the world of Toni UNGERERs (Ger., Eng.) early children books featuring family Mellops, a happy family of pigs. The first book in the series was published 1957, The Mellops Go Flying. (German article with a Mellops illustration. UNGERER gives his hobbies as “my wife and butchering”.)
But UNGERERs happy Schweinerei was not enough, I needed a stronger escape : Away to The Islands of the Deaf, to Pasta, Nadorp – from Achterdijk to Yteke I travelled the world of Donald EVANS :

EISENHART, Willy : The World of Donald Evans. 2. Auflage,  NewYork London Paris 1994 (Erstausgabe NewYork 1980)
SCHMIDT was a Wortweltenbauer, a builder of worlds made from words, and words only. He experimented with new forms (see his Berechnungen, calculations) and with the very “atoms” of words (“Ethyms”). EVANS (Eng., artnet) created a total new world in his imagination, with different countries, areas, histories – grabbed his watercolours and painted the stamps of these countries, putting it all together in a Catalogue of the World. Nearly four thousand before his untimely death in a fire in Amsterdam at the age of thirty-one on 29th of April 1977.
His death “in a fire in Amsterdam” pricks me a bit. Sadly my Netherlandic is too bad to understand a written text, and besides I would not know where to look, a newspaper of course – but which one ? Is there accidentally a Netherlandish reader with a little too much time at her / his hands ? I would very much like to know what has happened in “a house on the Stadhouderskade“. Sadly it is not possible to ask EISENHART, the mentioned editor of the only book about EVANS, who wrote the only biographical sketch about the artist, because EISENHART (Eng.) is also dead, he fell from the roof of his house at the age of forty-eight in 1995, while CHADWIN died in January 1989.
As I may have mentioned here already, I like small things in general. EVANS’ stamps, postcards, his catalogue of the world, all this is a marvellous escape, tools for wonderful travel.

 

Non Fiction

GLEBA, Gudrun : Klosterleben im Mittelalter. Darmstadt 2004
The author inquires after the requirements and foundations that lead to the formation of communities of believers who outside existing societies, how they created their own “Lebensform”, about the conditions of acceptance or non-acceptance in society, the political implications, the position of the monastic form of living within the social network of the Western society. So it is not a chronological history of monastic life in the West, but a kind of social history. The author uses a broad basis of source materials and pays special attention to the beginning of the monastic idea in the East and its spread out to the West. I find her book very interesting and insightful.
On the cover is only mentioned that Ms GLEBA is “Privatdozentin” / private lecturer (2004), but there is no name of an university given. I found that she is actually at the university of Rostock.

SUERBAUM, Ulrich : Das elisabethanische Zeitalter. Stuttgart 1989 (Universal-Bibliothek Nr. 8622 [7] )
History is “made”, always a new : Every generation looks at “history” and writes it new, asks other questions, puts the emphasis on another factor – it’s a bit like a kaleidoscope (Ger., Eng.), always the same always new, endless. From this follows that a “Fach”, a field of study, is always defined by its own history too (Das Fach ist auch immer die Geschichte des Fachs).
Prof. emeritus Ulrich SUERBAUM (born 1926, Ger.) was an anglicist at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, the first “ordentliche” professor at this newly founded university, from 1963 until his retirement 1992. His book about the age of the first Elisabeth is a very nice to read insightful cultural history with special emphasis on the self-understanding of the people of the æra and the use later generations made of these times, how a part (at least) of English self-understanding was formed by this part of history.

Perhaps you find something interesting for you, venerated readers, then this scribble is not totally vain showing-off.

Sunday Music, kind of

I spent the weekend mostly doing nothing, cooked a little bit, but avoided generally anything that could barely degenerate into “action”. Later I will post about books read over the last two months.
And because it is 4th of July, Independence Day, the 240th *  as it happens, this “Sunday Music” will not contain music, but a little travel to Washington in 1917, over the old canal (Eng., Eng., Ger., today) ; nearly 12 silent minutes with a lot of water and locks – I hope you enjoy it, venerated readers.
May we all have a peaceful week.

*

*

* Corrected after LẌ spotted the mistake – thank you LẌ !