The last list of boring books was published here on the 11th of June, roughly two months ago, time for an update, time to put away what is amassed on that wobbly pile.
GENRICH, Albert : Die Altsachsen. Hildesheim 1981 (Veröffentlichungen der urgeschichtlichen Sammlungen des Landesmuseums zu Hannover, 25)
A very short, condensed history of the Saxons in the region of Northern Germany from the first century post Christum natum until the early beginnings of Christianisation.
GENRICH (1912-1996) (Ger.) was in the Seventies the director of the prehistoric departement of the Landesmuseum in Hannover (digital collections, German only), he should know what he talks about. Short, no nonsense, a matter of fact overview.
7000 Years of Chinese Civilization. Chinese Art and Archaeology from the Neolithic Period to the Han Dynasty. Edited by The Peking Museum of Chinese History ; Seminario di Lingua e Letterature Cinese (University of Venice) ; Istituto Italiano per il Medio e Estremo Oriente, Milan 1983
I think this was one of the first major exhibition of Chinese artifacts in the West, it was held in the Doge’s Palace in Venice, of course pure Chinese self-representation. The Tiananmen massacre (Ger., Eng.) is six years in the future (1989), and GOd alone may know what will happen in HongKong these days. May my only regular reader from there be safe. The artefacts btw are of course impressive and of prime quality, good photography & print too.
CROWLEY, Roger : Die Eroberer. Portugals Kampf um ein Weltreich. Darmstadt 2016 (Zuerst : Conquerors. How Portugal Seized the Indian Ocean and Forged the First Global Empire, London 2015)
Well written, well researched, CROWLEY (Ger., Eng., website) is a historian who knows his job. I stopped reading around 1505, not because the text would be bad, but because I became increasingly angry about them Portugueses and their canons. Blame me, not the book.
Geschichten vom Buch. Eine Sammlung. Edited by Klaus SCHÖFFLING, 1. Auflage, Frankfurt / M. 1985 (Insel Taschenbuch 722)
Klaus SCHÖFFLING (Ger.) is not totally unknown in the German literary scene, runs his own publishing house since 1993. This is a collection, anthology, florilegium of passages where writers speak about their relationship to books, from ADORNO to ZWEIG, VIAN to ANDERSON. Nice little book.
HARE, Augustus : Tanten, Tunten, Schräge Vögel. Die liebe Verwandschaft und andere Exzentriker. Frankfurt / M. 1996
(Zuerst : The Story of My Life. London 1896 + 1900)
This is a very short excerpt from HAREs autobiography in six volumes. I thought what Miss SITWELL described from her childhood & youth was bad (last title here), but what HARE describes is sheer, sadistic horror. If my aunt, or whoever, would have hung my cat (Get me right : Hung on gallows, gibbet, strangulated) to teach me whatever, I swear I would have committed a major crime against her. The German title wants to be light and joking, and of course HAREs large family is filled with peculiar people, some of them are even funny. But the basis of his story is cruelty. As fascinating as his life may be, I doubt that I could read the whole description. At least I would skip the years before university.
Deutsche Dichter. Band 2 : Reformation, Renaissance und Barock.
Das ist : Deutsche Dichter. Leben und Werk deutschsprachiger Autoren. Edited by Gunter E. GRIMM and Frank Rainer MAX. Stuttgart 1989
This volume contains biographical articles about German speaking authors from Sebastian BRANT (1457-1521) to Johann Christian GÜNTHER (1695-1723). GRIMM (Ger.) is a noted literary scholar, could find nothing about F.R.MAX.
Die Pegnitz-Schäfer. Nürnberger Barockdichtung. Edited by Eberhard MANNACK, Stuttgart 1988 (Marian SZYROCKI zum 60. Geburtstag)
This little volume collects poems and other texts concerning the Pegnesische Blumenorden (Societas Florigera ad Pegnesum) (Ger., Eng.), a “Sprachgesellschaft”, literary society, found in 1644 in Nuremberg that is still active today. The members of said society call themselves “Schäfer”, shepherds, because – as tradition has it – at the beginning of the association stood a commission for Schäfergedichte, pastoral poems (?), in celebration of a double wedding.
MANNACK, about whom I could find no more personal information, is a GRYPHIUS specialist. M. SZYROCKI (1928-1992) (Ger.) was also a known scholar of German Baroque literature – he edited together with the philosopher E. GRASSI (see second title here) an introduction into German Baroque literature in 1968.
BRÄKER, Ulrich : Lebensgeschichte und natürliche Ebentheuer des Armen Mannes im Tockenburg. Stuttgart 1965 (Mit einem Nachwort herausgegeben von Werner GÜNTHER)
Ulrich BRÄKER (1735-1798) (Ger., Eng.) was not expected to write at all, not supposed to write his autobiography. He was born as the oldest of eight into a poor farmer’s family in Switzerland. The Toggenburg (Eng.), the landscape he calls home, belonged during his lifetime to the monastery of St.Gallen.
I confess that I quit reading on page 93. I could no longer stand BRÄKERs mind bending naiveté. His musings about “how good it would all be” were simply too much for me. Maybe I do the man wrong, I may totally misjudge – all I remember is that at one point I found myself to be pretty angry about my wasted time. This happens to me seldom when I read a book. Usually I give every writer a chance, but BRÄKER somehow annoyed me.
AMOS, Thomas : Ernst Jünger. Originalausgabe, Reinbek 2011 (Rowohlts Monographien, 50715)
JÜNGER (1895-1998) (Ger., Eng.) is a nuisance, still, despite the fact that he finally died 21 years ago. But he is not boring, definitely not naive – in his way a total Anarch. A man who survives WWI in the front line (Sturmtruppe), despises the Nazis (not elite enough), drops acid with Albert HOFMANN (1906-2008) (Ger., Eng.) (in the Fifties ; he stays with mescalin), and basically gives a damn about any critic who dares to say something about his texts, such a man may be called interesting. Calling him “controversial” is perhaps a bit simple ; colourful, opalescent, always good to cause a tirade or polemics by somebody, very German. Sooner or later one has to face him.
Thomas AMOS is or was reader for literary history at the Goethe university Frankfurt / M.
Romantisches Taubertal. Fotografie Werner RICHNER. Text Peter KAYSER. Heidelberg 1993
The text describes the travel along the river Tauber from Wertheim to Rothenburg, including some small rural towns like Nördlingen that are not in the Tauber valley. Good photographs. I simply know and like the region.
Die Welt als Zeichen. Klassiker der modernen Semiotik. Edited by Martin KRAMPEN ; Klaus OEHLER ; Roland POSNER ; Thure von UEXKÜLL. Berlin 1981
Of course semiotics – one has to know PIERCE from JAKOBSON. The book btw was designed by O. AICHER (1922-1991), who together with KRAMPEN published a very interesting tome “Zeichensysteme” in 1980.
If you are interested in semiotics, this is the reader with introductions to the field’s classics PEIRCE, MORRIS, deSAUSSURE, HJELMSLEV, JAKOBSON, BÜHLER, UEXKÜLL, and SEBEOK.
That’s it. As usual, this list hopefully may inspire one of my venerated readers to do further reading, so it is not vanity only.