Sunday Music

Tomorrow in the unreal hours between night and day, in this floating time in grey when all is not yet tangible but still more manifest than before, wenn der Erdrauch sich verfestiget, then I will step out, wade through bluish puddles of stagnant night, climb in, start the engine, and drive off into an uncertain future …
No, I’m not drunk – ich hab’ kein’ BOCK !
School vacancies does not mean that I am on holiday, I am just not driving the usual line. If need be, drivers are called in, happens seldom, but happens. Now it happens to me. So be it.
The last week was easy, I did some necessary things, and besides that I did a lot of nothing. Mainly reading.
I did not follow the news, I find public dick-measuring-contests pretty obscene, and nothing else is what these two, sad, little men do. I find it much more interesting – and plainly disturbing – what happened in Charlottesville, where the American nazis held their first pride-march since Rockwell’s (Ger., Eng.) death. One may wonder what will come out of this, whether it is the start of a new movement, or just the old movement The Leader is already running.
Let’s turn our backs on these nauseating proceedings, and listen to The Nat King Cole Trio’s version of Body & Soul as an antidote. I hope you enjoy the music, may the coming week be uneventful for all of us.

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Looking At My Omphalos

Morpheus is a cheater. I wonder whether the Ancients knew of a goddess called Insomnia, or whether it is a neologism, an academic word creation, perhaps of the 19th century.
I became very tired and dutifully went to bet to rest my aching bones shortly before 01:00. Friendly sleep embraced me, I can not remember any dreams, as I prefer – and at 02:30 I woke up : This was it.
The air in my room seemed to be thick, the blanket tried to suffocate me, I kicked the garotting entity away. I pulled the curtain aside, grey light greeted me. Cool air outside, but it refused to flood in. So I opened the door to the balcony & laid down again, only to feel the rush of cool air over my aching joints and the first sneeze approaching.
I thought of sheep, but very fast I thought about shooting sheep with a large gun to bits, these animals should not be allowed to roam around freely in one’s head.
Image followed image, one association happily held hand with the next one, pulling it in the roundel dance of an unstoppable swirl. Next time I looked outside the sky was blueish, some birds started to converse over the latest gossip, what a neighbourhood. The first dog of the day felt the need to tell the world that he was still in existence, good for you, doggy ; good doggy ; oh shut up, will ya …
I heard the first jogger stomping over the gravelled path down the hill, maybe he wore a light on a headband. Slowly the first more technical sounds arose, like trucks on the distant autobahn rushing by, a train coming through, the first cars started to leave the village, going to work.
This reminded me of a morning maybe forty years ago. I was still a pupil, the Große Ferien, summer holidays, had started. I lay in my bed and watched sunbeams slowly coming in, I even remember the curtains’ design, and listened to the sounds of the awakening city. Single cars first, workers going through the narrow street to the works, the first bus, early clangs from the train yard, people’s noises in the house, a victorious sun finally coming up, chasing away all the night’s webs. Myself getting up and happily jumping down the stairs, feeling strong, going places. Later touring through the inner city, picking up my mother from work, a coffee and a fag, returning home around midday, all easy and carefree.
I hated to get up early, it always was a problem through school, but I conditioned meself, a mug of brew as reward, later a cup and a fag, and we coughed away over the kitchen table. This table I threw out only recently. My parents bought that thing when we finally all together moved to the city in 1969 ; it stood at the same place until I had to clear that appartement after my father’s death. I ate at it, drunk at it, slept at it, fell under it. Finally this plasticed piece of pressboard ended up on my balcony, until I could see it not any more.
It is not like abandoning a piece of “history”. It had a meaning for some time, was a reminder I did not want to miss, but things should not be overcharged with “meaning”, after all they are – and stay – things. Nevertheless I can not make myself part with the lousy kitchen table of my motherly grandmother, made from cheapest wood, in the thirties. Not yet, at least. If I had to get rid of it, I would like to burn it. I feel that this would be adequate.
I learned to like the early morning since I do this driving job. There is no rush, enough time to settle into things. Walking through the village to my vehicle I meet the regulars, now after two years (two years ! Herrgottsakrament …) one has a little chat, notices when the newspaper-man is a bit late, greets and gets greeted and noticed – a gentle routine. Very different from what I had years earlier when I returned from work in the early morning half dead after a night that was either spirit-killing boring, or filled with stupidity that resulted in unwanted & (un-)avoidable action. But there is always alcohol and bad intent. And an idiot called “security”.
Getting up recuperated after a good night’s sleep is a gift I learned to appreciate, but no such thing today. When I was ready to throw the towel in and get up, I miraculously fell asleep ; and slept and slept, through the whole morning, past midday. When I regained consciousness it was clearly after 12:00. Dazed & confused I searched for coffee, remembered that I had some tasks scheduled, and finally got going. Slowly.
I think it is not necessary to emphasise that my cellar spent the day undisturbed.

Sunday Music

It was a busy weekend spent clearing rooms, packing books, a wall was painted – I have Muskelkater now, the result of living the couch-potatoe-life. But all in all, progress is visible. Things are now sorted in three categories : Things that go to another place here, meublement that needs to be stored for a certain time, stuff that goes to the bin / waste collecting point. Commercial storing is astoundingly expensive, so I looked around for a garage or something comparable to rent, but without avail.
The good thing is that I have absolutely no more excuse to avoid my cellar, tomorrow I will start to clear ‘n clean this dreaded dungeon. Either on Thursday or Wednesday I will abuse the vehicle and bring tons of “stuff” to the tip. I really wonder what lurks down in the lowest darkest basement level, where the concrete is rough, and big black pipes burble & gargle, the area tiling forgot. I will sling an old cloth around my head, and wear closed shoes, so that the dead spiders from Mars have it not too easy to get me ! Somewhere I should have a flashlight, whether it works is another question, at least I can hit it on them spiders.
This Sunday Music is an imho interesting piece composed by Giovanni Antonio GIAJ (sometimes GIAY) (Ger., Eng., Italian bio.). It is the first movement Allegro assai of his Sinfonia for Strings and basso continuo in C – here in an older recording of the Orchestra da Camera Italiana under its founder Salvatore ACCARDO (Ger., Eng.) (born 1941). If you like what you hear & are interested, compare ACCARDOs take with the version Reinhard GOEBEL (Ger., Eng.) recorded with the Orchestre des Pays de Savoie (Eng.) – here : GOEBEL (born 1952) does the Allegro at least one minute faster, he rocks it, perhaps a bit too much.
Any way, I hope you enjoy the music – may the coming week be friendly to all of us.

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Buch, Buch und nochmal Buch …

Time to clean up and tidy the appartement. But it is soo damn humid that even walking from the desk to the fridge leaves me dripping from sweat. I hear rumble in the distance, hopefully a little thunder & lightning will clean the atmosphere. No action with the vacuum cleaner, tomorrow is another day.
But the heap of books – this can be done without any suffering. So here is a little list of books I’ve read since the last one from end of May.

PÜTTER, Conrad : Deutsche Emigranten und britische Propaganda. Zur Tätigkeit deutscher Emigranten bei britischen Geheimsendern. In : Exil in Großbritannien. Zur Emigration aus dem nationalsozialistischen Deutschland. Edited by Gerhard HIRSCHFELD (Publications of the German Historical Institute London, 14), 1. Aufl., Stuttgart 1983, 106-137
Very informative. Gives an interesting glimpse into the organisation of the British secret radio operations during WWII, be it white, grey or black propaganda. PÜTTER, about whom I could find no additional information, specialised in the topic. He edited a handbook about German-speaking radio activities through WWII (Rundfunk gegen das „Dritte Reich“. Deutschsprachige Rundfunkaktivitäten im Exil 1933–1945. Ein Handbuch (Rundfunkstudien, 3), München u. a. 1986) and contributed to other on-topic publications.

CASSOU, Jean : Picasso. (Aus dem Französischen von Ute GARROTE), Paris 1958
Jean CASSOU (1897-1986) (Ger., Eng., Fr.) had something like the archetypical life of a French intellectual in the 20th century. After WWII he became the first director of the newly found Musée National d’Art Moderne (Ger., Eng.) (until 1965), and he should have something to say about Picasso. He had, he did, the result is this little essay.

SWIFT, Jonathan : Satiren. Mit einem Essay von Martin WALSER (insel taschenbuch, 131), 1. Aufl., Frankfurt / Main 1975
Should read the original, really.

Mittelalterezeption. Texte zur Aufnahme altdeutscher Litertaur in der Romantik. Herausgegeben, eingeleitet und mit einer weiterführenden Bibliographie versehen von Gerard KOZIELEK (Deutsche Texte, 47), 1. Aufl., Tübingen 1977
As we know, the idea, the image of the “Middle Ages”, is a product of romanticism, as are the “sciences” “History” and “Germanistik” / “Germanistic studies” (and in between them, their wayward bastard, Deutsche Volkskunde). But who received or adapted what ? This little volume collects the most important texts by TIECK, SCHLEGEL, von ARNIM, GÖRRES, W. & J. GRIMM, and UHLAND, from 1803 to 1831.
About KOZIELEK I could not find much information. He is a “Germanist”, born in Breslau perhaps in 1928. At least he received a “Festschrift” for his 65th birthday in 1993, but I could not find a biographical article online.
I should have read this twenty-five years earlier.

BRÜHL, Georg : Vertiko und Chaiselongue. Deutsche Möbel der Gründerzeit. Leipzig 1992
This little volume collects designs for ameublement chosen & collected from a “Musterbuch” (Ger.) of the 19th century. These designs belong to what is called “Historismus” (Ger., Eng.). The little book reproduces drafts and gives a little text about each. Nice. What is depicted is all that stuff the next generation (those “Lebensreformers” and “Wandervögel” of 1900) will happily throw out ; the next generation that will venerate clear rectangular forms, clear colours, filigree designs preferably from metal and abhors dark wooden monster pieces, windows covered in thick curtains, everything pseudo-folksy – you get the idea.
BRÜHL (Ger.) was an important art historian, museologist and collector in the GDR.

HAFFMANNS, Gerd (Ed.) : Über William Faulkner (Diogenes Taschenbuch, 14), Zürich 1973
Material collection about FAULKNER. What had writers to say about his work, and about single texts. Contains his Nobel speech, a lengthy interview from 1957, timetable. Interesting to see what colleagues had to say about him, what he had to say about writing.

STEVENSON, Robert Louis : Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes and An Inland Voyage. Köln 1997
Grab a small bag, and march off. Avoid to sleep under cork oaks, there are rats. Remember, the Cevennen (Ger., Eng.) can be rough. If you want to follow Mr STEVENSON, look here.

That’s it. Perhaps a title is an invitation for you for further exploration.