Sunday Music

I like the Baroque, and I like Jazz. Combined usually something like this number of the London Jazz Four is the result, I say this with all respect. Others may “march” through a song, like the Franco Chiari Jazz Quartet does at the beginning of their Night Prowler (no worries, all are short takes). One can also do something totally different, like Mr Vapirov (Ger.) shows us here.
But at the moment I like best the approach of the L.A.4 (Ger., Eng.). I think their Rondo Espressivo (1975) can put a spring in one’s step, much needed in these strange & snowy times – I hope you enjoy the music, and have an easy week. That’s all.




Some moons ago Melanie gave a quick outline of an idea for a text, persons shapeshifting into cats would feature – if I knew something ?
Well, not much. There is of course the motif of a person, usually a woman, who turns into a cat, saied cat gets hurt while roaming around, and in the next morning the person is found with a matching wound, be it a broken leg, a hurt back or where ever the cat was hit. This dates back to Gervasius Tilberiensis (Ger., Eng.), late 12th century that is. A motif found around witches, sorceresses, maleficae. This would be a Werkatze (Ger., Eng.) – “wer” in this connection is not “wer = who”, but an older word meaning “man”.
I looked into my usual sources, but the Deutsche Wörterbuch  (DWB) (Ger., Eng., link) does not know the lemma “Werkatze”, under “Katze”, turning into a cat is mentioned, but not specially treated.
The Handwörterbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens (HdA) (Ger. only) mentions the shapeshifting  cat / human (Band 4, Spalte 1117 f., unter “Katze, 9”) and refers to “Hexe [witch] 3, 1871 f.”, where additional examples are listed. The HdA is outdated and only as reference for source materials usable. The actual lexicon is the Enzyklopädie des Märchens (EM) (Ger., Eng., help for using it online, but its German only anyway), in volume 7, 1099-1109, the cat is treated, but the article brings no new material.
Then I remembered a little book by Sergius GOLOWIN, Das Geheimnis der Tiermenschen. Von Vampiren, Nixen, Werwölfen und ähnlichen Geschöpfen (The Secret of “animal-men” [?]. About Vampires, Mermaids, Werewolves and Similar Creatures), Basel 1993. GOLOWIN (Ger., Eng.) (1930-2006) was a kind of leading figure of the counterculture in Switzerland since the sixties. A librarian by trade he discovered the (magic) literature of the Early Modern Period for himself (in the 1950s when absolutely no one, with the possible exception of Arno SCHMIDT, was interested in this old Plunder, rubbish, clobber), put this together with stories and fairy tales he was told by his Ukrainian grandmother, and developed a keen interest in magic, drugs, and whatnot. Very interesting person – and he wrote a book about cats : Göttin Katze – Das magische Tier an unserer Seite (Goddess Cat, the Magic Animal at Our Side), 1989. As it seems there is no English translation, perhaps an Italian one (Gatto, amico, mago, 2005). But I am sorry, I have not read the book.
In the end I think all necessary can be found in the already mentioned articles about the Werkatze.

Books Again, Waiting for Egon

The bi-monthly look at read books. Earlier lists etc. can be found under the tag “books”.

NEHRING [Walther] : Die Geschichte der deutschen Panzerwaffe 1916 bis 1945. Augsburg 1995 (first Berlin 1969)
General NEHRING (1892-1983) (Ger., Eng.) describes the history of the German tank force from its start until the end of WWII, not from an operational point of view, but from an organisational one. This should be easy for him, because he was one of the main organisers. In contrast to GUDERIAN (1888-1954) he was able to work within the traditional army and helped to establish the new weapon as tool of its own value. GUDERIAN lacked the patience for this, he was a tank commander, not a diplomat, that’s why his career stalled a bit in the thirties.
I picked this book up because I’m interested in the beginnings of the tank and in the cooperation between the Red Army and the Germans in the twenties (Panzerschule Kama, Ger., Eng.). Generally this book is a source for the hardcore historian.

VOLTAIRE : Geschichte Karls XII., Königs von Schweden. Vorwort von Peter Stadler. Frankfurt/M. Wien Zürich 1965
Mr AROUET (1694-1778) (Ger., Eng.) was a philosopher, of course, but even philosophers need to eat, and hence make a living. So he wrote, a lot, and the short and adventurous life of his subject, king KARL XII. (Ger., Eng.) of Sweden (1682-1718), is a rewarding topic. VOLTAIRE did not write down hear-say, but interviewed people who had known KARL, had worked for or against him in the tumultuous years of the Nordic War. VOLTAIRE did serious journalistic work, wrote the text in 1727, published it in 1730.

GELLERMANN, Günther W. : Der andere Auftrag. Agenteneinsätze deutscher U-Boote im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Bonn 1997
GELLERMANN (Ger.) pieced together what in the submariner files can be found about the use of submarines for shipping agents to various destinations during WWII. It is not about the missions of these agents, but strictly about the use of the navy, the role of the submarines. So he creates a list of missions that are verifiable through these files, who, when, where, how did it technically work.

VALLÉE, Jacques : Konfrontationen. Begegnungen mit Außerdischen und wissenschaftlichen Beweisen. Deutsche Erstausgabe, 2. Auflage, Frankfurt/M. 1994
derselbe : Enthüllungen. Begegnungen mit Außerirdischen und menschlichen Manipulationen. Wie zuvor.
derselbe : Dimensionen. Begegnungen mit Außerirdischen von unserem eigenen Planten. Wie zuvor.
VALLÉE (b. 1939) (Ger., Eng.) is a French astronomer and computer scientist, who works in the field of “unknown flying objects” since the 1960s. These three titles were first published between 1988 and 1991, and are a kind of “sum” of VALLÉEs ideas about phaenomena usually called “ufo/s”. I find his thinking enjoyable, worth some own thoughts.

WEIßLER, Sabine (Ed.) : Design in Deutschland 1933-45. Ästhetik und Organisation des Deutschen Werkbundes im ‘Dritten Reich’. 1. Auflage, Gießen 1990 (Werkbund-Archiv Bd. 20)
As the subtitle suggests, it is about the Deutsche Werkbund (Ger., Eng., website) in the “Third Reich”, not a general history of “German” “design”. It is a collection of articles dealing with traditions in German design, design of furniture, industrial design, kitchens, the question of the “style” of the Third Reich, and the continuity after 1945 right into the 1950s. Even when the Werkbund was closed after 1938, people kept on working, gute Form does not fall from the sky. Some careers were remarkably un-broken.

CONRAD, Dietrich : Kirchenbau im Mittelalter. Bauplanung und Bauausführung. Unter beratender Mitwirkung von Klaus MERTENS. 1. Auflage, Leipzig 1990 (Edition Leipzig)
The idea for this book came to the author when he was angry after a guided tour through a church. There was a lot of information about the foundation of the church, the history of the building and its historical value etc. – but nothing about how it was actually done : How do you build a church in the middle ages ?
CONRAD (born 1935) is a learned carpenter (Zimmermann) and studied building engineer interested in the history and problems of the technical history of architecture. He edited in 1987 Domenico FONTANAs (Ger., Eng.) report about the translocation of the Vatican obelisk from 1590. MERTENS is an architect by trade.

FOCK, Harald : Marine Kleinkampfmittel. Bemannte Torpedos, Klein-U-Boote, Klein Schnellboote, Sprengboote. Gestern – heute – morgen. Hamburg 1996 (First 1982 ?)
Small submarines, midgets as they are called by the Americans, small speedboats, boats that are built to be blown up, and manned torpedos, here are they all, described by Harald FOCK, until 1980 Lehrstabsoffizier für Schiffslehre an der Marineschule Mürwik. Very technical, very interesting, gives en passant a short history of the early days of remote controlling.
Would you sit on a “chariot” (Ger., Eng., btw a rip-off of the Italian original SLC (Ger., no English article)) and ride through the dark ocean ?

JARRETT, Lucinda : Striptease. Die Geschichte der erotischen Entkleidung. 1. Auflage, Berlin 1999 (First : Stripping in Time, London 1997)
A history of the Western striptease through the 19th and 20th century with a chapter about the situation of modern belly dance in Egypt – religious fanatics were already in the nineties torching belly dancing schools in Cairo.

MISIANO, Wiktor (Ed.) : Die zeitgenössische Photographie in der Sowjetunion. Reportagen sozialer Wirklichkeit. Mit einem Geleitwort von Eric A. PESCHLER. Schaffhausen 1988
“Contemporary” photography of the Soviet Union 1988 – that means it shows the photographic work in the times of glasnost & perestroika. A short time of transition ; very intense black-white photography by photographers I had not known before – and found hard to verify and collect further information about on the web. MISIANO (about) is actually the editor of an art magazine, PESCHLER (1922-2005) (Ger.) was a free-lance writer who lived in Moscow in the late fifties / early sixties.


It took me two tries to write this simple list, since Monday (!), I possibly had a little motivational crisis. Not for blogging (alone), but for a lot of things, but I guess it is nearly all back to normal now. At least I can become angry again (oh well), especially when my silly co-driver insists on driving co while she is coughing up ugly bacilli – I do not want to get infected only because this mindless person believes she’d be irreplaceable.
And on top of this, my favourite comics site has a new design that successfully prevents finding your dailys in one place – achgehmirdochfort !
I was promised heavy snow, freezing fog and all the goodies, but nothing showed up. Tonight a storm called “Egon” shall drop by and throw trees. I deeply doubt it, perhaps some broken boughs. At least it rains now. I think I’m underwhelmed.
Serious de-grumping needs to take place, I’ll start my best efforts tomorrow in the late afternoon / early evening, when I’ll have done my week’s work. Cooking and a good glass of wine should do it. If I’m in the mood I will even de-clutter my desk, and finally sort & file all these last year’s papers, really can’t see this stuff anymore.

Edit : In an earlier version the name of the storm was wrongly given as “Erwin” – apologies to all storms involved.

Sunday Music

It’s 04:30 and I am wide awake, glockenwach.
I went to bed early and read a boring book, and when I started to stumble over the sentences I switched off the light and slept.
For two hours. When I woke up, some dark thoughts escaped the bunker ; I had to catch them and stuff them back in. Then I slept for another hour or so, and after lying awake for another thirty minutes I gave up.
These two weeks off messed with my rhythm.
When I look out of the window I see no light in a window. It is all quiet, no rush from the highway, not even a train rumbling in the distance.
I switched off the computer on Frayday, I had enough. Not from you, venerated readers, but from the news. In Britain it is “Brexit” everywhere, in America it is Trump. Our next door neighbours in the East, the Poles, do arm themselves for fear of the Russian invasion. This is no joke. With stately support citizens do learn basics of weapons, train themselves in the countryside, the secretary of the interior likes it very well. Die Bürgerwehr muss wieder her !
The Czechs are going mad because Lidl – yeah, Lidl, that super market chain – shows in an advertisement (for a damn shirt or something like that) a male model of colour : This is not Czech, you know. Perhaps not Aryan enough.
And the orange one ? Blabs the usual nonsense. I saw an image of the cabinet, the “leading” “team”, and  all I saw were fat, white, old men, who have spent their lives making money at Wall Street, who run businesses that ridiculed and mocked the state as hard as they ever could. And these people who have absolutely no political experience, now do run one of the powers of the world.
Interestingly I read at national and international commenters with very different political backgrounds that the only ones providing a glimmer of hope amongst this bunch of laymen would be the ex-generals. I think this is a bad sign for a democratic society, when in its governmental body the only ones who may have something like experience and perhaps own critical thinking are people with military background.
The most dangerous man is this Bannon or what’s his name – and if I have to see his grinning visage one more time I’ll vomit over the keyboard. This Breitbard-thing is nothing but propaganda, this is no journalism, or even “news”. It is not “fake” “news”, it is pure propaganda, disinformation at its worst. Makes even Fox or RT look like a treasure of objectivity.
I have not (yet) read this assessment of the Russian hacking, as for what I heard it lacks not consistency, but simply evidence. So it is nothing but fiction, well grounded and plausible I am sure, but still fiction. When I have read it and find this to be different I’ll let you know.
Russia masterly plays the game of disinformation, de-stabilisation – the examples lie in front of our door, like Ukraine, Krim. And of course Poland, where they grab their arms in a national paranoia happily fed by a paranoid president.
In the end I guess Putin owns Trump, whose chabillions of whatever I have not seen, and hence do not believe in. I think he is a fraud. And I wonder what will happen when those who elected this man into office will realise it.
Time to get started. No need for a shovel yet, according to the weatherman this will come on Wednesday, snow and all the goodies.
Now lets start this week with some music. I was torn between the Byrds, something by Waddy Wachtel, but in the end – the classics do it best : I hope you enjoy the music : Peace brother, love sister.