“Read more books” is the order of the day, given by The Mistress herself when she instigated The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge – not a contest ! – back in January of this year. Time flies and here we have the impressing list of 12 (!) titles The Mistress managed to read over the last two months. Who’d thought that he visits The Infomaniac for the reading lists ?
My list is obviously shorter and contains German books only. I will give a little information about each.
SCHENKE, Ernst : Die bunte Schlesiertruhe. Ein schlesisches Heimatbüchlein für Alt und Jung, 3. erweiterte und veränderte Auflage (12.-15.Tsd.), Troisdorf 1965 (Kammwegbücher, Ostdeutsches Heimatschrifttum)
Well, at first sight this may reek of revanchism, but in fact it does not smell nasty. It is simply a collection of poems and stories / tales that describe situations (real or imagined) in an unpolitical, carefree, unhistorical Silesia sometime before war and expulsion took place. It is a typical product of the “Erinnerungsliteratur” and “Heimatliteratur” written by and for members of the demographic group who grew up there and became refugees after 1945. I think I mentioned on this blog that my father was born in Breslau (1930).
I never have heard him speak the dialect. I am sure that he understood it, his parents may have been fluent in it, but I only heard them speak “Hochdeutsch”. I have few titles about Silesian history, biographies etc., now and then I look into them. This little book came to me accidentally out of the estate of an old lady I distantly knew, her family came from Oppeln.
WALSER, Robert : Maler, Poet und Dame. Aufsätze über Kunst und Künstler. Herausgegeben von Daniel KEEL, Zürich 1981 (detebe-Klassiker 20794)
Short essays by Robert WALSER (Ger., Eng., more) about art and artists.
What a life !
I prefer short forms, in music, in writing. Walser is a master.
Die Wiedererweckung des Lachens. Schwänke und Scherze aus dem sechzehnten Jahrhundert. Ausgewählt, übersetzt und eingeleitet von Edgar SCHUMACHER, Zürich Stuttgart 1967
Contains texts published from the late 15th to the late 16th century in Italy, Germany (let’s just assume it exists), & France, by BANDELLO, BEBEL, PAULI, WICKRAM, RABELAIS – sorry I am not familiar with the French authors – and others, I named just those I have a dim idea about.
“facetiae” are collections of jokes first published in Renaissance times. The earliest one is pretty rude & contains scatological jokes and tales. It gets better over time. So if you want to know how old these jokes really are …
KRIEG, Werner : Einführung in die Bibliothekskunde. 2. Auflage besorgt von Rudolf JUNG, Darmstadt 1990
What is a library ? History and types of libraries. What does a library collect ? Work in a library. Libraries in Germany, organisation(s), central institutions, planing. Information & documentation. Possibly outdated, but if you are interested in libraries in Germany, here are the basics.
LAHNSTEIN, Peter : Auf den Spuren von Karl V. München 1979
Follows the emperor on his journey through life visiting the places he visited, trying to see what he saw. Written with a lot of sympathy for Karl, Lahnstein emphasises the “tragedy” of his life, the futility of his activities aimed at restoring an imagined former unity of the Reich, a former glory … Let me not forget to blog on Karl’s first travel to Spain and then to “Germany” (1517-1521), formative years for the young man, important years for the Reich, and a certain troublemaker called Martin Luther hangs around too.
HAAGE, Bernhard Dietrich : Alchemie im Mittelalter. Ideen und Bilder – von Zosimos bis Paracelsus. Zürich Düsseldorf 1996
Good readable overview, from the early beginnings of the art until late medieval times, ending with Paracelsus in the 16th century. HAAGE is an expert, no nonsense.
BREMM, Klaus-Jürgen : Die Schlacht. Waterloo 1815. Darmstadt 2015
Oberstleutnant BREMM is an expert for military history. He describes accurately what happened on this day ; why did it happen ; who were the actors, what are their backgrounds. Good readable – sadly a lot of typos. Very interesting, on any level : From the soldier on the ground to the general on the “Feldherrnhügel”. I must blog about it.
BTW the number of typographical errors skyrocketed in the last years, simply because all the publishers think the machines will sort it out : They don’t, and it’s a shame.
AHLERS-HESTERMANN, Friedrich : Stilwende. Aufbruch der Jugend um 1900. Ungekürzte Ausgabe, Frankfurt/M. Berlin Wien 1981 (Ullstein-Buch Nr. 36063, Ullstein-Kunst-Buch), zuerst Berlin 1956
This text of the German painter AHLERS-HESTERMANN (1883-1973) is originally from 1941. It is a defence of what is summarily called “Jugendstil”, something that was treated as a mere footnote of the “high” art history by art historians right into the sixties of the last century. A.-H was there, he saw the paintings, the ameublement, the buildings when they were new, he knew many of the artists personally. He describes the awakening, the rise of the young(er) generation around 1900, the quest for new forms, the struggle against the ever repeating, seemingly endless circle of historism(s), neo-baroque, neo-gothic, neo what-ever – in the end the struggle against the beige rigour of the academic and bourgeoise fin-de-siecle, its ugliness and deformdness. The ever quest for beauty.
This last book is my actual read. Additionally by my bed lingers a thick tome :
WOLF, Hans-Jürgen : Geschichte der Druckverfahren. Historische Grundlagen, Portraits, Technologie. Elchingen 1992
A history of printing. I read this not in a linear way, but pick chapters I’m interested in, like f.e. the history of printing colour(s). Very technological, I use it for falling asleep. Again a lot of typos, ta !
Here we have it, stuff I read over the last two months. I mostly read in bed, pencil in hand, ready to write down titles of books mentioned that sound interesting, names of people I would like to know more about … am doing this for some time now. Not always with the desirable discipline – I am a lazy slug ! – but basically it’s what I do.
Once I wrote down and documented what I had read, title place year etc, with annotations. In pre-digital times it was easier because one received the grey piece of paper that was used for order & “Ausleihe”, there you already had noted all necessary bibliographical details. One hd crash later the list was gone – and rightly so ! After all it would only have been a kind of trophy list, braggish – I really do not need to re-write the excellent catalogues that already exist. And the fact that mago once read this title – oh dear … to echo blogger Happy Apathy : Who cares ?
I hope you find the list interesting, perhaps there is something that makes you go and Read More Books !