Fancy Tights Rule !

It’s been a while since The Mistress Sent Me, two full months to be correct, and our Canadian ruler already has posted an update on her reading habits, dutifully, a shining example for all of us. So I’m a bit late, but that’s what I am generally these days …

Non Fiction

First of all I finished to read Friedrich AHLERS-HESTERMANNs Stilwende. Aufbruch der Jugend um 1900. I have mentioned it in the previous reading list.

SOUCHY, Augustin : Vorsicht Anarchist ! Ein Leben für die Freiheit. Politische Erinnerungen. 1. Auflage, Reutlingen 1982 (Trotzdem-Verlag) ( = 4. Gesamtauflage, Erstausgabe 1977) (A dirt cheap re-print on terrible grey paper that now slowly turns brown and brittle.)
Augustin SOUCHY (Eng., Ger.) was a German anarchist and lived through the brutal 20th century, fighting against the Nazis and the Kommies, for his ideals of a free and peaceful form of society without rule, rule of money, rule of man over man. His “political memories” are worth a read, he was where things happened, be it in Moscow, Spain, South America.

MÜHLING, Ed[uard] Joh[ann] Jos[eph] : Historische und topographische Denkwürdigkeiten von Handschuhsheim ; ein Beitrag zu dessen Geschichte von seiner Erbauung an bis auf unsere Tage. Nachdruck 1982 der  Ausgabe Mannheim 1840
It is the history of a small village near Heidelberg (today a part of the city), authored by the “Großherzoglich-Badischen Decane, Bezirksschulvisitator und Pfarrer” MÜHLING. There is no special reason for me to read this small book. I simply like these small histories of villages & places.

KRYSMANSKI, H.J. ; NEUMANN, Thomas : Gruppenbild. Deutsche Eliten im 20. Jahrhundert. Originalausgabe, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1989
Pictures of groups of humans belonging to the German “elite”, of course authored by a sociologist (KRYSMANSKI, Ger.) and a prof for “Sozialgeschichte der Photographie” / social history of photography (NEUMANN, Ger., obit). Ahh it’s soo eighties … But you have to look in the faces of them pigs !

SIGMUND, Anna Maria : Die Frauen der Nazis. Wien 1998
Usually I become a bit reluctant when a title reads like this – the xxx of the Nazis ; I tend not to expect too much from such a book, simply by prejudice, because a lot of popularly written books use this kind of “Titelei”. But Ms SIGMUND is an accepted Austrian historian, at least it is stated on the book cover that she is (was) a member of the IÖG – sadly I could not find more about her. The book gives biographical articles about Carin & Emmy Göring, Magda Goebbels, Leni Riefenstahl, Gertrud Scholtz-Klink, Geli Raubal, Eva Braun and Henriette von Schirach. Sadly nothing about Ms Himmler. A solid publication.

LOSCHÜTZ, Gert (Ed.) : Von deutscher Art. Was in den Köpfen derer steckte, die sich einen Führer wünschten. Ein Familienalbum vom Dachboden. Originalausgabe, Darmstadt und Neuwied 1982 (Sammlung Luchterhand 440)
A collection of texts. The author (Ger.) tries to understand what a man of his age, maybe in his early thirties, may have read, what may have run around in his head and helped to form his consciousness, before the Nazis are democratically elected, perhaps with the vote of this man, this shadowy figure our author wants to understand. And of course there are pictures from a family photo album of the time, oh dear …

Fiction

WESTPHALEN, Joseph von : Warum ich trotzdem Seitensprünge mache. Fünfundzwanzig neue Entrüstungen. 1. Auflage, 1.-10.Tausend, Zürich 1987
von WESTPHALEN (Ger.) is a German writer and satirist who worked in the eighties as editor of Westermanns Monatshefte (Ger.), where he wrote a regular, polemic, pamphletistic column – he was (and possibly is) against anything. Especially politicians. I do not know exactly why I pulled this tome from the shelf – perhaps it was an sub-conscious reaction to all the terrible blurb I have to hear in the radio while driving : “We have the most Eighties !”, or “We play anything Eighties” – as if this decennium would have been God’s gift to us ! It was shit, at least in Germany, where the fat chancellor Kohl and his cronies just sat and sat and sat. It was a corrupt, aesthetically absolutely un-satisfying, politically depraved time of stagnation. And people like von WESTPHALEN wrote their fingers bloody against it. And these radio stations are the cheapest of the cheap, when all they can achieve is to play the old shit again and again, when the driveling idiot of “presenter” nearly fakes an orgasm talking about rock&roll – and all he can come up with is such a lame number like “The Joker”. Yes, Zappa is right, it’s slime coming out of the radio, and good old Joseph is an antidote – like thirty years ago !

KNIGGE, Adolph von : Ueber den Umgang mit Menschen nebst Einleitung. Mit der Biographie und dem Porträt. Nachdruck der Ausgabe ohne Ort [Leipzig ?] 1850
For heaven’s sake : It is not about manners ! Historical books about manners and where to put the fork were treated by the great Norbert ELIAS (Ger., Eng.) in his “Prozeß der Zivilisation” (1939) (Ger., Eng.), who choose Anstandsbücher (Ger.) as basis of his insightful work. KNIGGE writes about different types of personality in different circumstances and how to deal with these persons : What to avoid, what to push. He is not a Machiavellian exploiter of human faults, but an enlightened author of the 18th century. This book is in a sense quite ironic when you look at KNIGGEs chequered biography, at his mishaps at courts, flops were not unknown to him, but he always re-started. And finally he made a living from writing, leading an independent life. He died much too young, in his forties, in 1796.

Good, now I can cram all these back into their dusty wooden prison – ha !

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13 thoughts on “Fancy Tights Rule !

  1. What fascinating reading choices! Thanks for sharing. I like reading about the history of places, too. It’s neat to learn new things about places. I’m usually the nerd in my group when we travel, because I like to research the places we are going & the sites of interest & activities we might be doing. It makes the experience so much richer & more enjoyable when you have some idea of the history & some knowledge about a place.

  2. I never saw this series IDV, but if it has sex, crime, adultery, black romanticism and totally despicable men in it … ? Some of these ladies really enjoyed to peak in those twelve years.

    Oh yes Eroswings ! And even small places and villages can have interesting histories. An old platitude says “you see only what you know”, but if you know about a place, about what has happened there, who lived there and did something good or something evil, then a square f.e. is not simply a place without houses but a stage where Mirandola was burnt ; or a house is not just an old building from some centuries ago, but its the place where the emperor sat and had a (ill fated) conversation with Luther. But it’s not only such “Staatsaktionen”, life consists of many much smaller things. Anyway, the more you know about a place, the more you see, at least in my opinion. On the other hand it is absolutely attractive to look at something without any pre-formed idea too. When one just looks around, and is there.

  3. All interesting choices!

    I’m interested in “Die Frauen der Nazis” because I struggle to understand why women would be attracted to these types of men. I’ve been watching a TV show from France, “Femmes de dictateurs” which translates into English as “Wives of Dictators.”

    I read books about small towns too, especially those of the regions where my ancestors lived.

  4. What type of men, dearest Mistress ? Göring, Goebbels, Hitler and von Schirach were as persons, personalities quite different. What they share, I guess, is instinct for power, ruthlessness. An additional look at the wifes of Himmler and Hess would be interesting. Sigmund mentions in one passage en passant that Himmler’s wife would have looked at her husband with contempt, but I can say nothing about her.
    Scholtz-Klink was an apparatschik, a functionaire – she brabbeled the same nonsense about “the German woman” right before 1933 as she did after 1945. Riefenstahl – well, she always was a force of her own.
    Perhaps a look at more or less independent women, like Riefenstahl, Reitsch, those who made a career in the third Reich, would explain a bit more. BTW the nazi “Frauenbild” was totally schizophren : On one side the “mother” was propagated, fixated on husband & children, the central figure in that silly myth of blood, while at the same time the independent, modern female also was established as ideal : A lady who chooses her partners / connections herself, works for a living, fearlessly trusting in her own abilities – a very attractive ideal for women of the 1930s, all in line with the anti-bourgeoise, anti-establishment streak of the party.
    I sadly have no idea about Les Femmes de Dictateurs : That would be people like Stalin, Mao, Bokassa, Idi Amin, the Duvaliers, Saddam … Question – for me – would be whether there is a certain type, an archetypus if you like “dictator”, a personality set to be ruling over others, character traits that can be found in all of them. I mean stomping feet on the ground and yelling “I wanna !” is not enough to be a distinct & successful dictator.

    Spot on as usual MrPeenee : “All over the place” nails it pretty good. But some topics recur.

  5. I thought I would find something quite ‘racy’ after reading your blog title! Perhaps photos of men in tights… or ladies in tights… I thought perhaps MJ’s influence was rubbing off. 😉

  6. Oh GOd Scarlet, contain yerself please …
    Why ? Is it the reading ? Do you want me to perform a humpta-dance ?
    Wait, don’t drip please, I’ll fetch you a batiste handkerchief smelling slightly of lily-of-the-valley …
    Better now ?

    Sorry to disappoint you Ponita ! MJ needs to do one of her Italian-Soccer-Players-ripping-their-Ts-off-posts again.

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