Oh, Books …

It’s necessary to clear some space and put the read books back into the shelves. Here is a list of the books I have read over the last two months.


STÄHLIN, Christof : Der Dandy und andere Monologe und Erzählungen. 1. Auflage, Zürich Herbst 1986 (Haffmanns’ Helfende Hand-Bibliothek)
I wrote about Christof STAEHLIN here.

FLAUBERT, Gustave : Das Wörterbuch der übernommenen Ideen. (…) Mit einem Nachwort von Julian BARNES. 1. Auflage Zürich Herbst 1987 (Haffmanns’ Helfende Hand-Bibliothek)
“Le dictionnaire des idées reçues” (Eng., Fr., text in project Gutenberg from 1913) is a nice distraction.  BARNES (Ger., Eng.) of course explains this and that. He should know about old “Flohbär”, if you have some time at your hands see FLAUBERT’s Parrot (Ger., Eng.).

SCHMIDT, Arno : Griechisches Feuer. 13 historische Skizzen.
Erstausgabe Herbst 1989 (Haffmanns’ Helfende Hand-Bibliothek)
I have mentioned Mr SCHMIDT here now & than. This little tome contains 13 short texts SCHMIDT wrote as “Brotarbeiten” for a local newspaper in the years between 1956 and 1959. From funny to critical, short historical essays partly with a local connection, bordering on “Heimatkunde”, what is only superficially translated with “local history”. And because these texts needed to be printed in a newspaper – no wild orgies of personal orthography & typography here, all very gentle in this respect. Still entertaining after sixty years.

Non Fiction

GRAFTON, Anthony : Cardanos Kosmos. Die Welten und Werke eines Renaissance-Astrologen. Berlin 1999 (Originally Cardano’s Cosmos, 1999)
GRAFTON (Ger., Eng., reviews by GRAFTON) is an important American scholar of the Kulturgeschichte of early modern time, who wrote not only about CARDANO, but also about SCALIGER and ALBERTI, an interesting polyhistor. If you want to understand what it is all about with that astrology, how it is understood in its cultural and sociologial aspect, what risk & rewards a man like CARDANUS faces, grab this book. I will try to reach GRAFTON’s text about ALBERTI, a man who always fascinated me.

KOSTOLANY, André : Kostolanys beste Tips für Geldanleger. Profitable Ideen für Sparer und Spekulanten. Ausgewählt und zusammengestellt von Hubert SPEGEL. Mit einem Vorwort von Karl Otto PÖHL. Sonderausgabe München Düsseldorf 1998 (Originalausgabe 1991 als “Kostolanys beste Geldgeschichten”)
Of course this is not a “How-to-“book for the aspiring stock-broker : It is a collection of anecdotes, some even interesting, about persons & things KOSTOLANY (Ger., Eng.) knew and witnessed through his long life. He mentions some colourful characters worth further research.

VOLKE, Werner : Hugo von Hofmannsthal in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten, Reinbek Juli 1967 (rowolths monographien, hg.v. Kurt KUSENBERG, 127)
I miss Rowohlt’s biographical series, many of the volumes (like this one) were especially written for it, and VOLKE (obit) did a very good job, this small tome is after nearly fifty years still exemplary.
HOFFMANTHALs correspondence, the network he created before WWI in the “old Europe” (that was crunched to pieces in the murderous battles of Verdun et al.) guides through the literary circles, cliques and connections from the fin de siecle to Hugo’s tragic death by stroke, when he wanted to go out to his son’s funeral, who had shot himself some days before. Well, Jedermann (Ger., Eng.), gemma bisserl sterben … And VOLKE, as employee of the Literaturarchiv Marbach, wrote the guide for the interested reader.

RITZ, J. M. : Unterfränkische Barockschlösser. Augsburg 1925 (Alte Kunst in Bayern)
Doesn’t count. I just like the old black and white photographs.

ADRION, Alexander : Taschendiebe. Der heimlichen Zunft auf die Finger geschaut. München 1992
ADRION (Ger.) is of course a stage name, originally the magician and prestidigiteur was born under the name Gerhard ENGELSLEBEN. He retired from the stage in 1985. This book is a kind of overturned “Zettelkasten” or slip box, a collection of materials ADRION brought together over some time. It is interesting, he makes contact with modern thieves and police men, also has a look at the history of the profession, and mentions the literature he used.

HARTLIEB, Johannes : Das Buch aller verbotenen Künste.
Herausgegeben und ins Neuhochdeutsche übertragen von Frank FÜRBETH, 1. Auflage Frankfurt am Main 1989 (insel taschenbuch 1241)
The doctor HARTLIEB (Ger., Eng.) wrote a book about the forbidden arts. It created a kind of catch-22 for him, a Zwickmühle : On one hand he could not be too detailed about the magical practises, because that would mean he wrote a kind of handbook for magicians and witches – not necessarily a good idea in the Bavaria of 1456. On the other hand he needed to be detailed enough so that the client, Johann von Brandenburg-Kulmbach (Ger., Eng.), has a chance to understand what he is talking about. Well, Johann has the byname “the alchemist”, so he may have one or two ideas about HARTLIEBs subjects.

HATJE, Gerd (Ed.) : new furniture neue möbel meubles nouveaux muebles modernos 6. Stuttgart 1962
Wonder what new furniture one to five looked like. HATJE (Ger.) is born in Hamburg and came after WWII to Stuttgart where he founded a publishing house. He made his name with a program of art, photography and architecture. 1990, with 75, he retired. HATJE gives a tour d’horizon from modern chairs, seating arrangements and tables via office furniture, cabinets & shelves to nursery furniture, text by Michel MORTIER (Eng.), himself a well-known furniture designer. Doesn’t get more classic sixties, does it ?

Now I stuff all this paper back into the shelves and take out different heaps, what a silly game.

13 thoughts on “Oh, Books …

  1. re: HATJE

    In the late 1970s, I went to the Cranbrook Art Museum where they had a special exhibit about furniture design. There were many pieces that looked remarkable modern. But when one read the placards, they were from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.

    PS: Wie gehts?

  2. I am quite fascinated by old, classic black & white fotos, too. And I also love looking at the fotos of the development & evolution of modern furniture design. It’s cool to see what people created & whether their designs were not only beautiful or functional or practical, but was it comfortable? It’s not really furniture unless you can sit on it or use it.

    Dr Harlieb’s dark arts book sounds intriguing! Magic & mysteries are always interesting.

  3. In Germany the Bauhaus as a school had its hayday in the 1920, than comes a break, and when things re-start they have to re-connect to the modernist movement of the 20s – this rules over fifties’ & sixties’ design. So there is continuity in the German design. Through emigrants some of the Bauhaus was brought to America and other places, and returned as “International Style”.
    In the book by HATJE I find designs that will short time later show up in the programs of the furniture manufacturers, and so come to the living rooms of Europe – at least those who can afford it.
    Thank you LẌ, the nose gets better, not that runny anymore, but now coughing gets worse & my throat hurts ‘n itches, interesting sound of voice. I am not that lame anymore, but still walk around like a sweaty zombie.

    This is one of the most interesting questions Eroswings – can one sit on it ? If you ever have a chance to come into a museum’s depot, preferably one that collects furniture, do it and try them out ! Some are surprisingly comfortable, while other designs seem to be the result of an intense torturing workshop. HATJE of course was not interested in practicability – except for the children’s furniture – design rules. Photographed in b/w in this extra dry documentary style, occasional black backgrounds – especially for the HIRCHE stuff.
    Dr. HARTLIEB wrote a nice introduction giving the essentials, pointing out to additional literature – sadly most of this stuff is lost, and finally quotes people he interviewed about their practises. A very interesting source for the 15th century, standing absolutely on the safe grounds of the catholic Daemonologie. Because some things are not only allowed, but even wanted – think about CARDANOs work as astrologist only one hundred years later.

  4. Frankly – I doubt this LẌ. Gema runs in one league with the terrible GEZ, they make even dead people pay.

    The parrot is NOT a Norwegian Blue and only a dummie for distraction, dear Scarlet.

  5. “This video is not available in your country.”

    Sorry LẌ. I have no clue whether it is Gema-related, there is no hint or mention of this organisation, or of any other cause or reason. The video is just not available in Germany. Perhaps not stored in the German edition of the internet …

  6. Oh, I remember old Hartlieb. His compendium of herbs was ok, but I don’t know where he got that flying ointment recipe from? It would get you off your face, but not off the ground!

    I expect it’s too much to ask that in Hatje’s book there are photos of other books on modern chairs and seating arrangements? Perhaps you could rectify that by taking a photo of the book on one of your chairs or seating conveniences?

  7. Sorry, not in the linked original Hoppelschaum, later editions use woodcuts to illustrate.

    Oh the “Kräuterbuch”, the Book of Herbs, it survives in some editions, illustrated too. Last critical edition from 2010.
    Sorry IDV, I have to look again, but as I remember there are no photos of books on chairs in Hatje’s book – but I skipped the nursery furniture, maybe there … in any case, I will snap some pictures of the book and put them up some time later : I overdid it today, went to the store. Now I am a wheezing wreck again …

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