books

Aufräum’

Zeit zum Aufräum’. So the smallish pile of books needs to be attacked – smallish, tiny, ach … In no special order follow titles of books I read since the last list was published sometime in September.

Aperture Masters of Photography : Manuel Alvarez Bravo. Cologne 1997
Nicely done reproductions of ALVAREZ BRAVOs (Ger., Eng., Getty)  b/w photographs. A small tome with an essay by A.D. COLEMAN (Eng.). No special reason, I just wanted to look at good photography.
The same goes for another volume of the mentioned series :

Aperture Masters of Photography : Paul Strand. Cologne 1997
With an essay by Mark HAWORTH-BOOTH (Eng., website). I always admired Paul STRAND (Ger., Eng., Heilbrunn), somewhere around here is his New England book. Just look and enjoy.

DEUERLEIN, Ernst G. ; PAULUS, Herbert ; WILHELM, Hermann : Beiträge zur Kunstpflege in Erlangen. 50 Jahre Kunstverein Erlangen 1904-1954. Erlangen 1954
Erlangen (Ger., Eng.) is a city in Middle Franconia. There are no special things to know about Erlangen. Of course interested citizens founded an art society, and after ups & downs they presented themselves and the rest of the world with a festschrift for the fifty year jumbilee. Here it is.

SPROTTE, Bernhard : Geleit im Tauberland. Als Nünberger Kaufleute zur Frankfurter Messe zogen. Wertheim 1973 (Veröffentlichungen d. Historischen Vereins Wertheim, 1)
Merchants need to go to the market. Large markets were held through the Middle Ages right into Early Modern Times in free cities, like Frankfurt am Main, Nürnberg, Augsburg, and others. To travel safe merchants formed convoys and bought an escort from local rulers. For these domini terrae it was a good business ; fares, taxes and of course the segments where who had the right to escort, were fixed, but nevertheless disputed from time to time.
The valley of the Tauber is a natural East-West connection for travelling merchants. Also there were turnings towards Würzburg, in generally Northern direction, and to the South, generally in direction of the very rich Augsburg. SPROTTE, about whom I could find nothing more, depicts these aspects of the local history (of traffic, of commerce, of public safety) in a clear and even entertaining way. Of course it is only interesting for a local historian, and / or for someone who knows the area and places.

GOMBRICH, Ernst H.: Die Krise der Kulturgeschichte. Gedanken zum Wertproblem in den Geisteswissenschaften. München, September 1991
(zuerst : Ideals and Idols, Oxford 1979)
Damn, I wish I had read this twenty or more years ago. I always thought of GOMBRICH (Ger., Eng., archive) as an art historian – yes he is this too, but he is a cultural historian. I will not repeat here what Sir Ernst has thought, written & discussed in his unique way. This book, or better these articles published in one tome, are still today definitely worth a read, and thought or two.

WEIGAND, Waldemar : Das Königliche Spiel. Eine kulturgeschichtliche Studie. Berlin 1959
It is a small history of chess, with the emphasis of the origins. Simply nice. Could find nothing more on Mr WEIGAND.

GLENDINNING, Victoria : Edith Sitwell. 1. Auflage dt., Frankfurt (am Main) 1995
(zuerst : Edith Sitwell. A Unicorn Among Lions. 1981. Übersetzt von Karl A. KLEWER)
Edith (Ger., Eng.) and her brothers, reviled and revered. I think Ms GLENDINNING (Ger., Eng.) did an outstanding good biography of Ms SITWELL. She never ridicules her, never puts her on a piedestal, no worship, no bashing, but a clear view on this unique lady. Even if you are not especially interested in English poetry, or the intrigues etc. – just follow this strange person through her life, I find it terribly interesting.

That’s it. Maybe you found something interesting, and hence will start reading ?

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10 thoughts on “Aufräum’

  1. I also like to look at photography books to admire the skill of professionals.

    Oh, Erlangen! Went through there on the river cruise last year on the way to the day tour of Nürnberg.

  2. There is always something new to see LẌ. I don’t know how often I went through Strand’s New England book.
    “Wissenswertes Wissenswertes über Ehrlangen …” It’s one of the worst earworms. Since 1982 or so.
    Do you have plans to go on the Danube over the Balcans to the Black Sea ?

  3. I know Gombrich through “The Story of Art” which is really, in many ways, the art BIBLE. I’m not familiar with his other writings.

    And yes, Dame Edith is a fascinating character!

    Thank you for your book report, Mago. I’m always interested to see what you’ve been reading.

  4. I love photography books! Paul Strand is fantastic. I first became aware of his work while enjoying some of Alfred Stieglitz’s works. Those early photos are such treasured and interesting glimpses of life at the last century/millennium. People are always interesting and intriguing, esp when they are captured in candid, realistic form.

    Thank you for introducing me to Gombrich. His works are on my to read list.

  5. Hic dracones LẌ. But if the boat travels in convoy with others and covered by armed speedboats against the pirates it may be an interesting experience, a la “Through the Wild East”.

    Oh yes, his “History” is still around. Gombrich was the director of the Warburg Institute (wiki, a real good address.
    Dame Edith is really unique. I have not yet finished the book, we are now in the mid1930s. Glad to serve The Mistress.

    Edith is one of those interesting ladies of the early twentieth century. I can not say something about her poetry, simply because I lack something in this respect, but her biography is peculiar. She is peculiar, Dinahmow.

    These early modern American photographers really set the mark. People like Stieglitz, Adams, Strand and others really worked this little chamber, the camera. It’s not snapping pictures, but taking a photography.
    I first found a small book by Gombrich in which he wrote about the history of shadows. So it is the day that weaves the world. Nice that you liked some of this stuff Eroswings.

  6. You are still reading! My efforts at reading have fallen right off this year, and I’m ashamed to say, I don’t recognise any of these Gombriches and Dame Ediths. I feel like I should know Gombrich having dabbled in certain realms of art while I was at art school, but I despised the art history lessons, and all I can remember was some boring lecture on the history of treen.

  7. You, dearest Scarlet, like IDV, may have been confronted with Gombrich in a boring seminar about art history.
    But you and IDV did something better : You both turned to actually producing art.
    For me the study of art history came to an end when I fell asleep through a lecture about the development of the heads of Ionic bronzetti. I never met something equally boring afterwards in my life.

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