One of the few not too arduous & diaphoretic tasks in these days of sweltering heat is putting books back into shelves. And before I cramp them back into their wooden jails I take their fingerprints and photograph … So in absolutely not special or sorted, but purely random succession follow the titles of books I read over the last two months.

MELNIKOW, Madgalena ; DUERR, Hans Peter (Eds.) : Rudolf Rocker. Aus den Memoiren eines deutschen Anarchisten. Einleitung von Augustin SOUCHY. Nachwort von Diego Abad de SANTILLÁN. 1. Auflage, Frankfurt / Main 1974 (edition suhrkamp, 711)
ROCKER (1873-1958) (Ger., Eng.) was an important figure of the German and international anarchistic movement, with an exemplary biography that led from the native Rhineland, via Paris to London (of course with internment through WWI and deportation) back to Germany in 1919, then via Spain into exile in the US. On this life journey he met nearly everyone who played a role in the very different “movement” of people who did not accept the rule of man over man. A fierce opponent to the old school social-demokratic party in the Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic, a fierce critic of the communists who replaced the autocratic rule of the czar with the dictatorial regime of their own party, of course in opposition to all those nationalistic & fascists movements of his time, ROCKER seemingly never gave up on his ideals of a free & just society for all, while he lived through an æra that all too directly showed the exact opposite, that all too violent 20th century with its hecatombs of dead men and lakes of blood.
Whether the editor M. MELNIKOW is the gallery owner of the same name (1938-2017) I can not verify, but I think it is likely. Hans Peter DUERR (Ger., Eng.) is a German anthropologist ; we met Augustin SOUCHY (1892-1984) (Ger., Eng.) before on this blog, I read his autobiography ; de SANTILLÁN  (1897-1983) (Ger., Eng.) was an important figure in the Spanish speaking anarchistic movement.

VIERENGEL, Rudolf : Miltenberg. Ein kultur- und kunstgeschichtlicher Wegweiser durch die alte Stadt am Main mit Betrachtungen über Großheubach, Kloster Engelberg, Kleinheubach und Bürgstadt. Mit zahlreichen Aufnahmen von Lala AUFSBERG und Leo GUNDERMANN. Amorbach 1962
Oh so idyllic. VIERENGEL was a local newspaper man, who wrote some pretty bleak nonsense in the 1930s, a la mode. It can be nice to use such an old guide book. Not that I plan to travel to Miltenberg.

LUNARDI, Heinrich : 900 Jahre Nürnberg. 600 Jahre Nürnberger Uhren. Wien, Stuttgart 1974
It is what the title says, a catalogue of clocks and clockmakers from Nuremberg. Sadly I could find no additional biographical information about LUNARDI, but he published several titles that deal with the history of clocks or chronometers. These are simply stunning objects. If you want to see clocks, turn to the Deutsche Uhrenmuseum, or visit the Uhrenmuseum in Vienna, of course LUNARDI wrote a guide book (in 1973).

DROMMER, Günther (Ed.) : Markus WOLF : Die Kunst der Verstellung. Dokumente, Gespräche, Interviews. Berlin 1998
Texts by Mischa WOLF (1923-2006) (Ger., Eng., obit.) about his life and times. He died on a 9th of November. Doesn’t get much more German. I could not find additional information about the editor DROMMER. He seemingly lives in or around Berlin, is (possibly) in his seventies.

Gemeindeverwaltung Pfaffenhofen (Ed.) : 700 Jahre Weiler a.[n] d.[er] Z.[aber] einst und jetzt. Pfaffenhofen 1983
Weiler an der Zaber (Ger.) is a village in the rural district Heilbronn. Here absolutely nothing happened. Of course the place was burnt down several times – goodness, the usual. But that’s about it. Absolutely unspectacular. It stumbled into history because a guy called Lupold von Weiler was used as witness for a contract dated 15th of June 1279. “Weiler” is such a non-descriptive name for a “hamlet”, it really says nothing. The “Weiler” Lupold came from is definitely identified as the place at the bank of the “river” Zaber (Ger., Eng.). Nothing, really. It is fascinating.

Gemeindevorstand Bickenbach (Ed.) : 1100 Jahre bickenbach uffm sand. Chronik der Gemeinde Bickenbach 874-1974. Darmstadt 1973
They scrapped all & everything together and filled more than 400 pages – impressive. Bickenbach (Ger., Eng.) is somewhere in Hassia. When you have read through this tome, it will hold no secrets for you anymore.

HAGENOW, Gerd : Aus dem Weingarten der Antike. Der Wein in Dichtung, Brauchtum und Alltag. Mainz 1982 (Kulturgeschichte der antiken Welt, 12)
Finally a title that deals with an important cultural issue – wine in the ancient world. HAGENOW deals with the different aspects of wine and wine drinking, of the role in daily life, for symposia, in poetics and philosophy – and also speaks in a lengthy chapter about wine-growing. As some of the ancients said – the Muses have the pleasant scent of wine already in the morning … cheerio.

GRÜMBKE, Johann Jacob : Streifzüge durch das Rügenland. Herausgegeben von Albert Burkhardt. Leipzig, 2.Auflage 1991
GRÜMBKE (1771-1849) (Ger.) was born in Bergen auf Rügen. He became the founder of the local historiography. His “Streifzüge” (I think it’s best given as “wanderings”) were published for the first time in 1805, the little book can be considered to be a classic of the genre “travel literature”. GRÜMBKE lived as independent scholar, I think he found his vocation in describing the nature & the history of his native homeland, and simply (and hopefully, happily) followed the call. The university of Greifswald gave him a doctor honoris causa for his lifetime achievement.

WIPPLINGER, Eva : Fayencen deutscher Manufakturen aus der Staatlichen Galerie Moritzburg in Halle / Saale. Leipzig, 3. verbesserte Auflage 1990 (Die Schatzkammer, 16)
Fayence, faience, (Ger., Eng.) after the Italian town Faenca, is pottery with a tin glaze. I lack the knowledge of the special words to describe what ungesinterte Irdenware is. I think that is not necessary to know, as long as one understands that it is by no means porcellaine – what is made from a totally different earth.
Eva WIPPLINGER is the grande dame of German numismatics. She had her 90th birthday end of March 2018, seemingly in good health, celebrated of course in Moritzburg. A nice little booklet with good photographies – that shockingly do explain and illustrate what is mentioned in the text !

WASSERMANN, Charles : Unter polnischer Verwaltung. Tagebuch 1957. Gütersloh 1957
Charles WASSERMANN (and his wife Jacqueline !) travel through the former German areas in the East that after WWII are “under Polish administration”. WASSERMANN does not get tired to describe how awful and bleak life seems to be in Ostpreussen, Danzig, Ostpommern, Ostbrandenburg, and of course, Silesia. I am not quiet sure what to make of this text.
WASSERMANN (1924-1978) (about) was the son of the writers Jacob WASSSERMANN (Ger., Eng.) and Marta KARLWEIS (Ger.). Jacob may be known nowadays for Der Fall Maurizius / The Maurizius Case (1928). Marta wrote her own stuff, and was largely forgotten after 1933, Jacob’s books were burnt of course. The son Charles followed his mother into emigration, for him first England, Swiss for her, later together Canada.
He became a citizen there and worked as journalist, among other contracts, as correspondent for Eastern Europe for the CBC (from 1953). WASSERMANN suffered from severe diabetes, it turned him blind, he finally died in 1978, his wife survived him for 17 years.

BÖCKELMANN, Frank ; LEUBE, Dietrich : Das Katastrophenalbum. Folge 1, Nr. 1-58 : An einem Tag wie jedem anderen und Menetekel. Nördlingen 1985
A collection of catastrophies, strange, sometimes terrifying things that happened on a “normal day”. I really wonder if the editors did a second volume. BÖCKELMANN (Ger.) is a German author and cultural scientist, LEUBE a journalist about whom I could not find more..

This is it so far. Perhaps you find something interesting for you.


3 thoughts on “Aufräumen

  1. Plenty of interesting reading here, especially the travelogues and commentaries of the writers! But that book about unexpected horrors and surprises on normal days definitely got my attention!

  2. The Katastrophenalbum is not an anthology, a planful collection, but it is a collage. The authors use very different sources, like newspaper articles or related books. The incidents are partly historical, partly actual (for 1985). The first one mentioned is from a 1975 newspaper article – a pair “sells” their three month old kid for hundred marks to a pair of strangers in Fulda. Despite the fact that it is a verifiable newspaper report (that is, it is verifiable when it was published in what newspaper), it reeks of urban legend.
    The topic is the “Einbruch des Unbekannten”, as one could call it – when “the usual” is disrupted : Lightning, earthquake, spontaneous self combustion, people vanishing, you get the idea.
    If you give it a secnd thought, it’s pretty unsettling.

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