Another Boring Book List

It’s been a time since the last book report in October. I read, sometimes with difficulties, but nevertheless, I read. As if this would be something worth in itself, like art pour l’art. In the end, the hope that it all will fit into one large, sense filled weaving never dies. Perhaps a promise never fulfilled.

Georg Christoph LICHTENBERG : Schriften und Briefe. Dritter Band. Aufsätze, Entwürfe, Gedichte, Erklärungen der Hogarthischen Kupferstiche. Herausgegeben von Wolfgang PROMIES. Frankfurt am Main 3. Auflage 1994
I did not “read” this in the common sense of the word by starting at page one and then working through it. I read in it essays and pieces that seemed to be interesting. PROMIES (Ger.) was the LICHTENBERG specialist of the day and created the edition to use.

METTERNICH, Wolfgang : Teufel, Geister und Dämonen. Das Unheimliche in der Kunst des Mittelalters. Darmstadt 2011
METTERNICH is a learned man who took a nice tour d’horizon about what nowadays is called the “Unheimliche”, the “eerie”, in medieval art. You see the snag – “eerie” is no medieval category. But he put together a nice sample of especially Romanesque art and deals with it in an acceptable way. He knows his sources.
The book itself would have benefited from a nice and thorough proof reading, as it is the norm nowadays with most of those “easy” products.

LEITNER, Bernhard : The architecture of Ludwig WIttgenstein. A documentation. With excerpts from the Family Recollections by Hermine Wittgenstein. London 2. Auflage 1995
Yes, Ludwig (Ger., Eng., sep) was not only a philosopher, but he also built a house (Ger., Eng.), in Vienna for one of his sisters. It must have been one cold affaire in its heyday, charming like a public restroom with its dangling, single electric bulbs over black concrete floors.
Bernhard LEITNER (Ger.) did a lot to prevent this thing from being torn down. Ugliness wins.

NEUBAUER, Hans-Joachim : FAMA. Eine Geschichte des Gerüchts. Berlin 1998
I know that I read it, but I have no recollection. What a shame.

HILKENBACH, Sigurd ; KRAMER, Wolfgang : Die Straßenbahn der Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG-Ost / BVB) 1949 – 1991. Stuttgart 2. überarbeitete Auflage 1999
I do not understand why I possess books like this one. It contains photographs of trams, descriptions of  every technical aspect of running a pretty large tramway in Easter Berlin for over forty years – “this comprehensive documentation leaves barely any question unanswered”. Yes. I never asked a question about the East-Berlin tram services.
So I will put it back in the shelf to the books about buses, trucks, public transportation – I’m an idiot.

Möbius und sein Band. Der Aufstieg der Mathematik und Astronomie im Deutschland des 19. Jahrhunderts. Herausgegeben von John FAUVEL, Raymond FLOOG, Robin WILSON. Aus dem Englischen von Gisela MENZEL. Basel Boston Berlin 1994 (zuerst : Möbius and His Band, Oxford 1993)
This is not a biography of the Saxon mathematician August Ferdinand MÖBIUS (1790-1868) (Ger., Eng.) but a collection of six essays that describe different aspects of the history of mathematics as science taught and positioned in the academic institutions of Möbius’ lifetime. Very interesting and informative texts about the history of natural science, and about the history of mathematics as a science and where Möbius stands there.

SINZ, Herbert : Lexikon der Sitten und Gebräuche im Handwerk. Freiburg im Breisgau 1986 (Herderbücherei, 1263)
Exactly what the title says : A little lexicon of customs, or rites, developed in the different crafts from the late middle ages to the 19th century.

Ausonius. Herausgegeben von Manfred Joachim LOSSAU. Darmstadt 1991 (Wege der Forschung, 652)
LOSSAU (Ger.) was classicist at Trier university. Here he edits a collection of essays about Ausonius (Ger., Eng.), who may be known for his poem about the river Mosel / Moselle (Ger., Eng.) Excellent wines there.
It is a sum of the current status of research about Ausonius, who not only was a poet and rhetor, but also a man in important political positions while Trier was one of the capitals of the Roman Empire.

MEYER, Otto : Die Alte Mainbrücke zu Würzburg und ihre Heiligen. Religion und Politik um die Alte Mainbrücke. Würzburg 1972 (Sonderdruck aus dem Mainfränkischen Jahrbuch 23/71)
As you may know the Franconian capital is decorated with a bridge over the river Main, the Alte Mainbrücke (Ger.). On this bridge stand twelve figures, commonly called the “Brückenheilige”, the bridge’s Saints – while not all twelve are Saints, one or another king can be found among them.
Of course they are not haphazardly or randomly put there – Hey, ho, let’s put a statue there ! It is a program, and Otto MEYER (Ger.) explained it in a public lecture in 1968.

KRISCHKE, Traugott : Ödön von Horváth. Kind seiner Zeit. Berlin 1998 (Ullstein-Buch, 26525)
This is really a very well penned biography about the author Ödön von Horváth (Ger., Eng.). I should write a little post about him. KRISCHKEs enthusiasm really “leaps over” onto the reader. He literally follows his object’s (last) footsteps – Ödön was killed on the Champs Élysée (Ger., Eng.) in a freak accident on 1st of June 1936.

HELLER, Erich : Enterbter Geist. Essays über modernes Dichten und Denken. Frankfurt am Main 1. Auflage 1981 (suhrkamp Taschenbuch 537) (zuerst : The Disinherited Mind. Cambridge 1952)
Erich HELLER (1911-1990) (Ger., Eng.) was an English writer of  German, Bohemian and Jewish origin. His Disinherited Mind, a collection of essays about modern Writing and Thinking was an influential text in the fifties. Some essays were published again in the German speaking world in his own translation, but the German edition (1954) as a whole was not available anymore at the end of the 1970s – as HELLER describes in the foreword for this new edition.
As HELLER mentions, this strange Scot MacDIARMID (Ger., Eng.) took a lot from HELLERs article about Karl KRAUS and published it as own poem titled “And above all, Karl Kraus” (149 of 157 lines). Both, MacDIARMID and HELLER had interesting views on “borrowing”.
Another scene is remarkable. HELLERs thinking leads (automatically) from SCHOPENHAUER via NIETZSCHE to HEIDEGGER – Hannah ARENDT is one of the most important of HELLERs correspondents. So Heller visits the moustachioed “thinker” in the late 1940s and asks him “Why ?” – just to be found unworthy an answer. I never could understand why people fall over backwards for this Nazischwätzer Heidegger. In my opinion most of his “philosophy” is cheapest Wortgeklingel, verbiage, and nothing else.

Über Arthur Schopenhauer. Herausgegeben von Gerd HAFFMANNS. Zürich 3. erneut erweiterte und verbesserte Auflage 1981 (Diogenes Taschenbuch 153)
This is a direct result of reading HELLER. A collection of passages where writers point out their view on SCHOPENHAUER, a wide range from “demi god” to “brainsick blatherer”.

So far. Time to stuff ’em back. Maybe you find something interesting.

8 thoughts on “Another Boring Book List

  1. I went to look at pictures of the Wittgenstein House and you’re quite right about it possessing the charm of a public toilet. I understand it and other buildings and decor that came to be Modernist were reacting to the fussy, overdone style of the Victorian period, but you really can swerve too far in the other direction when making a correction.

  2. Langweilig nichts!

    East Berlin Trams. They are only on the east side, so I did not ride them every day. It was always a treat to ride a tram when on the Commie side!

    Die Alte Mainbrücke. I have been on the bridge several times. Always something interesting going on there. I even have a bridge fridge magnet to remind me of Würzburg.

  3. Glad to serve Norma ! Glad to see you around here again. And please – would you allow me to comment on your blog ? Come on, live dangerously, let the riffraff in.
    (And now let me give you a friendly hug because of Rivvy.)

    These white rectangular boxes were revolutionary in their time, as you say MrPenee, because they were reactions to the overdone style before – there are some really awesome, early examples of this new style (I remember a villa in Southern France from the mid(?)-twenties, there are very peculiar buildings in the East of Europe, somewhere I have links, or better I had on a now defunct hard drive).
    But Ludwig, as usual, went over the top. His sister was wealthy, and similar remarkable like her brother, who had no real knowledge as architect when he started to alter the plans that were drawn by the real architectual contractor. Ludwig soon took over – and insisted in absolute correctness – no differences to what he had calculated. The windows must have been especially excruciating, because they had to be done in small vertical bands or strips (I’m not sure what word to use here, elements perhaps) that had not been produced in this form before.
    And as any modern architect he designed anything in the house too : door handles, radiators, tiles, inbuilt ameublement. NO rugs allowed. Tiles made from blackish artificial stone on the floor, gray walls. And on top of this all these terrible terrible bulbs : Single electrical bulbs dangling from the ceiling ! Imagine yourself sitting in their salon listening to twelve-tone-music – this would make a Carthusian scream !

    Historically the bridge is the center, anything else (the settling on the right side of the river with the Dom etc.) came later. The fortified place on top of the “mountain” is there to protect the bridge, and at the foot of the “Würzberg” the first small settlement of fishermen started. Usually the bridge is full with people, especially in the warmer seasons, there’s always a street musician.
    Glad to see that you found something interesting LẌ !

    Really MsScarlet, I remembered the other books, for what reason ever, but I have no memory of this “Fama” – what simply means that I found it very un-impressive, it seemingly told me nothing worth to remember, a waste of time in the end. We should not waste time, it simply is too precious.

  4. Sorry for the late answer my dears.

    But Eryl – you write ! Without you idiots like me had nothing to read !

    It must have been so Looby. If in Vienna one should pay a visit and have a look. Wittgenstein seems to have been an unpleasant human being, not blessed with the gift of patience. In his short stint as teacher in the Austrian outback he seemingly had very good results motivating pupils by using modern, involving methods – but on the other hand he was twice relocated or shifted, because he had punched pupils. Philosopher or not, I think Wittgenstein was an a-hole. And this building represents his inner cold emptiness : Who wants to sit under one dangling electrical bulb in a room with black concrete floor and windows like shooting slits ?

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