Book Pile

In the ongoing, never ending, futile fight to bring order to the anarchic heaps of written materials that surround me, another pile of books read over the last months.

SCHNEIDER, WOlf : Wir Neandertaler. Der abenteuerliche Aufstieg des Menschengeschlechts. 1. Aufl. Hamburg 1988
A history of mankind from the African savannah to modern destroyer of worlds. SCHNEIDER (Ger., Eng.) (born 1925) was the first director (1979) of the newly found Hamburg school of journalism (Ger., Eng.). He should know some things about the German language and its use. Nice essay.

FONTANE, Theodor : Autobiographische Schriften. Band II : Von Zwanzig bis Dreißig. 1. Aufl. Berlin und Weimar 1982. Bearbeiter Peter GOLDAMMER.
FONTANE (1819-1898) (Ger., Eng.) is an important German writer of the 19th century. I personally believe that he is one of the most important stylists we ever had, while other people think he is the most boring writer the earth has seen ever. His autobiography is amusing, and relentless. I like it very much.
GOLDAMMER is known as editor of the works of FONTANE and STORM, he worked for the Aufbau Verlag in East Berlin. Sadly I could not find more about him.

SCHAUER, Georg Kurt : Der wohltemperierte Leser. Zehn Plaudereien über die Kunst des Lesens. Frankfurt/Main 1964/65
This book is a present the Linotype GmbH gives to business associates as a “Jahresgabe”. Of course they do this to show and present their capabilities, hence the little book is technically excellent : Good paper, good print, good binding, really done well.
SCHAUER (1899-1984) (Ger.) was a book historian, and had a small publishing house specialised on “good books”, Buchkunst. He worked free lance for Klingspor, Linotype etc. Here are ten little causeries about reading a book. Doesn’t get more bookish artsy, and West German …

Geschichten vom Buch. Eine Sammlung von Klaus SCHÖFFLING. 1. Aufl. Frankfurt/Main 1985 (insel taschenbuch 722)
A small anthology about the book, containing texts from ADORNO to ZWEIG, from 18th century to modern authors – a nice little read. SCHÖFFLING may be in possession of a book, or two.

KELLER, Christoph : Der Schädelvermesser. Otto SCHLAGINHAUFEN – Anthropologe und Rassenhygieniker. Eine biographische Reportage. Zürich 1995
SCHLAGINHAUFEN (1879-1973) (Ger.) is a Swiss anthropologist who spent his whole life in meassuring skulls. Skulls of people in German Asian colonies, and skulls of Swiss soldiers, conscripts, so he had constant ordnance … He believes in the difference of races and its measurability. “Race hygiene” must be based on statistics and numbers, first of all a proper survey, an inventory, must be compiled. He does this for Switzerland. Unmoved by anything that happens around him – concentration camps, “Rassenhygiene” at work with thousands forced sterilised etcetcetc – SCHLAGINHAUFEN just carries on. He kills no one, he commits no crime, but he is a monstruous manifestation of “science” without consciousness.
KELLER (Ger.) is a Swiss journalist.

ORZECHOWSKY, Peter : Schwarze Magie – Braune Macht. Ravensburg ohne Jahr (1991)
A strange book. Somehow not finished, at some passage the author hints at a second, another, or a following book – but I think there never was an additional part published. The whole endeavour, to investigate whether somewhere in the history of nazism evidence for black magical activity can be found, is a bit bonkers, but the author checks out what can be checked out, and of course there is no proof. He relies, at least for my taste, a bit too much on not too reliable source materials, but does it make a difference ?
I could find nothing else about the author.

DEUEL, Leo : Heinrich SCHLIEMANN. Eine Biographie. Hamburg 1993. Translated by Gertrud BARUCH. (zuerst : Memoirs of Heinrich SCHLIEMANN, NewYork 1977)
Goodness, what a guy ! International business tycoon with interests from Russia to Cuba, decides to solve some problems of the classic periode in Greece – at least that is what SCHLIEMANN publicly advertises. He definitely was a successfull business man on various continents, but was the “problem” of the localisation of Troy (Ger., Eng.) really that burning question for Heinrich ? One could suspect that the question for him was more how to gain maximum fame after death …
The way he dug was even among his contemporaries disputed ; one can be happy that the steam driven excavator was not yet invented, SCHLIEMANN would have ripped it all even more apart than he already did. But at least he learned – he learned through his whole life. He was no scientist, and hence always looked down his nose at trained archeologists, philologists too. According to him he was always right – he died a happy man.
Sadly I could not find more about Leo DEUEL.

WEBER, Hermann : LENIN in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten. Reinbek bei Hamburg 1970 (rowohlts monographien 168)
Biography of LENIN with personal testimonials, private pictures. Interesting man. Did you know that LENIN bathed in the Spree daily when he was in Berlin ?

MAUTNER, Franz H. : NESTROY. 1. Aufl. Frankfurt/Main 1978 (suhrkamp taschenbuch 465)
Who is NESTROY (Ger., Eng.) ? Johann NESTROY (1801-1862) was an Austrian singer, actor, playwright. Largely forgotten after his death, MAUTNER re-discovered the author. This book is the sum of his life long preoccupation with NESTROYs biography, his writings, plays etc. NESTROY is a notorious language gamer (“Sprachspieler”), who uses not only strange, newly invented words, but also dialect & sociolect, so that his wit is not jumping in the face of the audience 150 years later. Nevertheless he is still played today. Austrians …

HOLL, Friedrich ; STECKBAUER, Erwin : Glas in der Geschichte und in unserer Bayerischen Heimat. Teil 1 : Uranfang, Überlieferung, Berichte. 1. Aufl. Zwiesel 1976 (Schriftenreihe des Waldmuseums Zwiesel)
As the title says, the history of glass, especialy glass in Bavaria. Informative, some nice photographs. I’d like to have part two too. Sadly I could find no more information on the authors, STECKBAUER seems to have played a role in the folklore of the Bavarian forest.

That’s it. Maybe you find something interesting. Now I have a little more space on the desk.

10 thoughts on “Book Pile

  1. If I had to read everything I own before buying a new book it would probably take me a year. I buy them based on whatever current obsession I am having and sometimes it runs its course before I’ve finished the lot. Sitting on the shelf waiting for me to come back to it.

  2. I’ve heard of, but never read, Nestroy. I wonder how it would be translated into English. I read Ulysses a couple of years ago and was amstonished to learn how many languages a book I’d have thought impossible to translate, has in fact been rendered into.

  3. I am glad that I bought when I had the money, nowadays I have the time, dear Melanie

    Translators are a strange bunch. I never thought that it was possible to translate Arno SCHMIDT, but it is done – and as I read it is done very well. SCHMIDT btw did try his hand on translating a story from Ulysses.
    I have no clue how to handle NESTROY in English Looby. He is seen as the godfather of Austrian, specially Viennese “Volkstheater” – something that sends me running for the hills. But this is a result of how his texts were treated after his death, it became more and more Klamauk. A close read shows that N. was not using a sledgehammer (usually) – he could do that too, of course – but more a little mallet. BTW he was sent to jail for extemporieren several times – he added text to his own pieces while on stage, strongly forbidden of course : You are allowd to run on stage what the censor allows, nothing else !

  4. So, are there another five volumes of Fontane’s autobiography that you have to get through, dear Mago? I like your description that it is “amusing, and relentless”.

    Just like Ms Scarlet, I also have a pile of unread books (perhaps not quite so weighty as my chair is still in one piece – helped by the fact that 3 or 4 of them are on my Kindle…)

  5. I hope your toothaches did vanish, dearest MsScarlet, or at least did become small and bearable. You realise & know that it is only a question of time until Doctore Brute will carry out the extraction ? Be brave !!

    Old Theo did not write a real autobiography, it is a collection of autobiographical texts, partly out of his “Nachlaß”. He wrote about his childhood in Neuruppin – I remember that they all there were broke and made a sport to swindle a penny from the neighbour ; he wrote about the ten years between twenty and thirty, his job, his first writings, first travels etc. ; and there’s a third volume that contains small scenes, memories etc. from his later private writings. He is not one to cover things in whitewash.
    I still can not get warm with the idea of an electronic book IDV.

  6. Just a bit of light reading? DAMN, DUDE. Me, I’ve been reading a lot of papers about chemistry, various histories of embalming, old archived newspapers from the 1800’s, perusing maps, read a good piece on shamanism (minus the hippie horseshit; it was a solid sociological overview and I got a lot out of it.) I’ve been combing the internet for those in-depth scientific works, because I know how to party, dammit. And loving it all! There’s been a flood of new discoveries concerning the Neanderthals. I’ll let you have the fun of hunting them down. (because I forgot the links.) Muchas smooches!

  7. … you took realy interest in them, FN. Sorry, it’s just too hot to say something aboutNeanderthaler & stuff, anything that requires “thinking” is not good now. No, no good.

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