Shut Up, John – It Makes No Difference

Out comes a new book about Donnie ROTTEN, but it brings nothing really new, as it seems. Who is in command of a not entirely Zombie like brain, and watched what Donnie ROTTEN and his gang pulled off over the last years, is not surprised about those “disclosures”. If the author, who calls himself a “patriot”, would be a man, he would have dragged his sorry arse to the impeachment panel and put an end to scum’s rule of Donnie ROTTEN & his outfit of greedy pigs – but he chose not to.
Maybe this is how it is meant to be. After all a democracy lives from the people’s vote – even when one ruling party does everything to make the democratic act for parts of the population as difficult as possible, and in doing so, actively obstructs the democratic system, obviously in order to stabilise and conserve the rule of a mob that sells self-enrichment as welfare policy.
The whole system, the state, the society, has only a chance to survive when a change comes from within, when the souvereign, id est the American people, puts an end to the farce by legal means, which is by ballot. Notorious idiots – and there are quiet a few armed dipshits around – phantasise about “solutions” by bullet, these are those deplorables who think they can shoot a virus.
And Donnie ROTTEN himself ? Is nowadays unable to grab a glass of water, and must be lead from the stage after the gig. The man is a gabbling idiot, who can not finish one damn sentence properly. I read excerpts from his “interview” with a Goebbels-scholar from the propaganda outfit, and it really astounded me (again) how uninformed Donnie ROTTEN actually is, and how unable he is to form a thought, follow and express it. It all ends in nirvana. I already said it, I repeat it : Donnie ROTTEN suffers from a not properly treated, and / or healed up form of (neuro-)syphilis. Soon the symptoms will not be ignorable anymore, even for the most spineless, bootlicking Republican.
It is possible that the world will face the really disturbing situation in November that – with the little help of some foreign friends – Donnie ROTTEN is declared winner of the election, and an undeniably crumbling, braindead zombie just keeps sitting in the White House. If this happens (and frankly, I am not convinced that it is impossible), then there will be a new world order without the US – that happily and voluntarily dwarfed herself into a corrupt banana republic run by an inbred riffraff of imbeciles. Was fallen will, das falle.

Read Stuff

If “read stuff” equals “book”, what would equal “bookshelf” ? “Store stuff” ? Maybe I am going daft a bit over time. Books need to be stuffed back into shelves – stuff stuff ? – why is the word “regal” used for something mundane like a storage facility ? I will find out later. Now the titles.

REISNER, Erwin : Der Dämon und sein Bild. Mit einem Vorwort zur Neuausgabe von Peter ORBAN. 1. Aufl. Frankfurt/Main 1989 (suhrkamp taschenbuch 1610)
(zuerst : Frankfurt/Main 1947)
Hardcore Christian philosophy, protestant variety. You can read this only when in full command of the German language, and ready to follow really astounding argumentation & reasoning.
REISNER (1890-1966) (Ger., über, über) is educated in different monasteries and boarding schools. He decides on a military career, and serves during worldwar I as officer in the Austrian army in the East. There he has a kind of “philosophical ecstatic experience” in 1915. After the war he somehow muddles through to make a living for his family. The material situation is much improved when his wife gets an inheritance in 1924. He receives a doctorate in 1932 (Marburg). The family gets expelled from their native Siebenbürgen (Transsylvania, Ger., Eng.) in 1935, and goes to Berlin. REISNER seems to be close to the “Bekennende Kirche”, and works seemingly in what is called “Judenmission”. I am not sure about what REISNER did between 1933 and 1945, I simply do not know enough about these mission organisation(s) he represented notably in Vienna (1937). In 1945 he becomes a professor at the Kirchliche Hochschule Berlin (Ger., Eng.) – does not get more protestant and “bekennend”. And German.
REISNER is cited with two interesting sentences : “Der antisemitische Christ ist eine contradictio in adjecto.” (“The antisemitic Christian is an contradictio in adjecto.”)
So sind gerade die alles Religiöse radikal verwerfenden Rassenantisemiten die Christusmörder.” (“The all religious condemning racial antisemites are the murderers of Christ.”)
Peter ORBAN is or was a German psychologist about whom I could find nothing more.

MÜLLER-WULCKOW, Walter [Lothar] : Architektur der Zwanziger Jahre in Deutschland. Neu-Ausgabe der vier Blauen Bücher : “Bauten der Arbeit und des Verkehrs”, 3. und letzte Auflage 1929 ; “Wohnbauten und Siedlungen”, 3. und letzte Auflage 1929 ; “Bauten der Gemeinschaft”, 3. und letzte Auflage 1929 ; “Die deutsche Wohnung”, 4. und letzte Auflage 1932. Königstein/Taunus 1975
MÜLLER-WULCKOW (1886-1964) (Ger.) took some time with his studies from 1904 onward. He earned his PhD in 1911 in Straßburg at DEHIOs institute. He became director in Oldenburg (Ger., Eng.) at the Landesgewerbemuseum that he transformed into the Landesmuseum für Kunst~ und Kulturgeschichte (Ger., Eng., website). He was one of the first to accept photography as independent form of art and made exhibitions possible.
The “blue books” were a very successful series of the publishing house Langewiesche (Ger.), since 1902 in blue jackets, designed from 1911 to 1958 (!) by Karl KÖSTER (1883-1975) (Ger.). Reeks a bit of Werkbund.
These four books are collections of b/w photographs depicting new, modern buildings : Buildings of labour and traffic ; housing & estate ; community buildings, and German interiors. Look at some of these photographs and shake your head on some things you see in AD or dwell – old hats …

Silber aus Heilbronn für die Welt. P.Bruckmann & Söhne (1805-1975). Herausgegeben von Städtische Museen Heilbronn, Heilbronn 2001 (Heilbronner Museumskatalog Nr. 96)
Speaking of Werkbund (Ger., Eng.), Peter BRUCKMANN (1865-1937) (Ger.), without doubt the most important of the family besides the founder of the business, was co-founder, and (twice) head of the Werkbund. The Silberwarenfrabrik (Ger.) produced sets of cutlery and “Korpusware”, like goblets, centrepieces – you get the idea. After Peter BRUCKMANNs death his son Dietrich (1896-1967) took over, who successfully managed the comeback of the firm after the destruction of Heilbronn and the manufactory in 1944. With Dietrich’s death the tradition of the BRUCKMANN family ends. The whole company is taken over by a Netherlandish company that tries to modernise. A lot of people were made redundant – and in 1973 the Käsköpp’ * finally run the thing into the ground. And because nobody felt responsible for anything or something any more, the whole archive of the BRUCKMANN production went into the shredder, pattern books included, all inclusive – what a damn shame ! This explains why the contributors to this catalogue have left to cite just a handful of original sources – there is not more left. Photographic material is so lala.
* Käsköpp’ is vernacular for “cheese heads”, a not so nice German nickname for the Dutch. The Niederländer return the favour with a bold moffen (here).

SCHÄFER, Ernst : Parkwanderungen zwischen Harz und Havel. 1. Aufl. Berlin 1982
Herr SCHÄFER seems to have been a prolific wanderer and visitor of parks, because, according to the text on the dust jacket, this is number three in a series. He has already published wanderings through parks in Thuringia, and the valley of the river Elbe near Dresden.
Many b/w photographs, but the colour photographs are really touching, because they have this tint of old family photos. Maybe I will find the other two volumes one day.

MINOIS, Georges : Geschichte des Selbstmords. Aus dem Französischen von Eva MOLDENHAUER. Düsseldorf Zürich 1996 (zuerst : Histoire du Suicide. Paris 1995)
MINOIS (born 1946) (Ger., Fr.) is a French historian, MOLDENHAUER (born 1934) is a well known translator who collected some prizes along the way. I used the book for this blog entry.

CASEMIR, Kirstin ; FISCHER, Christian : Deutsch. Die Geschichte unserer Sprache. Darmstadt 2013
The text itself is not bad, sometimes – as it seems to be the new usual with modern, young writers of nonfiction, specialised books – a tad offhand or flippant (“flapsig”). But not as bad as with other examples I sadly received from the “Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft” over the last years.
BUT that a book about the history of the German language starts on the very first page, in the second paragraph, with not just one (“werdenausgesuchte Aspekte” instead of “werden ausgesuchte Aspekte”) BUT two Satzfehler (“eine möglichst ein ladende Reisebeschreibung” instead of “eine möglichst einladende Reisebeschreibung”) – within less than ten lines – starts, I say, with two brunzdummen Fehlern* is a bit much – even for the illiterate idiots in Darmstadt who produce such crap. One should send it back. It is of no real comfort that they put in an extra sheet of paper with the printed list of errata : Listed are 32 pages with partly more than one mistake. At least the two on page one are mentioned & corrected. Gewollt und nicht gekonnt.
* Please do not expect me to explain brunzdumm. Ask a Germanist, preferably from Darmstadt.

FRECOT, Janos ; GEIST, Johann Friedrich ; KERBS, Diethart : FIDUS. 1868-1948. Zur ästhetischen Praxis bürgerlicher Fluchtbewegungen. Neuauflage mit einem Vorwort von Gert MATTENKLOTT und einer Forschungsübersicht von Christian WELLER. Hamburg 1997 (zuerst : München 1972)
25 years after the first biographic approach towards the man called FIDUS was published an augmented new edition of this book appeared. FRECOT (Ger.) is a German cultural historian who brought together a large book collection about “Lebensreform”. This library is kept at Stanford and contains additional materials from FIDUS’ estate. GEIST (1936-2009) (Ger.) was professor for architecture and history of architecture in Berlin. KERBS (1937-2013) was a professor for paedagogy, colleague of GEIST in Berlin. He was btw one of the founders of the archive of the Werkbund.
FIDUS is worth an extra post. If the name does not ring a bell, I am sure you have seen his “Lichtgebet” / “Prayer in Light”, here’s a link. Towards the end of his life he hated that thing.

Enough. I hope you may find something interesting

Suicide & Binnenexotik

The fat moon stares at me. He looks a bit like Charlie Brown. Soon he will follow his course to the right and vanish behind the house. I am sure to see moon shadows later in the evening.
In the following meandering babble I will mention some obscure, macabre, and disgusting things, so if this evokes the danger of triggering something un-wanted in you, dear reader, just skip now. Thank you.

*

I read an interesting book about suicide by M. Georges MINOIS : Geschichte des Sebstmords, Düsseldorf Zürich 1996 (first : Histoire du suicide, Paris 1995), and as it is with books, one always finds strange things that need further investigation. In the end it may be curiosity alone that makes us devote ourselves to what is called history. I am not free from this sin.
But what is history else but lived human life ? Homo sapiens sapiens is us, and those who served in the Roman legiones, or lived in the Keltic cities called oppida, the Ancient Greek and their strange invaders (once called “Seevölker”) are not different from the inhabitants of Classic Rome, Renaissance Rome, modern Rome or any other specimen of mankind on this planet.
But we may look at other cultural environments and find them strange – I think the most common descriptor was or is “exotic”. In fact, we are the exotic too. Not only for a visitor from another continent, but for ourselves, when we are confronted with the practices & ideas of those we call forefathers. The fabric, the weave of values, and hence the way we act, in accord with the resulting set of norms, or in dis-accord with, changes.
History is about change (what a banal truism), and if it teaches something, it may teach respect. I am generally sceptical about this idea of “learning from history”, simply because in my understanding a group – call it population or nation – or a set of groups we call society, does not learn. Individuals learn. They may make a difference at times. But it is undeniable that societies change, and have different attitudes to certain things, for example suicide, different from how they judged the same thing one or two generations ago. I still call all this Geistesgeschichte, outing meself as boneheaded conservative unmoved from more or less new changes in the science’ attitude. In fact I am a Volkskundler by trade, so by other people’s definition undeniably, a rotten reactionary.
But I digress. I think it is called “going down the rabbit hole”, years ago an old lady who lived near the Great Lakes introduced me to this formulation.
The discussion about suicide in the end boils down to two positions. Those who definitely refuse the praxis, those who allow it either generally or under circumstances. The arguments & used examples basically stay the same over centuries, the value judgements change. And MINOIS describes this European discussion from the middle ages to the end of the 19th century.
It has a juridical dimension of course. If killing oneself is a crime against the Christian order or the order of the Christian state, the authority must act : A crime needs to be prosecuted, fiat iustitia. This explains why suicidal corpses were punished. Usually by dragging the cadaver face-down through the streets to the gallows where they would be hanged by their feet and left to rot. If they were not thrown on the Schindanger, they were buried at night, preferably (face down ?) with a nice solid stake through the thorax.
This was practice through Early Modern times in Europe.
It is of note that, of course, there were a lot of exceptions. This would not happen to a gentleman of the Last Guinea Club (don’t know if this works for you, try this), or a French notable, but likely to the corpse of a peasant, the plebs. On judicial order.
Maybe a shortage of judges explains what MINOIS mentions on page 410 of his book :
“In the Bretagne alone one counts more lawsuits against corpses than in those regions Albert BAYET investigated : Twenty versus eighteen, the half of them ended with the corpse’s execution. At the start of the Revolution a salted corpse was found in Quimper waiting for its execution for five or six years, in Saint-Malo around twenty“.
(Minois cites CORRE & Aubry : Documents de criminologie retrospective (Bretagne, XVII-XVIII siecle), Paris 1895, p. 378. He mentions A. BAYET : Le suicide et la morale, Paris 1922.)
I know that the Middle Ages and the Baroque were not too delicate in handling dead bodies. Always remember that (the later Saint) Thomas Aquinas was cooked to remove his (fat) flesh from the bones that were kept as venerable relics. One could say they whirlpooled him. A not uncommon practice, especially in the hot South. I think some noblemen who died on the crusades were kept in honey while transported back home for the funeral. But to keep more than twenty brined corpses in storage just for further mutilation seems to be a bit macabre. I wonder how this happened practically ? Did they have a special shed at the hotel de ville, preferably in the basement ? What sad bastid held the maintenance job ? Someone had to refill the salt.
Unsurprisingly MINOIS mentions DEFOEs Journal of the Plague Years (1665), because in times of widespread death Hamlet’s question can come unpleasantly close. This interesting book that one could call the first modern novel, inspired a great, moving, animated short film titled The Periwig Maker (Ger., Eng., viewpure).
And so the circle of this ramble is closed – a little red haired girl features prominently in this picture, unnamed and venerated from afar by the wig maker, just like Charlie Brown will do a little later. It seems to be the little redhead’s fate through centuries to show just up, and then go away, silent and anonymously.

To Tidy Books Away

The snow is still here, on meadows, fields, the vineyards. Clouds are travelling along on a lightblue sky while the windmill busily turnsturnsturns. It all looks serene. But I will not set foot outside today, the wind has a certain zing, a poisoned little nettle. Instead I will tidy up and stuff them books back into their wooden jails. Maybe the following list inspires you to own reading adventures.

THOMSEN, Christian W.; HOLLÄNDER, Hans (Hgg.) : Augenblick und Zeitpunkt. Studien zur Zeitstruktur und Zeitmetaphorik in Kunst und Wissenschaften, Darmstadt 1984
May first sound like heavy intellectual stuff (it partly is). A collection of papers dealing with the problem of time in arts and sciences. Moments of insight, time in modern dance, in literature from “Othello” to Hammett.
Christian W. THOMSEN (born 1940) (Ger.) is professor emeritus for anglistics of the university of Siegen, Hans HOLLÄNDER (Ger.) was tenured professor for art history at the RWTH Aachen.

ALTER, Robert ; COSMAN, Carol (coll.) : Stendhal. Eine Biographie. Reinbek 1992
(Zuerst : A Lion for Love. A Critical Biography of Stendhal. NewYork 1979)
Marie-Henry BEYLE (1783-1842) (Ger., Eng.) is better known under his pen name STENDHAL. His most famous work may be La Chartreuse de Parme (Ger., Eng.) – his only real success during his lifetime, written (or better : dictated) towards the end of 1838 in one go. BEYLE made his living as civil servant in the new, Napoleonic, republic. Finally he was given a job as consul in Civitavecchia. I do not remember the details of his biography, but I found the book gripping. I think I would not have wanted to have a closer relationship or even a friendship with Monsieur BEYLE, who seems to have been a damn drama queen.
Robert ALTER (Ger., Eng.) is professor of Hebrew at the university of California. Sadly I could find not more information about Ms COSMAN.

MANN, Golo ; BLIGGENSTORFER, Ruedi (photo) : Wallenstein. Bilder zu seinem Leben. Frankfurt/M. 1973
MANN (1909-1994) (Ger., Eng.), Thomas’ son, published a biography (Ger.) of Albrecht von WALLENSTEIN (1583-1634) (Ger., Eng.) in 1971. This book is a supplement and brings photographs of places of WALLENSTEINs life. Among other things MANN shows and tells who benefitted from WALLENSTEINs murder.
About BLIGGENSTORFER I could find not much. He seems to have vanished at some point, and re-surfaced on a run down farm in SouthAfrica in 2011 (article). But since I could not read the article I can say nothing about him.

FRANK, Waldo ; MUMFORD, Lewis ; NORMAN, Dorothy ; ROSENFELD, Paul ; RUGG, Harold (Eds) : America & Alfred STIEGLITZ. A Collective Portrait. New revised edition NewYork 1979 (zuerst 1934)
This collection of essays was brought together in 1934 to honour Alfred STIEGLITZ (1864-1946) (Ger., Eng.) at the occasion of his 70th birthday, a classical Festschrift. Not much I could or should say about STIEGLITZ. Interesting photographs, for example plate 22 the portrait of marchesa Casati (Ger., Eng.) by baron Adolphe de MEYER (Ger., Eng.) (1910), Vogue‘s first official fashion photographer.

Heimatverein Höpfingen e.V. (Hg.) : HÖPFINGEN – Beiträge zur Heimatgeschichte. Höpfingen 1985
Just one of those local chronicles. Höpfingen (Ger., Eng.) is known for its speed traps, three in less than one kilometer. I must know.

VOIGTLAENDER, Heinz : Falschmünzer und Münzfälscher. Geschichte der Geldfälschung aus 2½ Jahrtausenden. Münster 1976
Fascinating. As Philon from Alexandria (Ger., Eng.) said, there is nothing on earth that will not be forged. And money surely was, is and will be forged. But not only money in the strict sense of currency, as daily means of exchange, but of course historical pieces are falsified, or tempered with, too.
Sadly I could not retrieve more information about Dr. VOIGTLAENDER.

HUBER, Armin O[tto] : Raritätenjäger. Aus dem abenteuerlichen Leben eines Sammlers. Gütersloh 1966
HUBER (1904-1977) (Ger.) (about, German only, sorry, with photographs) was a travel writer and collector. His live was adventurous between Europe and the Americas, exile in Ecuador, extended travels. He started to collect books, moved then to South American curiosities (shrunken heads), and finally historical weapons. In between, out of financial need, he hammered some novels into the typewriter. I read somewhere that he left two autobiographical works, maybe I’ll try to get them.

MÜCHLER, Günter : Napoleon. Revolutionär auf dem Kaiserthron. Darmstadt 2019
What a life ! From zero to ruler of Europe (and some parts of the new world), and back to a damn shack in the middle of the Southern Atlantic. In less than twenty years. He became consul in the coup of the 8th of Brumaire / November 1799, the show ended 1815 near a village called Waterloo south of Brussels. In between he turned Europe upside down, not one stone left standing.
MÜCHLER (Ger.) is German journalist, held a high position in Deutschlandradio (Ger., Eng.) until 2011. His book is pleasantly palatable, but I think it would have benefited from critical proofreading. Some formulations are simply too flapsig, flippant ; they simply do not fit in. I do not think that this is fault-finding, Krittelei. It is like you walk on a smooth surface and all of a sudden you stumble over an ugly stone that should not be there. I think publishers went a bit too far with the saving of expenses.
Besides this, a recommended read.

There. As already mentioned, maybe this can inspire your own reading, so that this list(s) is a bit more than a peacock’s presentation.