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.

Politisch’ Lied, Garstig’ Lied

It is ridiculous.
The scandal in this “Acosta Incident” is not that the little fuehrer yells at a reporter, and it is not a scandal that his reporter is banned from the White House “in retaliation”. This is low, but the normal today in the USofA. The scandal is that they use a doctored video. This has a Goebbels taste to it.

The little fuehrer has the former “Justizminister” Sessions replaced by a true follower – as things are right now, I can say nothing else about this man, especially when you consider that I am watching all this from Europe. But that this move is clearly aimed against the investigation run by a certain Mr Muller is absolutely clear & undeniable. The Democrats are now in a position to look into the little fuehrer’s shenanigans – and a certain McConnell in advance called this already “presidential meddling” – as if this so called “president” would be untouchable.
Watching & thinking about this, I can only hope that what grandma Pelosi mumbled, something along the line “we must work together”, is forgotten as soon as possible. I think the Democrats still have not understood what they are dealing with : This is not a “normal” “president”, this is not “a politician”. The little fuehrer can not be measured by this scales. There is no “moral”, no “ethos”, fuck “responsibility” – because it’s always other people’s fault.
I think it is an important moment now.
If the Democrats decide to “make (some) peace”, and “work together” with “responsible” Republicans, then they will become what we called in Germany after WWII and the end of the dictatorship “Mitläufer”. The only thing the Democrats have to bank on now is their morale value, after two years of unhinged “Trumpism”. After two years of ongoing erosion of the democratic state, of socio-cultural warfare. Joining in now “for the better” would be nothing else but erbärmlichstes Mitläufertum. (Can’t translate this. Does the word “Quisling” ring a bell ?)
There is no other way but the full disclosure of the little fuehrer’s corruption, make or mar. Anything else means to become guilty.

But all this is in vain.
In the end, all I talk about here is moral, ethos if you like. What we see is an elected moral blank, a nihilist. And those who voted for him, and more so, those who make him possible, enable him, figures like this McConnell, share this nihilism. And as long as it works, it works.
The only thing that can end this, is the next economical crisis. And this will come as sure as next Christmas. Only then things will change. I am in no way learned about economics, so I can say nothing about what will cause what when. All I know is that the US economy runs “on tick”, auf Pump. This is a major vulnerability, and chances are, at least in my humble opinion, that some day in the near future someone (perhaps some really pissed off Chinese ?) triggers something that sends this house of cards down the drain. This will aggravate all the fault lines in the society the little fuehrer banks on, and it will make them break.
This will be ugly and violent.

Sorry, I am no doom monger usually, but I can not share the optimism that comes out of this Midterm’s result. It means, first of all, another two years of the little fuehrer’s more or less unbridled rule ; it means a un-unified Democratic “opposition” ; it does, thirdly, not rule out another six years of scum’s rule. As nice & notable some results may be, in total it is not enough. The next election campaign already started, the public climate is poisoned and will get even more poisoned : The little fuehrer’s answer is clear – more escalation. He publicly lauded violence as means of political “confrontation”.

The little fuehrer needs to be laughed out of office. Laughter is the only thing that can stop this monstrosity.
It is ridiculous.