Stuff Read Too

SARKOWICZ, Hans ; CRONE, Michael (Eds.) : Der Kampf um die Ätherwellen. Feindpropaganda im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Frankfurt/M. 1990 (Sammlung historica, Tondokumente)
This comes in a little plastic box with six CCs (Ger., Eng.) – yes kids, compact cassettes, also known as music~, audio~ or tape cassette. You need a cassette recorder to play them, sadly I have none.
The little booklet describes the known (Western) allied, German speaking, propaganda broadcasting stations through WWII. They did not all quit in May 1945. BTW I still find that someone took the blueprint of the British “Soldatensender Calais” and used it for that “Q”-hoax.
Hans SARKOWICZ (*1955) (Ger.) is a German journalist and works for the Hassian broadcasting service. As for Michael CRONE I am not sure, I think he was temporary head of the Deutsche Rundfunkarchiv ten years ago. Informative little booklet.

RUTSCHKY, Michael : Auf Reisen. Ein Fotoalbum. Erstausgabe Frankfurt / M. 1986 (suhrkamp taschenbuch 1268)
RUTSCHKY (1943-2018) (Ger., Eng.) was a German sociologist and journalist. Not uncontroversial. This is a photographic album ; every page shows a black/white photograph with a two line caption underneath. Absolutely unspectacular photographs taken in 1980s Germany.

DEFFARGE, Marie-Claude ; TROELLER, Gordian : Die Herren. Ein Pamphlet gegen die Männerherrschaft. 1. Auflage Frankfurt/M. Juli 1985
More necessary than ever, a pamphlet against the rule of men. Wir waren schon ‘mal weiter ! DEFFARGE (1924-1984) and TROELLER (1917-2003) (website German only, that English-button did nothing for me) were a restlessly travelling journalistic couple. They did many documentaries together, among them “Frauen der Welt” / “Women of the World” (1979-1983). The pamphlet is a part of this effort.

ARNOLD, Hans Ludwig (Ed.) : Die Gruppe 47. Ein kritischer Grundriß. München 1980 (TEXT + KRITIK Sonderband)
About the German writers, who came together after WWII, and invented literature anew. Of course they did not. In fact it was a gang of cocks. But this is only my own uninformed opinion.
ARNOLD (1940-2011) (Ger.) was an important figure in the West-German literary scene, founder of an influential magazine, critic etc.

KING, Graham : Say “CHEESE” ! Looking at Snapshots in a New Way. NewYork 1984
Today it is not uncommon that snapshots themselves, or the aesthetics of snaps, are in some way used in artistic photographic work. All this seems nowadays to be categorized under “Found Photography”. But the snapshot needed to be discovered. And I think KINGs book is one of the earliest collections. I may be wrong. Sadly I found nothing about “Graham KING”.

BUCHNER, Edmund : Die Sonnenuhr des Augustus.Nachdruck aus RM 1976 und 1980 und Nachwort über die Ausgrabung 1980/81. Mainz 1982 (Kulturgeschichte der Antiken Welt, Sonderband)
The author published two articles in Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archaeologischen Institutes, Roemische Abteilung (= Römische Mitteilungen, or RM). In those articles he explained his research regarding “Augustus’ sundial”, known as solarium or horologium Augusti (Ger., Eng.). BUCHNER came to the conclusion that it was in fact a sundial – an opinion that is not shared among scholars nowadays. Undisputed is the location of the instrument and its connection to the ara pacis (Ger., Eng.) and the mausoleum Augusti (Ger., Eng.) as BUCHNER described it. In the end, another excavation should take place, but these Romans must built their houses anywhere.
BUCHNER (1923-2011) (Ger., Eng.) was a German historian, he held various important positions in scientific organisations.

AKERMANN, Manfred : Die Staufer. Ein europäisches Herrschergeschlecht. Darmstadt 2003
Good readable, modern description of the Staufer dynasty, earlier called Hohenstaufen (Ger., Eng.). From the Alb into the world, from the stupor mundi Friedrich II. (Ger., Eng.) (1220) to the bloody finale of little Konrad’s beheading in Naples (Ger., Eng.) (1268), the poor sod became only sixteen.
AKERMANN (1931-2018) was a Suebian archivist.

Maybe you find something interesting, encouraging own studium & further reading. I am glad that I can put away these books and tidy up. But I know that it is an unequal, and, in the end, vain fight. They will conquer that chair again, I just know it.

Stuff Read

What a waste of time, energy, and resources books are. Then they sit there, using precious space, collecting and miraculously producing dust (and new books – I swear I find now & then a book here I never saw before !), grinning. Smirking.
Now it is the time to charge their fortress, to expel them from the area they usurped, they have to leave this chair in the end – ha ! Back in the confinement of the bookshelf, where you belong ! It’s three months since the last post in this category.

CARPENTER, Humphrey : J.R.R.Tolkien. Eine Biographie. Aus dem Englischen übersetzt von Wolfgang KREGE. Stuttgart 1979. First edition London 1977
CARPENTER (1946-2005) (Ger., Eng.) not only wrote the biography of TOLKIEN (1892-1973) (Ger., Eng.) (whom he met as a student), but also of fellow inkling C.S.LEWIS, and other interesting people. As I understand his text about TOLKIEN is accepted, undisputed.
KREGE (1939-2005) (Ger., Eng.) did not only translate the biography, but also the main œuvre of TOLKIEN, The Lord of the Rings. This did not go undisputed.

ROTHER, Rainer (Ed.) : Bilder schreiben Geschichte. Der Historiker im Kino. Berlin 1991 (Wagenbach Taschenbuch 193)
A collection of essays about the historian and his relation to the medium film. I was mostly interested in the articles by Marc FERRO (1924-2021) (Ger., Eng.) and Nathalie ZEMON DAVIS (*1928) (Ger., Eng.). The English wikipedia article about FERRO is a shame. Rainer ROTHER (*1956) (Ger.) is deeply involved in media studies.

DAMEROW, Peter ; LEFÈVRE, Wolfgang (Eds.) : George ADAMS. Geometrische und graphische Versuche oder Beschreibung der mathematischen Instrumente, deren man sich in der Geometrie, der Zivil- und Militär-Vermessung, beim Nivellieren und ind der Perspektive bedient. Nach der deutschen Ausgabe von 1795. Darmstadt 1985
Mankind started to survey, to measure the world seriously in the 18th century. What tools did they use ? Look into this book and you learn about instruments and practices. The author George ADAMS junior (1750-1795) (Ger., Eng.) was a mathematical instruments’ maker following the tradition of his father George ADAMS senior. DAMEROW (1939-2011) (Ger.) was a German science historian, a studied mathematician, LEFÈVRE (*1941) (Ger.) is a sociologist, actually at the MPI für Wissenschaftsgeschichte.

WITTKOP, Justus F.: Unter der schwarzen Fahne. Aktionen und Gestalten des Anarchismus. Frankfurt/Main 1973
A good readable historical essay about the outer history of anarchism in Europe. WITTKOP does not discuss the theoretical & ideological variants. It is a well written, still readable kind of overview. Sadly WITTKOP (1899-1986) has no wikipedia article, and I did not find him in biographical works of reference. He was married to Gabrielle WITTKOP (1920-2002) (Ger., Eng., obit.), a “marriage of convenience” for both of them.

SIEVERS, Leo : Deutsche und Russen. Tausend Jahre gemeinsame Geschichte – von Otto dem Großen bis Gorbatschow. Hamburg 1991
Originally a series of articles in a magazine, later collected, revised, and published as coherent text. A journalistic work, well written, good readable. SIEVERS (1917-2009) (Ger.) was originally a learned architect, but somehow slid into the German feuilleton of the 1950s. He was a successful writer, and specialised in historical reportage.

To be continued. I am too tired now to go on. And if this catalogue shall still have a chance to be a little interesting for one of you, venerated readers, then the list should not be too long, and boring. The second installment may follow on Monday.

And Finally, Some Books

Over the last days I finally managed to clear up my appartement. There was still some stuff lying around from the “new” kitchen that needed to be sorted & plain’n simply put away. Someone near me moved house, and while packing up he found some books belonging to me. When he gave them back I found no place to put them, because the location where I usually put books that need to be sorted in, was already overcrowded. This gives me the opportunity to torment you, venerated reader, with another boring book post. Here follows, in no particular order, a list of books I read since the last post.

AMMOSER, Hendrik : Das Buch vom Verkehr. Die faszinierende Welt von Mobilität und Logistik. Darmstadt 2014
The world of traffic – or better : mobility. There is a little bit more to it than “just” a road and a car. We now live inside a worldwide system of mobility of men & goods – just remember that ship in the Suez canal from some months ago. Keep in mind how unwanted travel guests use the system and hop from continent to continent, no real challenge for an enterprising virus.
AMMOSER (born 1976) is an ingenieur of Verkehrswesen and holds a position at the TU Dresden, sadly I could find no more information about him. He wrote a very informative overview of the historical development of transportation up to the most modern developments of the “Verkehrssystem”.

SCHENCK, Eva-Maria : Das Bilderrätsel. Hildesheim NewYork 1973
Rebus (Ger., Eng.), old as Methusalem. SCHENCK wrote the history of it, and collected examples in libraries throughout Europe. After two hundred something pages text, explanations & register, follow two hundred something pages illustrations – a large catalogue. One can only grab & enjoy or grab & throw away, and leave. Sadly I could find no more information about Ms SCHENCK.

Das große HÖRZU Buch der Erfindungen. [Redakteur Hans-Heinrich KÜMMEL] Frankfurt/M. 1987 (Originalausgabe : Le Livre Mondial des Inventions. Paris, seemingly any year since 1982]
It is large, quietschbunt (what is really not caught by “multi-coloured”), and filled with nonsense.

Cecil BEATON : War Photographs 1939-45. London 1981
Mr BEATON (1904-1980) (Ger., Eng., about) did not only photograph ladies in nice gowns, but he also went to war. This volume, foreword by Peter QUENNELL, introduction by Gail BUCKLAND, shows this part of his work. No matter what, BEATON is immortal for the photograph of Eileen Dunne in The Hospital for Sick Children, 1940 (you see it in the “about” link). Fucking huns.

SCHAROLD, Carl Gottfried : Würzburg und die umliegende Gegend, für Fremde und Einheimische kurz beschrieben. Würzburg 1805
The “Churfürstlich pfalzbaierische LandesdirectionsSecretär [sic] in Würzburg” SCHAROLD (1769-1847) (Ger., DB) describes the Franconian capital and the surrounding region. “Wein” and related matters pp 287-296.

UEDING, Gert : Wilhelm Busch. Das 19. Jahrhundert en miniature. Frankfurt/M 1986 (Suhrkamp Taschenbuch 1246) (zuerst : Frankfurt/M. 1977)
WIlhelm BUSCH (Ger., Eng.) is the Urvater of the modern “comic” strip – of the drawn, “funny”, story or narration. There is a bit more to it. His stories are not all “funny”, they are critical of a lot of things he watched and did not like, and they are pretty brutal. And anarchic. BUSCH always wanted to paint, and he did. Sadly he was under the impression that his paintings were not “good enough”, so he destroyed nearly anything he had painted, only a handful (less than ten ?) of his oil paintings survived, mostly by accident. He smashed a cheese on the wall of a Munich villa (inside, coram publico), then left society and went back home, to a godforsaken village in the Northern plains, never to leave again. What a life.
Gert UEDING (Ger.) is a Germanist, was until his retirement in 2009 the successor of Walter JENS in Tübingen.

Die Memoiren des Herzogs von Saint-Simon. Edited & Translated by Sigrid von MASSENBACH. 4 vol. Frankfurt/M Berlin 1991
I have not yet finished all of it, am stuck in volume IV, but it is a very interesting source for the late 17th, beginning 18th century France’ court life. Louis de ROUVROY, duc de SAINT-SIMON (1675-1755) (Ger., Eng.) is not the typical “Höfling”, courtier, in fact he is very critical of Louis’ XIV court, life, personality. He sees the later half of Ludwig’s very long reign as a national descent, not to say decline. At one point (if I remember it correctly) he says very clear that the ageing king surrounded himself with mediocre courtiers, who were not in full command of the subjects they had to deal with, be it economics, foreign policy or else. The king did this willfully to secure that he was always asked, came into a position of authority for which he was, well, not bright enough. But he was still there, for ages – and all those men who were responsible for the successfull politics and military actions before circa 1700, ministers and generals, became old, retired and died.
SAINT-SIMON is absolutely not objective in his writings, it basically started as his private diary, but at some point he writes to be read. He does not stay out of politics, he carefully analyses the different groups, their interests, and brings himself in a position where he can act. He is not successfull, but at least, he tried. SAINT-SIMON comes to the conclusion that the nation needs independent people who can work into a subject / topic, who can become experts – and who are independent, in the end, from the court, and from the king’s person. That can in the setting of his time only mean, nobility : Noble men who are economically independent, who work voluntarily for the nation, and the king as institution, not as person. This may be elitist nowadays, but for his time, at the court in Europe that invented “absolutism”, he was progressive – one of the few occasions when a real conservative becomes a progressive.
Besides all this, there is the gossip, his characterisations of people, and of course, fascinating (at least to me) insights, how a court really works : Where do you go when you want to see the king ? When is it possible to speak to the monarch ? How do you spent time in Versailles ? Who is whose lover, and is it important ?
I am sure there are shortened versions of his writings. SIgrid von MASSENBACH (1919-1984) was since 1962 the wife of the romanist and sociologist Hans NAUMANN ; besides her collaboration with her husband she translated many interesting texts into German.

HARTIG, Aglaia I. : Jean Paul MARAT. Ich bin das Auge des Volkes. Ein Portrait in Reden und Schriften. Berlin 1987
One of the Schreckensmänner of the Revolution, this MARAT (Ger., Eng.). Not necessarily one of the most likeable persons, so best to read the man himself. HARTIG (obit) was a German historian.

BORODZIEJ , Włodzimierz (Ger., EngPol.) ; GÓRNY, Maciej (Pol.) : Der vergessene Weltkrieg. Europas Osten 1912-1923, Darmstadt 2018
(zuerst : Nasza Wojna, 2016 ; The forgotten Worldwar. Europe’s East 1912-1923)
I wrote about this here. BORODZIEJ meanwhile died.

LUIDL, Philipp : Typografie. Herkunft, Aufbau, Anwendung. 2. rev. ed. Hannover 1989
You want to know yer divis from yer cicero ? Read this. Did you ever stand in a Drucksaal and cried ? I did. Widows & orphans are Hurenkinder & Schusterjungen. Did you ever try to make a Satzspiegel from scratch ? See page 99. I have no idea why printing, hence Drucksatz, typesetting (Ger., Eng.), is so damn fascinating. And no, nothing we ever did in cursed “word” comes close. First of all, because cursed “word” never was a Satzprogramm, and a “Layouter” does not get dirty hands. Of course there is no way back. But this is no excuse for bad setting / layout, texts full of idiotic mistakes, and lousy products in general, tah !

ROVAN, Joseph : Geschichte der Deutschen. Von ihren Ursprüngen bis heute. München Wien 1995 (zuerst : Histoire de l’Allemagne. Des origines à nos jours. Paris 1994)
It is important to note, and the author says it expressis verbis in his foreword for the German edition, that he wrote a history of Germany, not of the Germans.
Joseph ROVAN (1918-2004) (Ger., Eng.) was born as Joseph ROSENTHAL in Munich. This sentence alone should be able to invoke the history of Middle Europe in the bloody 20th century. His father early understood the antisemitic agenda of the Third Reich, and brought the family to France (1934 ?). Joseph did not emmigrate, joined the Resistance, went to Dachau, where he met interesting people. He later played a role as intellectual, historian, public persona in France, and can be counted among the most important people who made a Franco-German approach, reconciliation even, possible. I read his history of Germany “mit Gewinn” (“with profit” seems to be a very wrong translation), he opens interesting perspectives.

That’s it. I hope you can find something that tickles your interest – go and grab some Saint-Simon, let’s vanish in the 17th !

A Little Whine

I was not able to go to Suebia this weekend, and it feels crap. And it is all my Grätigkeit to blame.
For some days now I develop a headache from midday onwards that slowly but steadily gets on my nerves. Yesterday evening I nearly lost it at our filling station. I drove towards home in the late afternoon through heavy rain, met an unwanted detour, cursed the autobahn I had to rejoin, finally reached the filling station with the last drop of Diesel. Here I forgot something, a guy yelled at me, and I was close to, well, loose it. The Suebian expression is “auf der Sau ‘naus”, what may give you an idea of my feelings. My co-driver made me realise the nonsense, and all was fine.
I actively avoided (more than usual) collisions that would have been caused by other drivers over the last days – and pray that I made no serious mistakes meself. I saw some inner-city accidents last week, and three heavy ones on country roads & the autobahn this Wednesday. These three happened obviously shortly before I passed the location. In one case a car seemingly summersaulted into a field, at least I could not see that the thing would have been driven to the location where it came to rest, on its left side – the wheat was still standing well all around it. In all cases dutifull people already were doing the necessary, like safeguarding the location, helping the hurt etc., so I could drive by.
The weather is strange. I know for sure that my body reacts to air pressure – I mean that I need some air pressure to function properly. I think that is not the case right now. Usually I lie down in the late morning for an hour or so, sleep a little, doze a little, get up after an hour or three halves, all well. Over the last days I slept awefully at these occasions, and when I got up, the face in the mnirror was terrible, swollen, like after a Sauftour, a real bad bender. The mentioned headache does not help. Time through these siestas flowes differently : I fell asleep, woke up with the impression that I must have slept for an hour or so, that it would already be time to get up and prepare to leave for work. A look on the (radio-)clock taught me again & again that only fifteen to twenty minutes had passed. I find this very distressing, simply because I usually can rely on my feeling for time. And because I woke up, and felt even more exhausted than before.
I blame this terrible pressure system they called “Bernd”, or “Bernhard”, I don’t know. I only hope “Bernd” finally pisses off, the basted did enough damage around here.
I seriously need to entkrümpfeln : I want to see nothing, hear nothing, meet nobody over this weekend. I feel old, exhausted, grätig. It is different this time. Only two weeks until holidays. I have to scrap everything together to keep my optimism. And it feels lousy not to be in Suebia.