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.

Sunday Music *

* I really should think about renaming this weekly feature to “Monday Music”.

I confess, I was terribly lazy yesterday. I trawled youtube and always ended sooner or later with Cream, or something else the late John Symon Asher BRUCE (1943-2014) (Ger., Eng., website) did on stage together with various companions. But …
Today was the last day I officially was “absent due to illness”. I went to my ophthalmologist in the damn dark morning (coined by Savannah), she measured what had to be measured, found all developing well, and that was it. I’ll see her again in March. No reason not to drive.
My dispatcher greeted me with a deep sigh, and handed me the keys to an old banger that I had to take home & to swap with a colleague later, before the afternoon drive.
My colleague was not amused, because she had the top-notch modern vehicle that had come into service only some months ago. This brand new Ford does not smell of children’s vomit, but still like eau d’vehicle neuf. AND : It comes with an electric “ramp”, what is in fact an elevator for wheelchairs. I heard colleagues complain about this (“too slow, too complicated, generally impractical”), but I liked it today.
Another good invention is that the footstep under the right side sliding door comes out automatically when the door is opened. The older installation had to be pulled out by foot (or, especially in winter, when saltwater, ice and general road dirt blocked it) by hand. I do not know how often I sprayed WD40 or some such on the joints. My tiny framed co-driver complains that the door is too heavy, especially when she has to pull it shut from the inside, but now this is Hulk Mago’s job. So I know that this door is closed. And : No more ruined leather shoes, ha !
Transferring from the older to the brand new model showed me the notable improvements, like better soundproofing and noise reduction, better steering (not that the old would be something to complain about, but one can make things work better), better sound from the speakers : I find it pretty amazing what they did in this heavy modified commercial vehicle in this respect, it is not “opera house”, but crisp & clear. Crisp & clear is also the image of the rear view camera on the small screen – and since I have new glasses I can actually see what is depicted there, in natural colours, hey !
The other thing I noticed is how remarkably larger the whole carriage is, heavier too. The upside is that – at least as I drive it – the thing is absolutely unimpressed by side winds, rutting, bad road surfaces, whatever : This coach goes just where I point it. Feels like a fortress.
Tomorrow it will be back to the grind, getting up before anybody else and coming back home in the morning when a shy sun timidly tries to make us believe that there is still hope, and afternoons driving into the darkness while electric elks & reindeer helplessly blink in tiny front yards, spreading seasonal joy.
It’s raining.

Less than three minutes of pure beauty, Mr DAVIS gives us Générique (1957). I hope you like the music – may we all face a stress free & bearable week.