New Boring Book List

In no particular order, the books I have read since the last list. Maybe there is one or another title among them, You, venerated reader, may find interesting.

H.M. BATEMAN : Liebe auf den ersten Blick. Classische Cartoons. Herausgegeben und vorgestellt von Hans J. G. TRAXLER. Zürich, 1.-3. Tausend 1984
Mr BATEMAN (1887-1970) (Ger., Eng.) is surely well known among the English-speaking public, his cartoons are classics. According to Hans TRAXLER (Ger.), himself a well known and well regarded comical artist and editor of this little book, this is the first attempt to publish a selection of BATEMANs work in German for a German audience. TRAXLER wrote a little afterword, informative, pointing out some influence of Wilhelm BUSCH (1832-1908) (Ger., Eng.) on BATEMAN, and that’s it. Nice little book.

GRASSI, Ernesto : Kunst und Mythos. Vom Autor durchgesehene, revidierte und erweiterte Fassung, Frankfurt am Main 1. Auflage 1990 (suhrkamp Taschenbuch 1385) [zuerst : Hamburg 1957]
“Art and Myth” – sounds heavy. But GRASSI (1902-1991) (Ger., Eng.) “makes it” relatively easy. He develops his ideas, or better : the ideas of the classical philosophy about “art” – by asking, following the answers given by the original source texts closely, and all this in a clear and understandable language – no bling-bling, no verbiage. This short text, less than 150 printed pages in duodecimo, is worth a read and some thought.

MAI, Eugen : Geschichte der Stadt Freudenberg am Main. Freudenberg am Main 1908
Freudenberg (Ger., Eng.) is a town with less than four thousand inhabitants at the bank of the river Main. (The village I live in has around seven thousand inhabitants.) MAI (1877-1932) was born in Freudenberg, chose the ecelsisastical carrier, and became a parish priest on various stations in Lower Franconia. The book from 1908, with all its dents, dated sentiments, and some nasty jaundices was re-printed in the 1980s, simply because there was no newer and modern history of the town available. A leaflet addressing some of the criticisms (a very friendly text by the local school’s rector) is laid in.

WILDT, Dieter : Deutschland deine Sachsen. Eine respektlose Liebeserklärung. Hamburg 6. Auflage 1969
Someone who “loves” Saxons, with or without respect, must either be a Saxon her~ or himself, or have some “issues”. I could not find much about Mr WILDT or his issues. Born in 1928 he started in 1966 a series titled “Deutschland deine …” (“Germany your Prussians” was the first volume for heaven’s sake !) for the Hamburgian publishing house Hofmann & Campe. Whatever he may say about these “Saxonians”, it counts what Karl KRAUSS said : “The idea that Nietzsche mumbled in Saxonian …” What Mr WILDT can not be forgiven for is that he cheekily swipes all Thuringia and even – we get up from our seats – COBURG – you may sit down now – under the Saxonian cloak : COBURG was already a cultured dukedom when in Dresden the wild boar still roamed & ruled ; so no real change then …

BRIGGS, John ; PEAT, F. David : Die Entdeckung des Chaos. Eine Reise durch die Chaos-Theorie. Aus dem Amerikanischen von Carl CARIUS. Gütersloh (u.a.) 1990. Zuerst : Turbulent Mirror. An Illustrated Guide to Chaos Theory and the Science of Wholeness. NewYork 1989.
There is a strange attractor lurking in the phase space – I said it ! I still have a vague (at best) idea where the phase space really is, but I think I understood what the attractor does, could follow when things were detracted, and formed patterns. In fact it is a wild ride through all and everything on that Mr BRIGGS and Mr PEAT embark and sometimes I found it hard to follow. But alone the fact that I read this book – Me ! A mathematical barbarian, a scientific imbecile ! – that I “understood” at least parts, and in general read it in full, speaks either for its quality, or for its lack of sophistication that only suites it for the still childlike amongst its readers. John BRIGGS (Eng.) and F. David PEAT (1939-2017) (Ger., Eng.) are not unknown in the field of quantum physics and “holistic” approaches. Their text is now nearly thirty years old, this field of research seems to be pretty active, so it may be good to grab a more modern and up-to-date introduction, but nevertheless, only here I understood what a “stehende Welle”, a stationary wave, is, and why it is important.

100 Jahre “Kaminkehrer-Innung Unterfranken und Aschaffenburg” [.] 230 Jahre “Wirzburger Camin Fegere”. Würzburg 1985
This anonymous “Festschrift” is published in 1985 in celebration of the founding of the chimney sweeps’ guilt (“Innung”) in Lower Franconia, and at the same time to commemorate the publication of the Wurzburgian chimney sweep constitution in 1755. They had a festivity at the castle in July. As a “Festschrift” – they tried their best. No author wanted to sign. Well, they did their best, as usual.

ZIERER, Otto : Geschichte des Fernen Ostens. Zweiter Band : Mongolensturm. Von 650 bis 1550 nach Chr. Gütersloh ohne Jahr (Weltgeschichte, 34. Buch)
I have no clue where the other volumes of this “world history” are, and why of all things vol.34 depicting the story of the Mongolians is here. ZIERER (1909-1983) (Ger.) writes grippingly and allows himself some freedoms with the historical material. Now and then he puts in theatrical scenes he imagines. Far from being a scientific history this is vivid writing, a bit like Karl May trying to be serious. But I do NOT find it a pity that the other volumes are not here, I do not need a world history ad usum Delphini.

KILIAN, Ulrich ; ASCHEMEIER, Rainer : Das große Buch vom Licht. Darmstadt 2012
What is light ? Different times gave different answers to this seemingly simple question. This book tries to tell the story of “light” from the ancients to more advanced ideas about photons. “In unterhaltsamem Stil” – in enjoyable style, as they say on the back cover. I do not think so.
It is more – especially in the last third of the text – a pretty flippant language, just short of the author grabbing the reader’s shoulder and yelling “Yo buddy, it’s light !” I do not like this kind of approach. Not because of respect for the topic, but because of respect against me – the reader. I am not the author’s buddy, just because I was so dumb to spent money on this crap attitude. Besides this it’s informative, but of course terribly lektoriert / proofread, what means not at all. A shame. The only excuse for this waste of resources is that they needed the money, and fast.

HERDAN-ZUCKMAYER, Alice : Das Scheusal. Geschichte einer sonderbaren Erbschaft. Gütersloh 1972
Deserves an own post. Purportedly the story of an inheritance that comes with a dog – the “Scheusal” of the title. The translations my dictionary offers (“zombie”, “monster”, “beast”) do not hit. What it means can be found in GRIMMs Wörterbuch here. A Scheusal is something that creates Abscheu – revulsion, disgust, something in it makes people zurückscheuen, shy away. And there in this little word “shy” / scheu is the connection. From a Scheusal other creatures shy away, like the birds from the Vogelscheuche, like the terrified horses scheuen from that little creepy yapping dog …
This dog is ugly, old, blind, reeks of Chanel No 5, and is alcoholic. The story Frau HERDAN-ZUCKMAYER tells is about the dog, yes, but between 1938 and 1941 some other things happened to her and her family, and that damn dog too.

That’s it. Thank you for your patience.

Sunday Music

I really like to drive a car, or a motorbike – anything with an engine. It still fascinates me that we can build a machine that moves us (and additional goods) around. A machine that enables us to go places without having to walk, run or climb, or taking care of the horses.
Friday morning was glorious, the roads were empty and dry – so empty that we started to wonder if we had missed something. I have to use better built roads, and some small ones, partially without a marking in the middle. I met the usual commuters, even the large buses were not in a hurry, all fine.
Then there are times when you are really happy to come home in one unharmed piece. Like Friday afternoon. Sadly  a narrow, idyllic and bending stretch of my daily route runs between two Bundesstrassen that serve as feeders to the autobahn. And oh so clever people do use this small road as shortcut. They come from all over Germany, different parts of Europe, over the last days there were oodles of Dutchmen.
All these people are idiots. They drive reckless like cretins, ignore the speed limit of 70 km per hour, and are a danger for other road users. Frayday afternoon I had to avoid the worst several times. Because middle markings are for the weak I had to swerve to the right to avoid an impact on one occasion, no clue why we did not hit the ditch. At least this shut up my blabbing co-driver. The third idiot decided to overtake despite me coming along so I had to stand on the brakes to avoid a head-on-collision, gladly no car directly behind me. The fourth cut me in a curve, again forcing me to an emergency brake. I had kids in my vehicle – if not,  I would have rammed the swine off the road.
On the way to my last stop I saw an accident at a motorway access, when I came back some more cars were ditched – this on a Bundesstrasse that is built for speed. One has a good overview while approaching, all you have to do is remove the foot from the accelerator, avoid wrecks & debris. But of course one can hit the heaps of crumbled metal full throttle – everybody needs a hobby.
Anyway, this was last week. One more week to go, then there will be some days off, I am really looking forward to this.

Let’s hear some music : Trumpeter extraordinaire “Bunny” BERIGAN (Ger., Eng.) (1908-1942) and his orchestra perform I Can’t Get Started in 1937. I hope you like the music. May we all have a peaceful week without accidents of any kind.