No

An old jewish proverb says that someone who reads a book, can not cry. But on some days, neither a book nor an old jewish saying helps. Today is one of those.

The perfect bride

On a very grey and very rainy morning I find a very bright and very cream colored envelope in my letterbox. My Dear Read On, thank you very much for this marvelous salt cellar and pepper pot says, no screams the card in my face. On the front of the card the newly married pair laughs below a pair of cream colored swans. You are very welcome, do I say to the happy pair and look at the very young and very beautiful bride, who wears a rococo- dress and a long veil. But of course you can see, that she has long and blonde hair, such hair which is made  just for princesses and brides. The topic of the marriage and it makes me no wonder was    “ A Fairytale.“ I do wonder that marriages are obviously not topic enough anymore but in need of a reassured theme.

Splendid, absolutely splendid, says A. on the telephone, who was a guest in the fairytale called marriage a few weeks earlier. The place, you won’t believe it, just absolutely fantastic, an old castle but very, very splendid you know, everyone and everything so tastefully, the flowers so carefully arranged, the silverware so fine, the wines as old as good, the food outstanding, the music wonderfully arranged, the dresses without words, the family of the bride of old gentry, the groom a man who could not have been any more lucky. But where have you been, asks A. in a breath- pause. The bridegroom asked for you more than twice and everybody regretted that you were missing. Oh did he so, say I still looking at the card with the swans swimming upon an imaginary lake and find an excuse to finish the phone call.

C. the bridegroom was one of the first persons I met in a new town and in a new country. C. was intelligent but not boring, funny and smart but never foolish, he was amusing and all the girls in the office looked at him and he knew that they looked after him, but he never became a peacock of the office floor. We went to the theatre together, smoked on balconies, talked about books we loved and artists we disliked, went to bed and got back to work. At one night we opened the bottle of Indian Gin, my mother bought some years ago and I kept the bottle because it was the only bottle she never touched, we got drunk and you got sharp and ironic towards me. You know, did you say to me, you are not girl a  man wants to marry, you are too intense, you are not accommodating enough and why, you started to scream at me, can’t you be like other girls I know. I did not answer, because I am still afraid he might be right and after that night I did not went to bed and than back to work and soon I went away.

One a very grey and very rainy morning I find myself staring at the card, looking in a very young and a very beautiful face of a girl made to be married in a fairytale festivity and still feel the sharp tone of the now laughing bridegroom between my ribs as a very old pain, following me for the whole day, in the shape of a very cream- colored envelope.

Read On

Listen to the voice. Hearing Michel Foucault talking about the meaning of  „parrhesia“.

A true brother of Bulgakow’s Margarita is to be found in “ The Maya Pill“ by German Sadulaev, who depicts Post-Soviet Russia with dark humor, even if humor is no all-cure.

Darryl Pinckney travels with us in a far forgotten land and finds the heart of Harlem.

Tamer Söyler  depicts a pattern of corruption practices in Turkey via kafila.

What a life ! What a woman! Happy Birthday, dear great Gloria Steinem !

My sister wants to know if Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow have a final song of their own. If not, they can try this song.

 

Silence

I never lived in a place so silent before. I never lived in a village so far outside a city before. I never had a neighbor who opens the beer cans with his anterior teeth before. Quick and sharp are his teeth and perfectly silent without any spill he opens one can after another. I tend to forget if it is a Monday or Thursday coming next. When I look across the room and see the old wooden long case clock it is always half past four. In truth the time is here an old grey cat, barely moving and just waiting for nothing more to come. When I go outside the door, the air is sharp and cold, the sea is black and deep, the trees are old and move their branches in a scoffingly way towards me, because they know there is nothing but silence to find, despite the seagulls shrieking over our heads. I went to the opera house with many men and women too, before. But I never went to a concert before with a man who did not even ask reluctantly for a drink, but not even asked at all. I said good- bye to many men and woman too, but I never went to a concert with a man before, who just turned away not even shake hands for a  second and not even looking back for half a second. I went often home alone  but never so silent. In the night the silence sits close by my bed, crawls under my blanket and won’t leave till we both have ice- cold feet.

Oh, Dear Dynasty.

IMG_0081

The family as you, Dear Reader are well aware of, is the beginning and the end of nearly everything. Some call family the fundamental unit of society, others see the state en miniature represented in the family, Sigmund Freud called family the place where all neurosis were rooted and so family is the place, where we meet people we would have never known otherwise, get things to know, we would better have forgotten and experience forms of intimacy we would run away from immediately, would the occasion not be great-grandmother’s 95th birthday. And therefore we do not only owe our existence to the family, and the ability to cover the tables that even the Prinec of Wales would not be ashamed of, but family provides us with a whole treasure of absurd love stories, grotesque disputes over heritages, distasteful cases of death and unbelievable stories of adored pets, which are just too good, to be only told at birthdays or wedding parties- now, Dear Reader, do not only think of your little sister, your parents and your great- grandfather but of the involvement in such affairs of whole dynasties. So does Jeroen Duindam, Professor of history at the University of Leiden who will give away the secrets of the courts in Vienna, Beijing and Istanbul at Monday, talking about the global dimensions of early modern family and dynasty networks. Please feel very welcome to this very special family reunion at 24th of March, at 4PM in the Neill / Hoey Lecture Room of the Long Room Hub Building, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Oh, and don’t forget to bring your little sister and your great- grandmother with you.

A trace of a toenail

The church advertises in red letters that today and obviously only today and than no more for the next 200 years the holy sacrament will be shown to the public. The church seems to be not very concrete these days. So I better walk faster through the rain because I am afraid a foot nail might be a holy thing too, under certain circumstances of course but not on an ordinary Thursday, where it rains in a very unholy way. In the café where they play all Céline Dior songs in an infinite loop.( I never knew how many songs Céline Dion tend to sing,but I can assure you, an awful lot are played here ). Here Emily wants to have a hot chocolate and Ethan wants  a coke and the father of the kids wants anything than two arguing kids by his side, but as the church would assure in a very concrete way: it can get only worse, when Emily wants to show her new jacket to everyone in the room and Ethan spills half a cup of hot chocolate on his sisters white jacket, than no one should be afraid of calling the following scenes a holy war. So I better walk faster through the rain on an ordinary Thursday, to buy very ordinary things, trying not to be drowned by the waves an ordinary SUV  driven by the mothers to pick kale and parsnips, raises, only to read in the paper that a man discovered a toe- nail in his food. But the paper like the church tends to be not very concrete in these days and nothing can be said so far concerning the holiness of the discovery.

Read On

Raoof Mir takes a closer look on the multifold connections between cricket and Muslim identity via kafila.

The extraordinary author Mieko Kanai wrote a a new book and what else could be said about it than Read On?

Between too much and so few, the pictures of Chemin de Chair are unpredictable.

All right. Are you sure about this? Matthew Mc Conaughey explains why you are not all right, all right, all right.

Yiddish poetry will never die and hopefully will find many, new readers.

My sister and I agree to let the winter go with this great song ICEBEAR. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

 

Through the door

A  very sad evening red wanders around, enters through the front door, crossing the kitchen till reaching the old clock next to the door. There the red takes a break, looking sadly at the black hands, tik-tok-tik-tok , six times but the red does not move, but wanders slowly towards the cupboard, where the shadow are growing faster, till the sad red finally leaves through the door, not looking back, the black hands still tick  as if our visitor would never have been noticed at all. The neighbor’s dog barks at the moon and I wish a falling star would just enter as the sadly red sun did, right now standing in the door, because I need to make such an urgent wish, but this is maybe not what falling stars are for, maybe they just fear the wishes as I fear no falling star would ever come to me, would not find its way through my door as the sad red does, would not recognize me waiting behind the still- not green- hedges, where just a few blue dots appear to be crocuses, would just drop by, not noticing me watching the clear and bright sky and never hear the old, wooden clock with its black hands tik-tok-tik-tok.

First Encounters

A wunderkind was nothing new to Johann Wolfgang Goethe. In 1763 he had joined a concert where the young Mozart played the harpsichord. And while a wunderkind does not simple plays the harpsichord, Mozarts hands where covered by a cloth, to show that a true genius is able to think of whatsoever while finding and following the tunes of a piece. Many years, oh centuries later, Sally, who was not a wunderkind but the actress Meg Ryan, demonstrated that women do not even need a piece of cloth to make a man believe that he is a wunderkind, and of course most men do not even play a harpsichord at all, while most women think whatsoever when sleeping with whoever. So in 1821 when the twelve – year old Felix Mendelssohn met the old poet Goethe, accompanied by his teacher Zelter, both Goethe and Mendelssohn where quite well prepared of what to expect from each other. The Mendelssohn family was enthusiastic about Goethe, Lea Mendelssohn ended most of her sentences with: My Goethe is right! Her son Felix will use the sentence as an ironic one, Goethe would have be pleased by this, I assume. When Mendelssohn arrived in Weimar a town, with not much irony in it, and as soon as Felix Mendelssohn arrived in Weimar he started to play the piano and as it seems for very long hours, but a wunderkind has to what a wunderkind has to do. And Goethe thought it not wise to bore the wunderkind and himself with clothes on hands, but returned from his study which a more daunting task: he presented to Mendelssohn an autograph in Beethoven’s hieroglyphic hand-writing and the boy just started playing “ Wonne der Wehmut“ op. 31, No. 1, on the Streicher Piano, which still stands at the Goethe-Haus, in the still not very ironic town of Weimar. After Goethe listened to some of Mendelssohns’s own compositions he is quoted by Zelter in saying: “What your pupil already accomplishes bears the same relation to the Mozart of that time, that the cultivated talk of a grown-up person does to the prattle of a child.” And of course Mendelssohns talents were extraordinary, he was a pianist, organist and conductor, played the violin as well as the viola and worked as a composer. But he was much more than a well- trained technician in the field of music, he was fluent in German and French, learned later in life English, could read Latin and Greek and had a fine sense for poetry. Of course, my Goethe is right. Queen Victoria twenty years later became a great and accomplished admirer of Mendelssohn, and she herself was not only a talented piano player, but knew something on clothes and men, too, even if she was careful towards foreign musicians, because most of them drank and were ways to devoted to women. But Mendelssohn was a gentlemen  and when Mendelssohn performed at the Royal Palace, the three Mendelssohn, Albert and Victoria sang together, Victoria even in Italian, Goethe would have been much pleased and of course: Goethe is right. Mendelssohn said of his visit to the United Kingdom, „the only really nice, comfortable house in England… where one feels completely at home, is Buckingham Palace“. Of course, my Mendelssohn is right.

The day I lost my name

Ti- Da- di- da-di- chirps the bird in the tree, and does not care about, who this girl Elise might have been.

Elias was the name of the boy, who drowned in the Red Sea at first.

Nomen est omen, is an old saying and Plataus was the name of the man who said it for the first time.

In the English novel of the nineteenth century naming each other with the first name, was the synonym for making love to each other.

A-Skinny-Soy Milk-Frappuccino-Latte- with-an- extra-shot- for- Jo-please  is the most usual greeting at every airport or station in the 21st century.

My Irish students silently smile when I try to pronounce their names right.

I do not know your name, says the men I shall meet for a discussion to me, pointing with his finger in my direction, and barks over the office floor, to his secretary to tell him my name. The secretary does not find the calendar, where my name might appear under 10 AM meeting and the man I shall meet, yells louder, why there is nobody in this d*mn office, who is able to tell him my name. Me standing still in front of him, obviously included. I am terribly sorry, says the man I shall meet, turning  closer to me. I am sure we have taken down a note somewhere. My name is…I want to say, but the man I shall meet, already turned away, yelling, barking and searching for a note with my name on it. I am sure, if I would say may name to anyone in the room now, nobody would believe my name, not even the bird outside in the tree: Ti-Da-di-da-di–