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The Voynich manuscript

Very interesting questions raised with that obscure and somewhat infamous manuscript from the middle ages, the “Voynich manuscript”. Considered by some as a hoax it poses the question how much of art is intelligable and how much of its meaning is –intentionally or unintentionally –left in the dark. The excellent article by Michael LaPointe in […]

Patience

THE most interesting and profound film about W G Sebald so far ! Very astute observation by Katie Mitchell ( theatre director ) in this film by comparing Sebalds style with Virginia Woolfe’s novel “The Waves”: ” …an attempt to capture perception in all its fleeting and fast way we perceive and we put things […]

Freedom and the Arts

A most fascinating collection of Essays by Charles Rosen. “Is there a moment in history when a work receives its ideal interpretation? Or is negotiation always required to preserve the past and accommodate the present? The freedom of interpretation, Charles Rosen suggests in these sparkling explorations of music and literature, exists in a delicate balance […]

“History” by Elsa Morante

One of the central issues in life can be the impact political decisions and its consequences –often decided by the people in power — have for ordinary folks, who struggle making it through each month and year. In our times the disastrous consequences of political turmoil can be witnessed. Elsa Morante and her husband Alberto […]

David Foster Wallace in HD

Finally I found that great and extensive interview DFW gave for the German TV channel ZDF in HD Quality. A fascinating film showing one of the foremost American authors in recent decades before his untimely death in 2008.

Bottom’s Dream

A major literary event has taken place ( unbeknownst to the main stream literary circles ): John E. Woods has finally translated the Opus Magnum by Arno Schmidt “Zettel’s Traum” ( Bottom’s Dream ). One of the seminal books in the 20th century.The price is amazingly low,far cheaper than the German original. I would rank […]

“Ausloeschung” ( Extinction ) by Thomas Bernhard

This by far longest single novel by Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard is probably also his most accomplished effort in his typical discipline of acutely observing and vivisecting the absurdities and vicious banalities if life. What makes his last novel  special is that it provides an in depth look on the topic ‘family’, and he keeps – unlike […]

The American Interest

Not exactly a book recommendation,but one of the most intelligent magazines around. The title “The American Interest” is somewhat misleading, as it is a magazine highly critical of the US and its establishment, but the quality of its articles is superb. Here is a taster: a sharp and crisp article about the phenomenon of “crony […]

Austerlitz

Very  rare and interesting short film about W G Sebald’s book “Austerlitz”. It was Sebald’s last major novel and in this fascinating film some of the traces of that book are followed. Highly recommended !