Category: art


Ok, that was technically yesterday. Nevertheless I thought about which ten books I really devoured as a child / teenager and why I would recommend them to others no matter what.

Here is my run down:

1) Der kleine Vampir by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg (The Little Vampire)

2) Die Vorstadtkrokodile by Max von der Grün

3) Die rote Zora und ihre Bande by Kurt Held

4) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

5) Harriet the spy by Louise Fitzhugh

6) Die Abenteuer der schwarzen Hand by Hans-Jürgen Press

7) Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

8) Pippi Langstrumpf by Astrid Lindgren

9) The secret diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend

10) The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy by Douglas Adams

11) The treasure island by Robert L. Stevenson

12) The three investigators by Robert Arthur

13) Das fliegende Klassenzimmer von Erich Kästner

14) Lord of the flies by William Golding

15) Le Petit Prince by Antoine Saint Exupéry (The Little Prince)

16) Winnetou I-IV by Karl May

17) Die unendliche Geschichte by Michael Ende (The neverending story)

18) The Third Wave by Ron Jones (Die Welle)

19) Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll

20) The last man alive von Alexander Sutherland Neill (Die Grüne Wolke)

21) The catcher in the rye by J.D. Salinger 22) Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The listing from 1 – 22 does not represent any form of ranking, it’s just the order by which they came to my mind.

In case you don’t know these books and want to find out about what they are, just give me a shout, and I will expand on any of these.

vorstadtkrokodile

rote_zora

Der+kleine+Vampir

jack-and-friends

I have found other books that I quite liked for children. These ones here:

1) When sheep cannot sleep by Satoshi Kitamura 2) Hexi Lili by Knister 3) Am Samstag kommt das Sams by Paul Maar 4) Tintenherz von Cornelia Funke

When Sheep cannot sleep

I am sure there are still a lot I am missing right now. Plus I did not separate them regarding to their respective age groups. But nevertheless, whenever we remember how colourful we remember our first memory of children’s books, this is a tradition we should try to pass on to the next generation.

When you have children’s books I should know about, please comment here.

Thank you.

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This is a museum I visited some 17 or 18 years ago when I first visited Ibiza aged 23. The necropolis was something really very attractive to me for two reasons. It fitted into the education I had received being very much moulded by the Romans and Greeks since I had Latin as a major subject at school.

The museum is situated on the Via Romana in Ibiza town quite near to the famous Dalt Vila. Right now, it is a very lucky time for anyone interested in archaeology.

The museum was reopened on December 13th 2013. Ever since then and until March 31st 2012, the museum is free for visitors. After this initial period, the entrance prices will be 2.40€ and 1.20€ for children.

The museum basically consists of two parts: the outside part with the graves, the headstones and the caves, and the interior part with the collection of items that were given to the dead for their last journey. I will also try and add a couple of pictures to show the different sections of the museum.

http://www.maef.es is the museum’s homepage.

I guess, none of us really thought that this world might come to an end, well, at least not now, not today, and not because some Mayan calendar ends with today’s date.

Well, if truth be told, the weird thing is… I will always remember this date in the future cos it’s been a very special day for me.

In at least two ways: I received truly good news regarding two very important things in my life. And secondly, I finally managed to see that I am overloading myself, pushing myself way too much, and have the urgent wish to downshift quickly so I don’t break down one day. And I made a decision as to which things I am going to deal with first.

Ok, here is the treat I promised 😉

As promised, here is some Hugh Jackman in his first acting role (1995, Australia, Rat’s Tamer, pilot of Correlli mini series). He plays Kevin Jones, a jail inmate who has been beaten up so severely that he suffers from memory loss, amnesia and some mental disorders. He plays the role uncannily well.

Little bit of tittle tattle. The jail psychologist by his side in this clip is his soon to be his (future) wife in real life. Deborah Furness who is 13 years his senior and who was the star of this series. To be honest, they are both very good and very convincing in their respective roles. I just got my Rat’s Tamer dvd and I love him in that series.

The more Hugh Jackman I see, the more addicted I become. He should take on more difficult, conflictive roles again. The Wolverine role is surely well cast but he is such a fine actor and it would be a shame if this talent would come to a standstill by being wasted with one-dimensional characters.

T.S. Eliot (as you might have noticed) is one of my favorite poets. 😉

This is one of my favorite quotations of his

Birth, and copulation, and death.
That’s all the facts when you come to brass tacks:
Birth, and copulation, and death.

Sorry, here is a bit of history on my behalf. I won’t explain what this is all about but this whole day has been so absolutely cool. This is beyond words. A moment of bliss, true and unblemished bliss. I am in awe of what is happening right now. Once the ink will be dry I will also share it here. But for the time being, please pray for me. I could use it.

The mention of bliss is always something that usually makes me twitch since I tend to be soooo ultra cool and postmodern that I sometimes forget what this is. A feeling of untainted, of unblemished joy. Just being. And being with oneself and in oneself for a fraction of a moment.

What is bliss? A bit like an orgasm since it appears to be very volatile and short-lived. Actually, the comparison is not that far-fetched at all. When you think about all the neurotransmitters that flood the system in the moment of an orgasm it is hardly to be doubted that those same transmitters would be there when you have a moment of bliss. You can call it natural high. However, drugs are drugs. Your body will not know the difference.

The mention of death also signifies that all human life is transitory, it is a physical state that will be stopped as if by magic. The heart stops. The lung can no longer bring enough oxigene into the lungs, the kidneys no longer will wash your blood clean. Your body wears out. It is time to go.

This blog is about the transitoriness of … well of life, but of anything really. You can make a constructivist notion by saying that all pain, all suffering, all illness will cease one day, since it is transitory. That is quite metaphysical. But with the same breath of air, you could easily add that all love, all happiness, all true beauty will decay one day and hence, here you can derive a deconstructivist moment born with the same idea.

Ok, where am I heading? I am dazzled by the possibilities.

The point for me is that as much as you strive to achieve something that you deem to be worth safeguarding, something fit for other people to keep it in mind, you should not squander the best moments of your life, waiting for some dude / dudess to come around and pat you on the shoulder saying “well done” to you. Cos it might never happen. And then again, it might. But that’s not the point.

Why are we always so dependent on being loved by others?

Well, go and ask Giacomo Rizzollatti (he is the guy who found out about the socalled mirror neurons http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_neuron) and ask him how else we should start to interact as babies who can basically only cry, feed, sleep and … cry, feed, sleep… ad lib.

In order for a baby to actually make this huge step in its mental and also personality development by trying to interact with its parents by language, the mirror neurons are essential. We smile at them. They miraclously smile back at us. And that, my friends, is an evolutionary trick. A very clever one. Some species actually devour their little ones and by smiling back at us this innocent teethless smile, babies make sure that we don’t see any harm in them and procure to be clad, fed and also taught. Well. Of course, we as mothers and fathers love our small kiddos like nothing else on this world, but evolution just wanted to make sure. 😉

As we grow older we tend to forget that basically we learn through imitation just as much as our primate cousins do.

So what is wrong with that? I mean imitation?

I guess nothing is wrong, as long as you don’t claim this was your very one idea and all that. Plagiarism is being frowned upon. Copying is good as it is clear that this is exactly what it is.

When did we start to want to be loved at all? When did it take off?

I guess that is something, we started off right away. Some of us, have this urge more than others, or they express it differently, but it is something innate in the concept of mankind. Men always go out into the world to be loved. That’s it. As simple as that.

When you look around nowadays, be it at your working life, your school, your health club, your doctor’s or wherever, do you find that people look happy or rather not. This is something I have been looking into a while ago. We have never been this well protected, this well fed, this well prepared for the world we live in, and yet, there is like 80% around us (pareto principle) who make a face like sour apples. Why is that?

Maybe, it is me who is the odd one out. Sometimes, I have to contain myself not to break out into laughter so often because it might look as if I had yet to reach adulthood which seems to be paired with adopting quite a solemn face and appearing to be really serious and sombre.

When they did that class, I obviously was playing truant. I don’t know why people today are so ungrateful. They should be happy for what they have, they should not always look at what other people might have (especially more than you) and feel less of a man because they might be under the average or whatever.

And yet, that is what we are. You and me. Everyone. We all are ungrateful.

Here is Oxford definition of being ungrateful

Definition of ungrateful

adjective

  • not feeling or showing gratitude: she’s so ungrateful for everything we do

 

So, that was quite a leap. Did you notice? I jumped right there from wanting to be loved to the ungratefulness of man himself.  Actually, I do believe there is a connection. A very strong one for that matter. When man had to fight each and every day for supremacy and make sure that sabre tooth tiger did not get him this time, people were very much focussed on essential items, such as getting food, choosing the right kind of women, one that was strong enough to lkeep on working while pregnant, and also after she would have had their children. Picking the right kind of cave so wild animals would not sneak inside. You know, those were the real problems.

When I look at today’s world, I sometimes wonder. And I think what a shame that we are all bitching and moaning about so petty things while there are still people who have it hard. So, then again, I believe the ungratefulness is something very human too. Isn’t it? I would say it is.

When we go back to the top of this article there we still have this nice T.S. Eliot quote, what is the core?

Birth, and copulation, and death.
That’s all the facts when you come to brass tacks:
Birth, and copulation, and death.

I always loved this quote. You might say this stems from being the daughter of a gynaecologist, but I go one step beyond and say, no… This is because Eliot is right. Birth, copulation and death are the three big events in life, where man does not dissimulate, where he cannot act or where he cannot make a complete hash of it.

Birth – the entrance

Copulation – the coupling / the interplay between man and woman

Death – the exit

In between, there seems to be nothing. Is our life really that empty? No, it isn’t. But by stressing these facts out of life as if they were the very cornerstones, we can feel Eliot’s deep rooted fears to really grip life by the short ones and drink it empty, the golden chalice of life.

 

We can only assume that copulation was a very guilt-ridden thing for him. Another blog entry might be Eliot, the sex and the ladies. Eliot, insanity and the battle of sexes. We’ll see.

(To be continued)

Good night! Sweet dreams! 😉

Sometimes it makes me wonder to understand the person I used to be. When I look back upon certain times when I just wrote for myself mainly. I could not stand the thought of someone other than me reading this stuff. I can hardly understand that I really ticked like that. Maybe it was because I did not feel sure enough of what it was I really wanted to express. Maybe I felt that being a writer on its own isn’t quite good enough for this life. I don’t know. Writing for me was a means of survival in some ways. Maybe, I made sure to create a new universe for myself and shield this universe from all too curious looks. Well, I am different now. I must admit, some of the stuff I wrote when I was younger is not quite that good, but some of it is not half bad either. So how many years are we talking now? I would say since I am 41 now and I started out to write when I was 16, roughly 25 years. Most of the really early writings are lost anyway. But I did find some stuff I wrote when I was 18. It was such a time travel to read up on teenage thoughts. So. What is the big difference now and why this blog article about the need for feedback? My argument is that writing is really a very sociable thing and that all writers are somewhat socially interactive and they are interested in the thoughts and the universe created by other people. In a nutshell, if you start to write a novel or a short story or even a poem even, you want to capture a mood, you want to show how you felt, you want to share a certain experience or maybe you want to confuse the reader and lead him astray. Whatever the intention is, you want to communicate with the reader. And therefore my proposal is have more forums and have more possibilities to exchange thoughts with other writers. I see this from a very liberal point of view. At the end of the day, we are basically human. We all know what it is like to be human and we all share certain feelings: falling in love, falling out of love, being infatuated, being disappointed, suffering from heartache, feeling free, enjoying life, or – on the other hand – being devastated, being torn apart by suffering, fear, hate, greed, and crime. After finishing miraculously my first novel (the one I wrote 12 years ago does not count since I never ever finished it properly… “xxxx” rest in peace.) I really had a weird but somewhat lucid moment and thought, wow, that really felt good. That was almost as good as talking to someone. You could compare it to writing a long letter to someone you really care for. But then I started to think. Is that it? That is like a dead end street. You write it. It’s finished, all the energy is out. The thought you had is out of your system. You have finally gotten down to make it appear on paper. And then? What? Someone needs to do something. Someone needs to read it. So what is reading then? If not picking up on a conversation someone left you with? I don’t want to say that all authors are waiting for everyone who reads their books to automatically pick up a phone and tell me… Bla bla, Mr Whatshisname, I really liked your book and I wanted to tell you thank you cos I feel the same about this topic… It is not as easy as that. Cos now… Things are getting a little more interesting. What is the overall subject, what is the real topic and what lies behind it? There can be so many layers to a book, it is incredible. With real good books, I noticed that, even having read them through, I start to pick them up again and read a certain passage I really liked for whatever reason and try to get back into that moment. So! There you are, you have an interaction between author and reader. Why is it neccessarily this passage and not the other? Why do you re-read it at all? Yes, and that is the beauty of books, they are also like friends. They tell you stuff, they even give you advice, they will tease you, but best of all, they keep their mouths shut when they need to.

Ok, you may say now that it is light-hearted to open up a new blog just for the sake of pre-publishing a story. Well, I found it better than to enclose the catalan story in here since this blog is chiefly written in English and I would it to remain that way. I think for me it will hopefully prove the right step at the right time. Please feel free to share this and tell anyone you know who might want to read a creative story in catalan.

It is nothing new that writing in a language which is not your own does have it difficulties. But at the same time I know there is this story inside of me and I really want to get the thing off my chest. It started with a harmless two pager that I wrote up when I was 21 or 22. Ever since then, I have been thinking up the same story over and over again, in different scenarios and with different characters. Somehow, it never felt quite right for some reason or other. Now, here we are, May 2012, the shape is fitting, the timing is right and the story is ready to see the light of day. The story has grown a bit more complex, it right now has 21 chapters, of some planned 30 chapters (+/-1). Even in a language which is not my own. I hope you will enjoy taking a fast-paced ride through a universe which may be unknown to most of you. Cos that’s what it is and what you can expect: a story built around the protagonist’s character. He is somewhat sympathetic, somewhat meandering, somewhat a modern tramp, despite all his shortcomings, you need to feel sympathy for him, and then, he is most certainly an anti-hero, trapped in a world he does not find the emergency exit door. We are thrown right into a downright dark story, a tour de force of set in Ibiza in the Balearic Isles. Pau, a late twenty-something, sucked up into the negativity of dealing and stealing, which does not help him really since he is a clean heroin junkie. We watch and witness him being caught up between his girlfriend, a new hit of heroin, another crazy night with his friends, being pushed around by the police and some underworld thugs with pretty violent manners. We watch Pau descend ever deeper and deeper into a downward spiral, oscillating between life and death more than once.

The only question that can remain is this: will he be able to put an end to both the nightmares and the real life danger close at hand, will he  step wisely, and what’s more will this turn happen early enough?

For those of you interested and willing to read the blog and the story in catalan language, even with some grammar and lexical blunders, here is the new blog URL:

http://veig-i-escric.blogspot.com.es/

Let me know please if you like the character and the story-line around him. Yes, it is a film noir type thing.

So, shoot me…  Image

I know this may be weird coming out of my mouth but it’s true. But now I know what I sometimes lack. It is structure. Writers need structure if they want to get anywhere. Up until now I more or less always wrote when I felt like writing, and about anything that I wanted to write about. Sometimes I would take out any notebook, or a page that I would have with me just in case.

However, today I was in a weird kind of anxious mood that I might not be able to finish my book that has the working title “black story”. Guess what? On second thoughts, I basically know that I can write this story no problem, but the main issue is this: 1) How am I going to write the story? 2) How well will I write it? and 3) Will I feel happy with the outcome?

Maybe, there is this misconception about writers being some weird people, sitting there in their ivory tower, waiting for the muse’s kiss and then writing day and night no matter what. That may be good for those people who don’t live in the real world. For those of us who do live in the real world, this behaviour is not just impossible, it would make writing itself impossible. Of course, we all know these moments when you have a big idea and you keep rolling it around inside your head, toying with this or another scenario that could fuel the action. But if truth be told. When you want to develop a sense of style, a sense of direction, a sense of writing something that has a start, a middle part and an ending, you need to get away from this romantic preconception about the writer being removed from the outside world. The writer has to be absolutely within the world outside in order to write something that has an impact on the outside world.

Plus: If you have the feeling that you are remote from the world that other people live in, chances are that the truth is not too far at hand. If you don’t know anything about what’s going on in other people’s lives, that means you can’t write about it. You could create a postulate like “art pour l’art” but that is not helping either. To me it becomes clearer and clearer that poetry / prose (take your pick, it holds true for both) must be connected with life itself and the living people of today. People should have the feeling that you have something to say. Otherwise all writing is in vain.

So, what is my conclusion? I guess that some people will say that this is rubbish but I still hold against it when I am saying this: A poet needs to have structure: in many ways: in the way that he / she writes, in the way that his writing will be connected to the real world. In the way that he needs to sharpen his pen at least every couple of days if not every day in order to be on top of things.

Writing has so much to do with your inner self, with your personal views, with your innermost feelings.

But then, and this is the point, it also is a craft. And a craft needs to be learnt, sometimes through trial and error, and furthermore it needs to be practiced.

What can I learn from this?

I should probably make a plan of 3 or 4 topics that I want to write about, just for the sake of writing, and also for the sake of practicing. Maybe, I should even pick out topics that I don’t usually write about to make things gradually different. And after writing these 3 or 4 entries, I should try to scale these texts in terms of quality, in terms of coherence, in terms of language.

Writing can be fun, but in the first place it is something that no-one reaches mastery without a couple of bad texts in between.

Don’t cry. Work.

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