Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Gee, the quote below sounds like something from Goethe. Gary Oldman (who once did a great impersonation of Beethoven) used it in an interview in the recent Playboy magazine:
The mediocre are always at their best. They never let you down.
Picture credit: Betsy Streeter (from www.CartoonStock.com)
Monday, June 16, 2014
|The World Is Ruled & Governed by Opinion|
By the way, Professor Behringer is an amazingly wide-ranging scholar. Besides his books on the Thurn and Taxis and, in Im Zeichen des Merkurs, a history of the German postal revolution in the early modern period, he has investigated the history of witchcraft and of climate change.
Picture source: British Museum (1850.0223.244)
Thursday, June 12, 2014
|John Robert Cozens, A Ruined Fort near Salerno, ca. 1782 (The Courtauld Gallery)|
|Carl Philipp Fohr, The Ruins of Hohenbaden, 1814-15 (The Morgan Library)|
|Samuel Palmer, Oak Tree and Beech, Lullingstone Park (The Morgan Library)|
"It is very true," said Marianne, "that admiration of landscape scenery is become a mere jargon. Every body pretends to feel and tries to describe with the taste and elegance of him who first defined what picturesque beauty was. I detest jargon of every kind, and sometimes I have kept my feelings to myself, because I could find no language to describe them in but what was worn and hackneyed out of all sense and meaning."
"I am convinced," said Edward, "that you really feel all the delight in a fine prospect which you profess to feel. But, in return, your sister must allow me to feel no more than I profess. I like a fine prospect, but not on picturesque principles. I do not like crooked, twisted, blasted trees. I admire them much more if they are tall, straight, and flourishing. I do not like ruined, tattered cottages. I am not fond of nettles or thistles, or heath blossoms. I have more pleasure in a snug farm-house than a watch-tower—and a troop of tidy, happy villages please me better than the finest banditti in the world."
Marianne looked with amazement at Edward, with compassion at her sister. Elinor only laughed.
My favorite artist among the Germans is Johann Georg von Dillis, who is represented at the Morgan by an oil sketch of a small, gnarled tree, not the kind of landscape I usually associate with him.
I was surprised to hear from my friend that he is reading, in English Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre. He expressed dismay that he found it very difficult to "get into." Well, every morning I have been reading a small section of the novel, and I am having something of the same experience. Still, I persevere.
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Wolfgang Sartorius von Waltershausen was Goethe's godson and in fact had been named for Goethe. The drawing of Wolfgang Sartorius at the left is by August Kestner, son of Johann Christian Kestner and Charlotte Buff. Small world.
Friday, June 6, 2014
|I.R. and G. Criukshank, British Library 838.i.2|
There is, however, no "downstairs to this upstairs, no servants or exploited laborers," Professor Clarke writes, in her annoying review. Thus, while it is true, as she admits, that "jobs and new entertainments drew people to London and rapidly expanding cities," the exhibition fails to mention the Enclosure Acts "that drove them off the land." All in all, she writes, "1714-1830 was quite a good time to be born in Britain if you were dealt a decent hand in the aspirational middle classes, and did not have to call in the doctor too often."
As I have mentioned in numerous posts, it was the rise in prosperity occasioned by trade that began to acquaint Germans with the French and the English and vice versa, both in consumer good and in literary products, and, in the end, made "Europeans" of them all.