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On beauty, Schubert, Gwen Guthrie, St. Pancras and Virgilijus Alekna December 16, 2005

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.

I defy anyone to tell me a thing of more beauty has been created than the Rondo in Schubert’s A Major Piano Sonata. I’m not sure even Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent, a wonderful (and civic) building, or an example of physical perfection can compete.



1. lukeski - December 16, 2005

This has always done it for me, Dezik:

Warum gabst du uns die tiefen Blicke
Unsre Zukunft ahndungsvoll zu schaun,
Unsrer Liebe, unserm Erdenglücke
Wähnend selig nimmer hinzutraun?
Warum gabst uns, Schicksal, die Gefühle,
Uns einander in das Herz zu sehn,
Um durch all die seltenen Gewühle
Unser wahr Verhältnis auszuspähn?

Ach, so viele tausend Menschen kennen,
Dumpf sich treibend, kaum ihr eigen Herz,
Schweben zwecklos hin und her und rennen
Hoffnungslos in unversehnem Schmerz;
Jauchzen wieder, wenn der schnellen Freuden
Unerwart’te Morgenröte tagt.
Nur uns armen liebevollen beiden
Ist das wechselseitge Glück versagt,
Uns zu lieben, ohn uns zu verstehen,
In dem andern sehn, was er nie war,
Immer frisch auf Traumglück auszugehen
Und zu schwanken auch in Traumgefahr.

Glücklich, den ein leerer Traum beschäftigt!
Glücklich, dem die Ahndung eitel wär!
Jede Gegenwart und jeder Blick bekräftigt
Traum und Ahndung leider uns noch mehr.
Sag, was will das Schicksal uns bereiten?
Sag, wie band es uns so rein genau?
Ach, du warst in abgelebten Zeiten
Meine Schwester oder meine Frau;

Kanntest jeden Zug in meinem Wesen,
Spähtest, wie die reinste Nerve klingt,
Konntest mich mit einem Blicke lesen,
Den so schwer ein sterblich Aug durchdringt.
Tropftest Mäßigung dem heißen Blute,
Richtetest den wilden irren Lauf,
Und in deinen Engelsarmen ruhte
Die zerstörte Brust sich wieder auf;

Hieltest zauberleicht ihn angebunden
Und vergaukeltest ihm manchen Tag.
Welche Seligkeit glich jenen Wonnestunden,
Da er dankbar dir zu Füßen lag,
Fühlt’ sein Herz an deinem Herzen schwellen,
Fühlte sich in deinem Auge gut,
Alle seine Sinnen sich erhellen
Und beruhigen sein brausend Blut.

Und von allem dem schwebt ein Erinnern
Nur noch um das ungewisse Herz,
Fühlt die alte Wahrheit ewig gleich im Innern,
Und der neue Zustand wird ihm Schmerz.
Und wir scheinen uns nur halb beseelet,
Dämmernd ist um uns der hellste Tag.
Glücklich, daß das Schicksal, das uns quälet,
Uns doch nicht verändern mag.

Goethe, 14th April 1776

2. Broke in Berlin - December 16, 2005

Well, the German-speaking world has done rather well out of us, hasn’t it? I was aware I ignored the written word in my list of beautiful things. I think my brain is too docile an organ to be stimulated psychically without a very obvious visual or audible prompt. This is my loss. But, speaking of prompts, I am currently attempting to make my way through Notes from Underground again, for the first time since university, no doubt. К сожалению, I only have it in translation. It would be no doubt far more fun to read Dosters’s rants in the original.

3. lukeski - December 16, 2005

You haven’t thrown it across the room yet, then?

4. Broke in Berlin - December 16, 2005

No, so far it has been handled with due care and attention, placed gently on the floor as I drift sleepwards.

I wonder what the book-thrower’s up to these days. Probably a SSEESy PhD of some sort. And, speaking of the old place, I’ve been in touch with some members of staff this very week as I was looking for translations of a certain Константин Случевский, but couldn’t find any. Answer received with due politeness and alacrity…

5. lukeski - December 16, 2005

I’ve checked all our worldwide databases, and there is absolutely nothing by Sluchevskii. Why do you want it, may I ask?

6. Broke in Berlin - December 16, 2005

I needed it for a translation I was doing myself. But no prob, as it is now done and dusted. But thanks for looking. You are heroic.

Now get blogging. I’m sick of Richard Pryor’s mug.

7. lukeski - December 16, 2005

Not heroic – skiving as the boss is away. And counting the hours till we go to the Polish bar in Holborn, where I’m sure a pivo will help me forget the slight cold I have in my chest and throat…

8. Broke in Berlin - December 16, 2005

Oh, the wonderful healing properties of alcohol. I had a beer yesterday – my first since my last cinema trip turned into a beer-swilling fiasco – to go with my crappish film and I must say it hit the spot deliciously, and I slept like a dream (though not till I got home). Will a Polish bar involve vodka being imbibed, which is guaranteed to ruin any occasion? And speaking of Polish bars, there’s a wonderful one here, with a refreshingly honest and self-deprocating name, I’m sure you’ll agree, and it’s within staggering distance of the überfamous Kaffee Burger, which hosts Kaminer’s überüberfamous Russendisko. (Fuck, just looking at the Kaffee Burger programme I see I missed a Finnish party!)

9. lukeski - December 16, 2005

I am off vodka at the moment – I had a shot after 7 or 8 (I can’t quite remember) Guinnesses at our Xmas party on Tuesday and I still feel a little nauseous. And the barmaid there was Polish – they seem to be taking all the jobs the Irish and Antipodeans used to get;)

10. BiB - October 15, 2006

I loathe vodka more than almost anything else on earth.

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