Life in Colour Photo Challenge, September 2021: GOLD

Self did not think she would find anything on this. TBH, gold is not a color she gravitates to.

But, this evening, she was looking through her archives, and she landed on a series of pictures she took in Paris, December 2017. There’s definitely gold in those monuments!

So here you go, a post for Travel Words’ Life in Colour Challenge for September 2021:

Alas, Young Adolf

If that doesn’t just take the cake. Hitler, a very gauche bumpkin, moves to Vienna with inflated hopes. The last thing self expected to happen was to actually empathize with his frustration!

In the last post (before this one), a dim assessment of Adolf’s artistic talent was delivered by his (only) friend Gustl Kubizek, who ends up accompanying him to Vienna. Little does Kubizek know that Adolf is harboring a deep, dark secret:

Hitler still harbored the secret of his failed exam and pretended to attend the academy each day, a bizarre situation made worse by Kubizek’s easy acceptance to the Conservatoire to study music.

The Gallery of Miracles and Madness, p. 70

Could Hitler possibly have been driven mad by his rejection by the Academy of Fine Arts (Only 28 of the 113 applicants who took the entrance exam with Hitler were accepted), his disappointment exacerbated by the death of his beloved mother (and only ally) two months before? When “Hitler launched a tirade,” Kubizek “had to go into bed. He would lie there as Adolf ranted and cried and gesticulated, and if Kubizek fell asleep Hitler would shake him awake to shout at him some more.”

And then, Hitler ghosted him: Kubizek returned to his hometown after the end of term. This Kubizek must have been a very mild fellow, because when he returned to Vienna, he still expected to share the room with Hitler but “he found that Hitler had cleared out, leaving no explanation or forwarding address.”

The next section is about Hitler’s “sexual frustrations” and fear of women. At this point, self thinks Kubizek should be earnestly thankful that he is no longer rooming with Hitler although, poor man, all Kubizek feels at the moment is disappointment and abandonment.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Four Stories and One Forthcoming, 2021

Her story about Chopard earrings, dancing chickens and matryoshka dolls, out now in the most recent issue of Pembroke Magazine.

Two stories about ghosts and guilt, one set in Murcia, Spain, the other in Miami’s South Beach, just out in Vice-Versa

Her story about Osama bin Laden (yes, THAT Osama bin Laden), forthcoming in The Museum of Americana.

There is one other story which was published late 2020, so mebbe it doesn’t really belong here, but what the hoo: her story about a ferry disaster on the Philippine Sea, published in the most recent issue of Western Humanities Review.

Germany, Summer 1924

Self has arrived at Part Two of The Gallery of Miracles and Madness, by Charlie English. It’s been a fascinating read so far. Germany after World War I seems like a decadent place, fertile ground for art movements like the Surrealists. Also, “obscene poetry” recited in cafés!

Alas, things do not continue on this fascinating path. Hitler enters the picture.

In the summer of 1924, Hitler was serving time for his role in a failed insurrection. (So many parallels, I swear!)

In November 1923, he and two thousand Nazi storm troopers had tried to seize control of Munich, the first step in a plan to topple the Weimar Republic. But the Beer Hall Putsch, as the coup attempt would be called, had been a disaster: Sixteen Nazis and four state police officers were killed, and Hitler was caught and charged with high treason. On arrival at Landsberg, raging at the prison psychologist, Alois Maria Ott . . . flecks of spittle showing at his lips, Ott assessed the new inmate as “a morbid psychopath . . . prone to hysteria . . . with an inclination toward a magical mindset . . . Surrounded in jail by forty sycophantic co-conspirators, with piles of expensive gifts sent by admirers and with even guards whispering “Heil Hitler!” in his ear, he became convinced that he was the messiah for the German people, their Fuhrer.

The Gallery of Miracles and Madness, pp. 63 -64

Quote of the Day, 3rd Thursday of September 2021

At the heart of Hitler’s worldview “lay a doctrine of victimhood and racial despair: Everything that had once been noble, glorious, and pure was threatened by genetic degradation and Jewish pollution.” (p. 76, The Gallery of Miracles and Madness)

Reading that passage gave self chills. She realizes she hears the same sense of victimhood today, in 45’s followers.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Adolf Hitler, Aspiring Artist

“The rapid catching of an atmosphere, of a certain mood, which is so typical of a water color and which, with its delicate touch, imparts to it freshness and liveliness — this was missing completely in Adolf’s work,” a friend named Kubizek recalled.

The Gallery of Miracles and Madness, p. 67

I suppose you couldn’t really call Kubizek a friend, since in reality Hitler had no friends. But Kubizek did get close enough to be shown examples of Hitler’s art.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge (CFFC): Greatest Love of All

The past couple of weeks, Cee has been posting different songs to inspire those joining the CFFC Challenge.

This week’s song is by Whitney: “Greatest Love of All”

The lines that inspired this post:

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Yes, I am Schizophrenic. I Also Make Art.

Hans Prinzhorn begins his amazing collection, gathered from inmates in mental asylums all over Germany, in the decade immediately following World War I:

Around three-quarters of Prinzhorn’s artist-patients were diagnosed with schizophrenia. The rest shared a range of conditions from “manic-depressive” to “paralytic,” “imbecile,” and “epileptic.” Though more than half of the patients living in German asylums were female, fewer than 20 percent of the works Prinzhorn received were by women, a reflection both of their status in society and of a narrow definition of art, which excluded many traditional female handicrafts. An exception to this trend was Agnes Richter’s jacket. Richter, a Dresden seamstress, had been committed in 1893 after being arrested for disturbing the piece. In the asylum at Hubertusberg, she began work on an institutional garment made of gray linen, re-stitching the arms on backward, and embroidering it all over with expressions of her plight. “I am not big,” read one; others spelled out “my jacket,” “I am,” “I have,” “I miss today,” and “you do not have to. Her asylum laundry number, 583, appeared again and again. The writing was mainly stitched to the inside, where it would have lain next to her body — an attempt to reinforce her sense of self, perhaps, in a place where that was easily lost. The jacket was Richter’s only item in the collection.

— p. 23, The Gallery of Miracles and Madness, by Charlie English

If you want to know exactly what this jacket looked like, author @CharlieEnglish1 (the author himself) tweeted a picture of it on Sept. 10.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #165: GOING WIDE

LOOOOVE this prompt. Simply love.

Thank you, P.A. Moed.

Yesterday, self was at Cal Shakes’ only production for 2021: The Winter’s Tale. Last year they were forced to cancel their entire season. Wanted to weep.

But whoa, what a way to make a comeback: The Winter’s Tale is ace.

Picnic Grove Next to Bruns Amphitheatre in Orinda

Cal Shakes’s Resident Dramaturg Philippa Kelly leading the post-play discussion.

The Thrill of Anticipation! Audience files into Bruns Amphitheatre to see Cal Shakes’s first production in two years!

World’s Fair, Chicago, 1893

In the wee hours, self finished reading The End of Men. Her heart broke for one particular character. There is no real sense of closure (She’s been seeing that more and more in fiction, recently). Four stars out of five!

Her current read is Miracles and Madness: Insanity, Modernism, and Hitler’s War on Art, by Charlie English. Goody, self does love to read about World War II, insanity, etc.

On pp. 6 – 7, the Chicago World Fair of 1893 is described:

A seven-hundred acre site was filled with the fruits of humanity’s most technologically advanced era. Twenty-seven million people would visit, the equivalent of almost half the U.S. population at the time. In Paris four years earlier, fairgoers had been astonished by Gustave Eiffel’s tower, an ironwork lattice that pierced the sky to the height of a thousand feet. The American riposte, the first ferris wheel, was also vast — as high as the tallest of the new skyscrapers — but this construction moved. Powered by thousand-horsepower steam engines, it could lift up thirty-eight thousand visitors each day for a view few had ever seen that of the human world had ever seen: that of the human world from above.

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