The Slaughterman’s Daughter, p. 6

Yes, dear blog readers, self finished The Gallery of Miracles and Madness last night. She picked up the pace after the halfway point, because it is depressing to read about how a failed artist like Young Adolf Hitler, only minimally educated (He could read and write, obv, but not much. HA! Sounds like another demagogue self knows), could build one idea (cultural degeneracy) into a political platform, which he then used to wield absolute control over, first, his party, then his country, and, ultimately, Europe.

Now she is reading a novel about one of those people Young Adolf hated so much: Mende Speismann, a young woman in a Russian shtetl.

. . .a man tells his wife he is going into town to learn a trade, only to be swept up in the intellectual circles of Odessa; a father swears to his daughters that he will come back with a hefty dowry and, all of a sudden, one hears that he is “kissing the mezuzahs” of Kiev bordellos. Mende knows that only fools find consolation in the knowledge that others suffer the same woes as they, and yet contentment steals over her as she reads, overcoming any sentiment of feminine solidarity that she might have felt with these women. She is not like them, she will never be like them. She has not rushed off to publish advertisements, she has not complained to the leaders of the community, and she has not circulated descriptions of Zvi-Meir Speismann, the man who tore her life to pieces.

The Slaughterman’s Daughter, by Yaniv Iczkovits

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

1938

All over Europe, artists were on the run. Beckman left for the Netherlands the day after Hitler’s speech at the Haus der deutschen Kunst. He would spend the next ten years in Amsterdam, trying to get a visa for the United States. Kokoschka was in Prague, where he painted Self-Portrait of a Degenerate Artist, his response to Entartete Kunst, which showed him sitting with arms folded while a man and a deer lurked in the forest behind him: the artist as fugitive. Ernst remained in Paris, where he would later be picked up by the Gestapo before fleeing to America with the help of Peggy Guggenheim. Klee and Kirchner were in Switzerland, where Klee produced hundreds of pieces that dealt with his fate. Kirchner, depressed and fearful that German soldiers would eventually come for him, shot himself dead in the summer of 1938.

Those German modernists who hadn’t fled lived in a state of internal exile, working little or furtively, in some cases under surveillance.

The Gallery of Miracles and Madness, p. 152

Am picking up the pace. When Hitler starts his meteoric rise in politics, he becomes much, much less interesting.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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 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.

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

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.

Before & After: Stories from New York, Edited by Thomas Beller

This anthology was required reading in son’s high school English.

The front cover:

The back cover:

« Older entries

The life of B

Mainly through the lens of a Nikon

myguiltypleasures

welcome to my past, present and future mixed with whatever pops up right now

Iain Kelly

Fiction Writing

John's Space .....

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through fashion and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

InMyDirection

fiction, short story, writing, creative content

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

lita doolan productions

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

CSP Archives

Archive of the CSP

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other