Freitag, 30. April 2010

Ars longa vita brevis.

By t’day, Fools Month is over and I’ll take a break. From now on you can find me on meadows and in woods, prancing about with Maenards and Satyrs in moonlit streams and holy Italian groves or in the crepuscular twilight of ruins with a fiasco of wine at my side and a book of verse in hand…my best wishes go out to all of you, in-dividually!

Mittwoch, 28. April 2010

Favourite Haunts: Forchtenstein Castle

Also don't forget, if you're already there, to look into the ancestral gallery of the ruling family of House Esterházy. It contains the only remaining full-body portrait of Vlad Tepes also known as Count Dracula, and also the one of Attila, the Hun, both from who that family claims descendence. They also produce quite a good wine in the region, especially the reds are fine...

Watch this, if you haven't done so already...

(Click the piccy for some of my fav music- also loved in Russian Mafia crics, I have been informed.)

I just remembered that I had a colleague in Japan who was Russian, he had inscribed himself at university there and maybe appeared only about two three times in one year. I heard in the bar where I was working part-time that he, together with an Australian guy, sold off luxury cars from Japan to foreign countries (mainly HK). We only had met a couple of times but we shared that similar sense of humor to such a degree that we had to permanently giggle like stupid teenage-girls when conversing with one another, or maybe we only found the others face funny or something, one never knows those things for sure. Anyway, this mutual sympathy was also the reason for him to invite me to work together after my year; of course, me being me, I completely sucked at this, like at any kind of 'job' so I quit after only a couple of days, maybe also due to the sometimes stressful nature of the business even though it was very lucrative; but also our co-workers had gotten very annoyed with our stupid jokes and laughs. A typical convo between us would have been something like this:
- And..(he, he)..are you not worried (he, he) that the 12 Ferraris we sent from Yokohama (hee) to Macau (he, he)are checked by IP?
* Niet, moi drook, (hjaw, hjaw), Chinas corrupt enough not to worry about (hjaw, hjaw), I hjave phone Pat in HK about this already...etc...(of course the content is fiction, only the laughs are true to reality).

Read this, if you please!

English version.
(I think there are nine vol.s in engl., it's basically about two young guys who want to take over Japan, one from the Yakuza and one from the political side; the story focuses more on the Yakuza-end.)

Oskar Werner

My ideal of Austrian-German-(speech) is fulfilled by Oskar Werner like by nearly no one else.
If you have some time, then I’d invite you to listen to some of his poetic recitations or to watch his films.

I don't practice any sports I only wear the coat...;)

Terry Thomas and the Sporting Spirit

Funny old bastard, also see here:

Montag, 26. April 2010

Mondnacht (Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff)

Es war, als hätt der Himmel
Die Erde still geküßt,
Daß sie im Blütenschimmer
Von ihm nun träumen müßt.

Die Luft ging durch die Felder,
Die Ähren wogten sacht,
Es rauschten leis die Wälder,
So sternklar war die Nacht.

Und meine Seele spannte
Weit ihre Flügel aus,
Flog durch die stillen Lande,
Als flöge sie nach Haus.

Moonlit Night

It was as if heaven
had quietly kissed the earth,
so that she, in the glimmer of blossoms,
now had to dream of him.

The breeze blew through the fields,
the ears of grain waved gently,
the woods whispered softly,
so starry-clear was the night.

And my soul stretched its wings out wide,
and flew over the silent countryside

as if it were flying home.

Pen and Sword II

Odin is the god of both poetry (writing) and war: on the one hand he is giving his eye for wisdom and hangs on Ygg, the world tree- a synonym of himself- in an ordeal that lets him discover the runes, and on the other he still is chief to the Aesir and commander of the Ones who are Fallen and Chosen in battle, of those he will lead in a fruitless attempt to overcome the forces of Fenrir at World’s End. What is often forgotten is the great melancholy and ponderousness of his character, his philosophical self-doubts, his compassion and his taking on responsibility as a leader even though he knows the futility of it all. He knows that all will eventually end and he even knows how because he has clairvoyantly foreseen it, already. Once he 'told' me something that has irreversibly imprinted itself on my mind: 'Every true warrior is also a poet, every poet a warrior.'

Pen and Sword

'It is said the warrior's is the twofold Way of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both Ways. Even if a man has no natural ability he can be a warrior by sticking assiduously to both divisions of the Way. Generally speaking, the Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death.' (Miyamoto Musashi, Gorin no sho)

Freitag, 23. April 2010


This Islay-brew is one of my favourite single malts. To very many it seems to taste too peaty and 'medical', 'like petrol', I have heard it described by (former) friends, but to me it just has everything a whisky ought to have. From about the late 90s the ten year old has sadly deteriorated, meaning that it has become less complex and strong so that today the 15 year old is, what the ten year old once was. Speaking of which, I haven't bought one for over a year: maybe it is time to re-assess.

"Laphroaig has been the only whisky to carry the Royal Warrant of the Prince of Wales (the 15-year-old is reportedly his favourite scotch whisky)"

A Bit of Frye and Laurie

I like this show, have not caught it at the time ('in illo tempore') but am enjoying it recently, nonetheless...

Donnerstag, 22. April 2010

You would think me mostly idle, I'm afraid

Schopenhauer on Solitude

‘An intellectual man in complete solitude has excellent entertainment in his own thoughts and fancies, while no amount of diversity or social pleasure, theatres, excursions and amusements, can ward off boredom from a dullard.[…]

The wise man will, above all, strive after freedom from pain and annoyance, quiet and leisure, consequently a tranquil, modest life, with as few encounters as may be; and so, after a little experience of his so-called fellowmen, he will elect to live in retirement, or even, if he is a man of great intellect, in solitude. For the more a man has in himself, the less he will want from other people,—the less, indeed, other people can be to him. This is why a high degree of intellect tends to make a man unsocial. True, if quality of intellect could be made up for by quantity, it might be worth while to live even in the great world; but unfortunately, a hundred fools together will not make one wise man.[…]

Hence, undisturbed occupation with himself, his own thoughts and works, is a matter of urgent necessity to such a man; solitude is welcome, leisure is the highest good, and everything else is unnecessary, nay, even burdensome.' (Aphorismen zur Lebensweisheit)


The encounter with my personal-trained and marathon running acquaintance –who is older and much fitter than I am- has shown me that I really should take up some sport again. The only such activity that I am practising at the moment is taking very long walks in all weather conditions and lifting some extremely heavy whiskey glasses, in-between. In my teens I was quite sporty, but then I lived in the country and hardly ever touched any books so I had ample time. Unfortunately most sports are either extremely inelegant or difficult to practise in the modern world, like horseback-falconry.

I could take on some regular job- art consultant or snake farmer in S-E Asia, maybe, so that I would be able to move about more, more purposefully and vigorously, but, then, that would again disturb the peaceful souls of my forebears. Of my great-grand-fathers father it was still said that 'he never worked a single day in his life'. It was said with admiration, not condescension, mind you.

Dienstag, 20. April 2010

Some soft loafers for leisurely summer evenings

I bought these in Italy (Padova) for less than cento Euro the other day when leisurely driving through the Veneto with a Japanese acquaintance...


Chacun à son goût

Some people seem to concentrate on the disgusting things in life and call it 'realism', some on the beautiful ones and call it choice.


Sonntag, 18. April 2010

Pol Roger: the champagne with the Royal Warrant!

By the way: contrary to common belief champagne is best enjoyed alone but a few bottles can still help one over an otherwise boring evening in dull company…

J'suis snob

Dekadenz-Literatur: Joris-Karl Huysmans

À rebours fand ich sogar noch besser, aber ich denke, dass dieser Titel einen eigenen Beitrag verdient- vielleicht sogar, wenn ich in Stimmung bin, mit einer literaturkritischen Analyse von mir oder, je nach Tagesverfassung, anderen allgemeinen Gedanken über dieses Werk, respektive einer Aufzählung der Anregungen, die ich von ihm für mein eigenes Leben erfuhr.

A few catchy songs (nationalistic-style).

I especially enjoy singing them in: 1) Northern Ireland 2) Chechnya and 3) Mecca.

'And above everything else she hated the dérangement.'

"[Gerda] lived in the twilight of her curtained living-rooms, and dreaded the sun, the dust, the crowds of townsfolk in their holiday clothes, the smell of coffee, beer and tobacco; and above everything else in the world she hated getting hot and upset." (Thomas Mann, The Buddenbrooks)

Décadence par excellence: Knut Hamsun

Favourite Haunts: Highgate Cemetery

To tassel or not...

I like loafers without applications in all their forms and manifestations- more formal or sporty- and even at times wear them in winter: C&J, Alden, N&L, k&k Schumanufaktur Alt Wien (C&J from old Viennese lasts, I believe?) or the softer ones by Tod's or Sebago or Timberland- in suede, or plain or even grained, either bordeaux, or brown or black- especially from shell cordovan. I'm in the middle of my thirties and European so I may be excused when thinking that tassel-loafers are something for hip (New England) Americans or- generally- men above 40. Yet, strolling around the city, yestereve -masochistically taking notes for a poem about snobbing all the mediocre weekend revellers-, I saw these in a shop-window, and they strangely intrigued me...I'll have to think about it...

Flashy Falke-socks for spring!

Freitag, 16. April 2010

Perchè non leggiamo insieme?


The philosopher Aristippus was basically known as a hedonistic, arrogant snob. He came from one of the wealthiest and noblest families of the Greek colony Cyrene in Libya. Later, he travelled to Athens to meet Socrates and one day visited the public bath at the same time as Diogenes who was famed for his social criticism and his dirty and neglected clothes (a predecessor of the Hippies, one might say).

Aristippus finished first with his ablutions and allowed himself the pleasantry of putting on the dirty rags of Diogenes. Latter, it is said, rather preferred to leave naked than to put on the luxurious purple chlamys of the Cyrenaic philosopher. Thereby Aristippus demonstrated his freedom of choice and showed that Diogenes was still caught up in the mainstream's restrictive social thinking, only in a negative way. Also Q. Horatius Flaccus agrees when he writes in a letter to Scaeva: "I rather prefer Aristippus who wears both coats with the same nonchalence!" (Epistulae, I, XVII, 25).

Diogenes Laertius and a few others like Plutarch have related some funny and inspiring anecdotes of Aristippus that are worth looking into, if you have some time.

Occult Studies

The Austrian Royal Warrant

Apart from very rural and down-to-earth products, I like to buy things that have a royal warrant since it not only speaks of their quality but they also often have an aura of a –sometimes otherwise lost- elegance to them. Fortunately I am living in a city that, as the former seat of the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nations for nearly 500 years and home to the Habsburg emperors of Austria, not only possesses the insignia of that Reich such as the Holy Lance or the Ottonian Crown but that also has a rich variety of companies and workshops that once had provided the court with their goods. Some of my favourites are: Lobmeyr glass, Habig hats, Wilhelm Jungmann for cravats, umbrellas and fabrics, Scheer shoes or Bösendorfer pianos…here is a list of some others. Buy something from them and make us as glorious as we once were!

k&k Hoflieferanten.

Reading in Style

M. Soller is a Swiss antiques-dealer specializing in furniture, concretely in carved wooden bookcases. Once, this anglophile gent has bought a whole library of 18th and 19th century leather-bound volumes from an Irish estate. With these, he likes to decorate his merchandise for better presentation. Privately, he resides in a medieval townhouse with frescoed walls and enjoys reading books on the history of art and catalogues of old auctions of which he possesses over a thousand.

Further reading..

Donnerstag, 15. April 2010

In high spirits

'Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter,
Sermons and soda-water the day after'

(Lord Byron, Don Juan)

Dienstag, 13. April 2010

Hermetic laments

Some things will remain eternally mysterious to me: one of them is that, although I am really doing my very best to lead a secluded, almost hermit-like life, there are still times when I am suddenly pestered by various people who want to invite me to their parties and vernissages and finissages and shows and monkey-training sessions.

These last days were and are and will be of this sort again: first one of my friends (for reasons of decency I only have two, anyway- one female and one male) who is an opera singer had some performance…well- soit! But just the next day- just when I thought to have done enough for mankind and wanted to read some edifying tome, a relative drags me away to her vernissage. Fortunately it at least took place in the crypt of the venerable Peterskirche (St. Peter’s Church in Vienna) which gave it a certain cachet.

But the deathblow I received when an acquaintance from Japan (he has inherited- stupid of stupid things- an elevator kaisha (company), announced that he would want to come here to Vienna to participate in some City- Marathon. This à la bonne heure- he can do what he feels like but then, afterwards, he also wants me to introduce him to some of the Viennese shoemakers and tailors and go shopping with him for vintage wrist-watches! I’m already getting tired and exhausted by only writing it down, here. Since I also don’t have a car anymore (cars are too ugly!) he will rent one so that we can go over country to look at some castles and old churches- something I also do enjoy myself; but having people around is sometimes so taxing. One can easily lose ones meditative mood when viewing Late-Gothic altar-pieces in the Salzkammergut or dreamily walking among the ruins of some old keep in Piedmont, if one has to perpetually talk or explain things to someone- as nice and generous as they may be.

Port and Absinthe

Although I'm drinking Port and not Absinthe right now, I think that I will try latter beverage some time soon. It was suggested to me in the course of a conversation that I held with a blasé aristocratic colleague from Italy today. He is a consummate scholar of décadence-literature and likes to haunt the grave of Baron Corvo on the island of San Michele...

Favourite Haunts: St. Marx Cemetery....

'St. Marx Cemetery (Sankt Marxer Friedhof) is a cemetery in the Landstraße district of Vienna, used from 1784 until 1874. It was named after a nearby almshouse.'