Freitag, 27. Mai 2011

An Aristocratic Trait:

Not to be an expert in anything!

Lupin III: Cagliostro's Castle.

A very good animation with a surprisingly deep symbolism and a depiction of Europe as we like it! Also note the old-model Fiat 500 at the beginning (and end) of this clip. The stories about the gentleman master-thief Arsène Lupin were originally created in the 19th century by French writer Maurice Leblanc.

Dienstag, 24. Mai 2011

Hortus conclusus

Here in Vienna we have a fine selection of hidden, semi-private parks and gardens. Surrounded by medieval walls, old Roman stones and baroque jardinères one can elegantly dream away a hot noontide in the shade of chestnut-trees enveloped in fragrances of magarites and roses. Today, sunken into a dozy half-slumber my small book of verse still in hand, I drifted in and out of fancy until the borders of reality were blurred and the planes were blended into pure unbroken being.

Heavy-Duty Park-Lounging Gear:

Freitag, 20. Mai 2011

Lonely Walks at Night

Late at night between 1 and 3 a.m. I sometimes wander the worst parts of town, slipping past unnoticed by the various fringe-dwellers, dealers, whores, killers, madmen and junkies. I am nobody, a mere shadow, as the world slips by revolving in its filth unnoticed by me.

Michel Houellebecq über das Berufsleben

Ich hasste es von Anfang an. Das Berufsleben ist eine Falle. Von da an ist das Leben vorbei. Nichts geschieht mehr, und man muss so tun, als ob man Spaß hätte an seinem Job. [Quelle: GQ, Juni 2011, p.58]

Mittwoch, 18. Mai 2011

Holywell Cemetery, Oxford

"The cemetery is now a wildlife refuge with many birds (including Pheasants that nest there) and butterflies, as well as small and larger mammals, including Muntjac deer and foxes."

P.G. Wodehouse:

Motörhead - Live Fast Die Old

Part 2, part 3, part 4, 5, 6

Sonntag, 15. Mai 2011

Donnerstag, 12. Mai 2011

Alm-Öhi Strikes Again!

On this rainy night, I went through some old files and documents in my dusty, arcana-filled library and found this picture that still continues to intrigue me.

[Via The Satorialist.]

Bon chic bon genre

Thanks to Admiral Cod for the inspiration and fun there. At a small, informal get-together with my family, my cousins, my brother and I had some good laughs about those lists but they also earned quite a few nods and 'aye's.

Montag, 9. Mai 2011

Ivan Aivazovsky & Debussy's La Mer

La Mer part 1, part 2, part 3

There will soon be a performance of Debussy's work at the Musikverein here in Vienna that I'll probably attend if I'm not too lazy; coincidentally we also host an exhibition of Aivazovsky's works whose catalogue I bought the other day. Aivazovsky who was court painter to Czar Nicholas I. is very effective in depicting and relating atmospheric phenomena and natural forces...

Sonntag, 8. Mai 2011

High- and Low-Culture-

Or popular culture: I don’t make that difference. I only make the difference between what I like and what I don’t like and will leave such labels up to the philistine who, having no real interest in art anyhow, will, instead of refining his taste by consumption, give emphasis to what so-called experts tell him that one ought to like.

'Reductio ad absurdum'

Je intelligenter man ist, desto mehr (Toleranz &) Geduld benötigt man um überleben zu können.

Donnerstag, 5. Mai 2011

New Austin Osman Spare Biography

'Forgotten and famous at the same time, Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956) is now a cult figure, much mythologised since his death. Controversial enfant terrible of the Edwardian art world, Spare was hailed as a genius and a new Aubrey Beardsley, but instead he fell out of the West End art scene and went underground, living in poverty and obscurity in South London. Absorbed in occultism and sorcery, voyaging into inner dimensions and surrounding himself with cats and familiar spirits, he continued to produce extraordinary art while developing a magical philosophy of pleasure, obsession, and the subjective nature of reality.'

Great Houses of Ireland

Highly decorated writer Thomas Pakenham of Tullynally Castle (County Westmeath) in his library:

Baronscourt (County Tyrone):

Clandeboye (also see here for an in-depth description):

Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, Viscount Clandeboye and Earl of Dufferin and Earl of Ava, P.C., K.P., G.C.B., G.C.S.I., G.C.M.G., G.C.I.E., D.C.L., LL.D., F.R.S who added Burma and Egypt to the British Empire was in possession of that hovel. His nephew Sir Harold Nicholson gives a detailed descritption of some of its interior in his 1937 book Helen's Tower.

Dienstag, 3. Mai 2011

The Countryhouse-Season Hath Begun!

Peter Altenberg: Literate, Drunk, Idler of the Décadence

Epicurus’ first school-day

…only lasted a few minutes.
'In the beginning there was only Chaos', the teacher told his students.
'And what was it created from?’ asked Master E.
T: 'We cannot know this: this is a question with which the philosophers concern themselves.'
E: 'And why, then, should I waste my time here? If you don’t know this then I rather go to the philosophers themselves!'
And so he did.

Further info: Sextus Empiricus: Adversos Mathematikos (X, 18), Luciano de Crescenzo: The History of Greek Philosophy: Socrates & Beyond [I also would recommend latter work of two volumes to the educated layman].

Montag, 2. Mai 2011

The Secret Joy of Spirits...

...of distilled beverages, is that they are able to preserve the characteristics of a certain region- like the Scottish Highlands or tropical Guyana- its plants, soil, smell, its air and water and whole atmosphere and bind it into liquid form. Good spirits are not only bottled plants- they are bottled landscapes and ecosystems!

That is why it could be considered blasphemous rather than to savour such a well-crafted spirit, to only unthinkingly guzzle it down in order to enjoy the effects its alcohol will have on oneself without duly relishing the taste and smell of the content it preserves.

Yet, I also believe that to neglect the joys of intoxication altogether as some nerdy super-connaisseurs suggest, is equally wrong. Apart from the pure pleasure this indulgence brings, there is also a very concrete reason for doing so: Because, even though fine spirits contain chemically speaking a certain ‘amount’ of pure alcohol, I believe that it is impossible to separate the taste from this alcohol-content without losing the special synaesthetic experience they provide as a whole. Thus, there is an El Dorado-12-year-alcohol, a Laphroaig-10-year-cask strength-alcohol, and so on.

In such products of nature there is always this high complexity and great subtleness that cannot be reproduced by purely chemical engineering in a laboratory, a last iota of indefiniteness which religious persons would call the creative breath of God.

The Wine of Affection...

This is what my good friend Olga Krakovna Bidlinski* brought me from her last trip to Azerbaijan’s capital Baku where she performed in a musical play composed by Uzeyir Hajibeyov. This wine had very strange characteristics: on the first day it was too sweet in an unpleasant way, so I left it alone, then, on the second, it opened up a bit and got more complex, then on the third it was best! Thank you, Olga my dear- *nastrovje*!

* name slightly changed for reasons of privacy.

‘Whoever does not turn his back on the contemporary world dishonours himself.’

'There is no contemptible occupation, as long as it is not credited with any importance it does not have.

The man who is disrespectful in order to demonstrate his equality certifies his inferiority.

Liberty is the right to be different; equality is a ban on being different.
Leveling is the barbarian’s substitute for order.

Every non-hierarchical society is divided into two parts.

Individualism is not the antithesis of totalitarianism but a condition of it. Totalitarianism and hierarchy, on the other hand, are terminal positions of contrary movements.

To democratize Christianity they have to falsify the texts, reading “equal” where they say “brother.”

My brothers? Yes. My equals? No.
Because there are older and younger brothers.

In aristocratic times what has value is priceless; in democratic times what is priceless has no value.

As long as they do not take him seriously, the man who says the truth can live for a while in a democracy.
Then, the hemlock.'


Sonntag, 1. Mai 2011

Notes on Poet- Fogey- Style:

- Scruffy brown jackets (2B, two-vented)

- Corduroy trousers (well-cut ones! baggy is English/country/weekend)

- Bordeaux-coloured loafers, also dark brown suede half-brogues by a good English maker.

- Only patterned shirts (solids are too solid/correct/serious, also: patterned and striped shirts have the aura of the eccentric; this can be slightly emphasized by the poet)

- If pocket squares at all, then only proper handkerchiefs [cf. the excellent books by Hardy Amies and Nicholas J. Storey]- my fav.: one with a Japanese poem printed on it!

- Argyle socks (even in tasteless Miami-colours although I haven't tried this one myself yet, I only own ones in classically subdued brown- and blue-tones, but this idea came to me spontaneously just now!)

- Some phantastick books that draw you into the chaotic realms of hypnagogic madness [my rec., today: Lovecraft (The Ancient Track), Kerényi (Dionysos), Clark Ashton Smith (The Last Oblivion) or even Gombrich's (Art and Illusion), Praz's (Romantic Agony) or Jung's (Der Mensch und seine Symbole)...