Montag, 3. September 2012

Young Academic

Mr. Schleberger, author of a very practical book on Hindu iconography
The taxonomy of mudras and godforms (postures) within this work is not only very revealing from a cultural-historical viewpoint but also applicable to the mystic: merely try to focus some 'qi' or mental or emotional energies in any given situation of your life through these channels and see what they will effect for yourself! It is great fun indeed. There is also an equally recommendable corresponding work on Buddhist iconography to be found here.

Freitag, 24. August 2012

Ovidius (Metamorphoses)

If human beings suffer, they are incited to change whereby the catalyst of such change are often superior (meta-human) agents called the gods.

Beim Heurigen


Samstag, 11. August 2012

Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu (銀河英雄伝説)



















I have rediscovered this anime from my student-days recently. If you have about 90+ hours time, enjoy alternate history, fantasy and a good story then definitley check it out!

Start here

Then continue here

And then go through seasons 1-4. Have fun!

Montag, 6. August 2012

Art-History!

The crazy discipline of art-history is a multi-refractive sort of humanistic speculation on the highest cognitive and aesthetic level; it is also quite useless like poetry culture and life so naturally I am infatuated with it. Here are some interesting books and worthy authors for your most esteemed consideration:

e.g. Sedlmayr, Belting, Warburg, Wölfflin, Alpers, Didi-Huberman, Panofsky etc.


Good, New Perfume

The combination of new and good sounds like an oxymoronic expression but from the range of more recent perfumes- not considering such all-time favourites and classics like Penhaligon's BB, Creed's Green Irish Tweed or Knize 10- this is one of the better ones! (not better than e.g. Acqua di Parma, but still quite good...)

Donnerstag, 5. Juli 2012

Italian Style



















 Source

Summer Drink

Large glass of chilled mugicha: roasted barley tea directly imported from Japan,

double shot (or more?) of goodish whiskey -e.g. Tullamore Dew- within

+ 3-4 large ice cubes from virgin spring water.

Most natural and harmonious!

Montag, 11. Juni 2012

Hilfiger

Recently I went to the new Hilfiger store in Vienna on a Saturday. I wore very old fucked up clothes: a 20 year old washed-out red polo shirt by RL, some tailored navy corduroy trousers and old dark brown suede moccasins from Timberland, some too stodgy and already unfashionable auburn-coloured Ray Bans.

 Until a short time ago I had thought not too favourably of TH but both the new line and the nearly impeccable behaviour and manners of the employees at the shop have changed my mind. I finally bought some bordeaux red Weejun loafers and while I waited, some nice assistant not only offered me a drink but the friendly vendeuse-upon returning with yet another item to show me- also shoo-ed off the persistent society-photographer who wanted to take pictures of me (they had some re-opening celebration at that day with several models and I obviously fit 'in'). I'm extremely shy and dislike any such public stuff and would I have known, I'd never have come there, but as I said: the girl who sold me those shoes was highly professional which unfortuantely is a rare phenomenon nowadays. Good company, there.

 

Dienstag, 1. Mai 2012

"The Willing Suspension of Disbelief"?

As anyone who enjoys fictions knows, it is only too easy to immerse oneself in alternate worlds. The difficulty is not to suspend disbelief in them but contrarily consists in not completely losing ones belief in so-called reality. Because there is always something alluringly true about the reality of illusion that makes us want to become irreconcilable to that which is real.

There is danger in this way of thinking, yet this ability of multi-refractive reflection is the greatest chance of our self-initiated evolution.

Mittwoch, 4. April 2012

American -Political And Social- Activism

Imagine this scenario: there is this superpower whose armies march across the earth, its aircraftcarriers, planes, drones, spies are everywhere, it converts and infiltrates other cultures with its ideas, ideals and memes and as a peak to that all there is that (partly staged) little self-righteous activism it allows itself- marginal, nearly pointless on a global scale but yet another piece of the propagandistic puzzle whose expanding 'truth' its participants can tap while they believe themselves to be rebellious and alternative.

Viewed from the outside it's quite ridiculous.

Eternity

Every instant can be an eternity because eternity does not belong to the order of time but to the order of intensity.

Samstag, 25. Februar 2012

Freitag, 24. Februar 2012

It Needn't Be New...

An Aristocratic Enfilade from Portugal

Incipit Tragoedia:

'About the same time, there came to London a young gentleman of the name of Aubrey: he was an orphan left with an only sister in the possession of great wealth, by parents who died while he was yet in childhood. Left also to himself by guardians, who thought it their duty merely to take care of his fortune, while they relinquished the more important charge of his mind to the care of mercenary subalterns, he cultivated more his imagination than his judgment.

 He had, hence, that high romantic feeling of honour and candour, which daily ruins so many milliners' apprentices. He believed all to sympathise with virtue, and thought that vice was thrown in by Providence merely for the picturesque effect of the scene, as we see in romances: he thought that the misery of a cottage merely consisted in the vesting of clothes, which were as warm, but which were better adapted to the painter's eye by their irregular folds and various coloured patches. He thought, in fine, that the dreams of poets were the realities of life.

 He was handsome, frank, and rich: for these reasons, upon his entering into the gay circles, many mothers surrounded him, striving which should describe with least truth their languishing or romping favourites: the daughters at the same time, by their brightening countenances when he approached, and by their sparkling eyes, when he opened his lips, soon led him into false notions of his talents and his merit.[...]' (John Polidori: The Vampyre)

Freitag, 10. Februar 2012

A Tragic Demiurge: Modern Man and His Artificial Worlds

The plan of escape from the world is the blueprint to a future fortress that only can be recognized as yet another prison when one is forced to live in it.

Knowledge Can Be Dangerous?


















...or was that ignorance?
 (Nietzsche, for example, favoured former theory).

A Comprehensive History of German Opera:

Fidelio and Wagner.

Intermediate Whisky Studies: Mothballed and Closed Distilleries (Malt Mill, Brora, Rosebank)

According to a recent youtube video, Malt Mill, even more so than Brora, is somewhat the Holy Grail of obscure whiskies. The few bottles that are left seem to be safely locked away but parts of the output can still be found in the White Horse blend up to the 1970s:

Malt Mill Distillery, Established 1908
When Sir Peter Mackie lost his bitter legal dispute to retain the sales agency for Laphroaig whisky in 1907 he reacted in characteristic style by deciding to make his own "Laphroaig" type whisky, and in 1908 built a traditional small pot-still distillery within the Lagavulin complex. Despite hiring staff from Laphroaig and attempting to copy the Laphroaig recipe, it did not succeed, perhaps because it used a different water source. Malt Mill tried to replicate a traditional style of Islay Whisky, using only peat-dried malt, and it is reputed to have had heather added to the mash. It was always a small scale operation producing 25,000 gallons of proof spirit (113,500 litres) in its first year, compared with 128,000 gallons (581,120 litres) at Lagavulin. What is perhaps surprising is that it survived until 1962 when it was merged with Lagavulin and its coal-fired stills moved to the latter's still house for another seven years use. The Malt Mill distillery building is now the reception centre within the Lagavulin Distillery site.
.
I recently started my own more humble adventures into closed-distillery-land with a 1991 G&M bottling of a Rosebank; a Lowlander that I bought at a fair price and that the late Michael Jackson- the whisky-connaisseur- described as ‘a floral, light whisky for lovers and poets’, and me, being an enthusiastic dilettante and poseur of those arts, had to get it in order to test its magico-projective qualities. I’ll try it at some more or less special occasion later in the year since it doesn’t seem to fit the winter season.

Die unmutige Epigonenkunst des 20. Jahrhunderts:

Da sich die moderne Kunst nicht eingestehen konnte in einer historischen Tradition zu stehen, aber trotzdem nicht auf die Geschichte als Inspirationsquelle verzichten wollte, zitierte sie diese nur und beraubte sich somit ihrer Tiefe. Die Skizze als Anfang ist profund (da sie das vollendete, klassische Werk und dahinter das Presque-rien einer metaphysischen Unendlichkeit erahnen lässt), wenn sie sich jedoch zur Weltdeutung aufbläht, begründet sie eine Tyrannei des Makels.

Donnerstag, 9. Februar 2012

The Ability to Judge and the Agony of Choice: A Decidedly *Parisian* Dilemma

A Present For a Girl



Girls love bottles like these or the ones from Perrier-Jouët ...look at those hearts in the top-middle of the label! I have no idea how this tastes, though...

Long Live the Countryside!

Atheismus

Leute, die ihren eigenen Atheismus thematisieren sind (in diesem Punkt) Idioten, da man entweder glaubt oder nicht: da gibt es nichts zu argumentieren.

Dienstag, 7. Februar 2012

Hunting Attire

Picture from: Piras/Roetzl: Traditional Style- Wohnkultur auf den Britischen Inseln



"The most fortunate people go to shoot, on their own land or the land of their friends. There you will find many of them in their badges of honourable experience: fully seasoned, weathered tweeds (including unlined plus twos), over silk long johns, viyella shirts, old (probably skew-whiff) ties and caps or battered felt hats; shooting stockings, deeply-dubbined field boots or shoes and gaiters and Schoffel and Barbour coats. […]

More likely than not, these people use their grandfathers’ guns; since the only people that can afford a pair of bespoke Best London guns now are the pointless (and often clueless) ‘celebrities’ of the modern age." 
(Nicholas J. Storey, A Short Guide to the Sporting Life- History of Men's Etiquette, p.33 f.)

Tweed Library

Archive of Johnston's of Elgin


Montag, 6. Februar 2012

Dienstag, 31. Januar 2012

Lovecraftiana

An Old Bottle of Rum


Not that this rum was aged excessively long but I found this bottle in my cellar the other day (I must have forgotten it down there when moving to this place), and it certainly does have a certain patina to it. I shall ascertain quite soon whether the contents are still palatable and potable or not!

Sils Maria











'All ye to whom rough labour is dear, and the rapid, new, and strange—ye put up with yourselves badly; your diligence is flight, and the will to self-forgetfulness.

If ye believed more in life, then would ye devote yourselves less to the momentary. But for waiting, ye have not enough of capacity in you—nor even for idling!'  (Thus Spake Zarathustra, IX)

Freitag, 27. Januar 2012

Sunglasses: Supporting Local Craftsmen













They reminded me of those that were very en vogue in the 80s (esp. Armani). First I had tried them with a lighter, sandcoloured frame but these better complement my Nils Holgerson-like hair.

Mittwoch, 25. Januar 2012

Tennis


I played lots of it in my earlier teenage-years but differently to skiing I somehow was never too good at it- not that I didn't enjoy it. Maybe that is why everyone wanted to play with me. We mainly played on sand or on a 'carpet' hard-court (when we were indoors) where I wore those strange shoes without any profile on them at all!

Samstag, 21. Januar 2012

Lord Dunsany

An expert in many fields like chess, pistol-shooting or hunting, Lord Dunsany was also a pioneer in the then-budding genre of fantastic literature.He especially impresses me with his short stories and smaller pastiches like his Book of Wonder or 51 Tales. His collected tales of Jorkens that the protagonist tells to fellow members of his London club are more classic straightforward adventure-stories maybe better befitting readers who are more 'realistically' inclined.

Checked Shirts and Pullovers:

The standard everyday wear for the arts and academia:

One often overlooked thing you can learn from classic sculpture:

…is stance, correct and beautiful poise. Why be content with merely having appealing physical features and tasteful accoutrements?

The best general/neutral stance to be used e.g. when waiting for the train, the plane, the conference to begin, for Godot (*spit*) or Ragnarök to commence is this one: Michelangelo’s David. Lower your left arm and instead of letting it hover over your shoulder, look at your stupid i-phone or something!

I was originally taught –amongst others by Elmayer- that neutral stance ought to be one foot forward, slightly upliftingly balanced on the heel (‘relaxed leg’) and the other (‘supporting leg’) straight and firmly planted to the ground like on this Demosthenes which is correct, certainly, but less elegant in my opinion. Then I’d rather prefer the half-striding stance as exemplified by the Augustus of Primaporta (now don’t say you don’t know it!) or- also excellent- the Doryphoros by Polyklet.

So next time you go down to the Musei Vanticani, the Academia or the Bargello, or even just your local glyptotheque, look at all the statues in this new way and learn from them!

Finally, here is my favourite ‘stance’.

Donnerstag, 12. Januar 2012

The Wine of Liechtenstein














...is - 'naturally' (I'm almost inclined to say)- produced in Austria even though it is mostly sold over there.
It's quite good, too: a very decent table-wine.

The Ball-Season

A short run-down of the balls in Vienna and their present status:

Opera Ball: this is one of the few white-tie-only affairs worldwide but- apart from imperial times- has had its high during the Cold War especially in the earlier 70s when Vienna even more than now was the meeting place for spies, terrorists and diplomats of all couleurs. Then, also Seikhs and top politicians paid it a visit; today it's more concentrated on local entrepreneurs, the newly rich and on minor celebrities although the first row of the political intelligentsia of Austria will still be present.

These are the best or most fun ones:

Kaffeesiederball (Ball of the cafetiers)

Philharmonica Ball (Ball of the Viennese Philharmonic Orchestra held at the Musikverein), this is the most elegant and refined one; partly, what the Opera Ball once was in terms of visitors with status as well as prestige, has wandered off to this affair.

Jägerball (Hunter's Ball at the Hofburg) this is the most fun one and the only occasion when the 'No Trachten in town'-rule could be broken: it is the carnival-season, after all. Admittedly, even many who are no hunters get into their green or grey outfits or in case of the girls- their Dirndl-dresses- and get it on; throw in a good mixture of Kimonos, Saris and military officers' uniforms for a splendid evening. This has the best looking girls and is favoured and heavily frequented by the Golden Youth/Jeunesse Dorée of Vienna.

There is also the Kaiserball held at the Hofburg on New Years' Eve that is mostly visited by rich Americans and Asians (I once went there, too and got immensely drunk on champagne), and balls of the various professions, groups, clubs and segments of society like the tobacconists, the bakers' or the officers balls. As I mentioned somewhere in this spot, I am leading a more reclusive life right now and although I never was a great dancer I still went to a few in my time and had great fun. So, I'm passing the baton on to you- come over and visit one or a couple of them and enjoy the crazy festivities!

Mittwoch, 11. Januar 2012

Dancing School

 Like any aspiring young man and woman in Viennese society I went to dancing school at the age of 15. In those days there actually only was one option and that was Elmayer. Recently the young Mr. E. has fallen a bit from grace due to his modernistic escapades but then it was the only school that with its main instructor, Mr. H., oversaw the Viennese Opera Ball whose debutants it trained; and it was the only one that held its annual ball at the Hofburg. Furthermore, it described itself as an institution that would teach not only dancing but also the higher forms of etiquette.

So two of my friends from school and I donned our navy blue suits, (mostly ugly) ties, white shirts and black Italian shoes, took with us our white cotton gloves that were compulsory, too and went off. Apart from commiting the slight faux-pas of playing with my dancing-partners' bra at the back of her dress the first night (not out of sexual desire but because I was concentrating so much on getting the steps right and absentmindedly fingered around there) all went well for the first couple of times.

We more or less learned the few standard dances and how to correctly hand-kiss but none of us went on to become a great dancer. I believe this was conditioned by the fact that we- after 4 weeks of our three-month course- instead of further attending class, chose to frequent certain unwholesome drinking-dens and night clubs.

K.u.K. Hoflieferanten Wiens:

Dienstag, 10. Januar 2012

Rainer Maria Rilke

Rilke who really is one of my favourite poets was actually so good at his art that he could make a verse out of any topic may it have been as quotidian or as banal as it could be (Ovid with his, well, boast of ‘whatever I wrote, it came out as verse’ comes to mind, right?)- and this using either a good rhyme or correct meter and an adequate rhythm and thereby elevating and sublimating it; but this at times had the effect that a few of his efforts seem inadvertently comical to me. And: of course I don’t have an example of this. Read him and find out for yourself! It’s quite pleasurable, too.

The Ideal

"If I could create an ideal world, it would be an England with the fire of the Elizabethans, the correct taste of the Georgians, and the refinement and pure ideals of the Victorians."
(H.P. Lovecraft in a letter to James F. Morton, April 1 1927)

An Old Picture:

I also have some other Japanese prints and paintings but this is an old heirloom from my great-grand uncle. Hanging above my writing desk it's a depiction of Mt. Fuji. Although it's already quite yellowed and stained, it can still inspire a feeling of grandness and remote, romantic longing in me and from time to time I lose myself in it and start to dream. (Note: the 'sun' is only the flash from my camera)

Freitag, 6. Januar 2012

St. Jerome















In recent years I have been pursuing private arcane studies partly in solitary seclusion whereby one of my best and most trusted companions has been a person whose astrological sunsign is Leo...

Vintage Wristwatches:














...from the 50s and 60s in a simple, unobtrusive design are to my liking.

Kaisermanöver: