Books


A friend has just published a new book of her photography, now available for ordering at http://www.uta-theile.com/

book coverUta Theile

The Art of Fishing / L’Arte Della Pesca

A Journey Inside Cinque Terre Fishing
A photo book, reportage style, with texts and stories about the ancient work, which struggles for its survival in a territory more and more exploited by tourism.

Un viaggio nella pesca delle Cinque Terre
Un libro fotografico, stile reportage, con testi e racconti del antico mestiere, che lotta per la sua sopravvivenza in un territorio sempre più sfruttato turisticamente.

The fisherman’s life is difficult and full of sacrifice, a existence dedicated to fishing in which work lasts both day and night and a private life only barely exists. With my photographs, I want to tell the story not solely of the hardships that this work implies, but also of the fascination it holds: the faces of fishermen as they tell their stories of a life at sea, the beauty and tranquility of dawn as the nets are lowered or raised, the joy of a good catch that repays their exhaustion … the passion and the art of fishing.

I’m trying to use a WordPress blog as content management system. So, I created pages that are no blog entries, finally customized the urls via permalinks, and also found a nice breadcrumb plugin.

Best test bed for this seemed to be all time favorite list

“I’m reorganizing my records tonight. It’s something I do in times of emotional distress. When Laura was here I had them in alphabetical order, before that, chronologically. Tonight, though, I’m trying to put them in the order in which I bought them. That way I can write my own autobiography without picking up a pen. […] What I really like about my new system is that it makes me more complicated than I am. To find anything you have to be me, or at the very least a doctor in Rob-ology. If you wanna find Landslide by Fleetwood Mac you have to know that I bought it for someone in the fall of 1983 and then didn’t give it to them for personal reasons. But you don’t know any of that, do you? You would have to ask me to…” * (Nick Hornby, High Fidelity)

Die Selbstmord-SchwesternThis weekend I finished reading “The Virgin Suicides” (Die Selbstmord-Schwestern) by Jeffrey Eugenides. A strange and fascinating book! It’s not so much the story that is intriguing (we know from the very first page that the five sisters are going to commit suicide within one year), but the atmosphere that the author creates. The narrator — a man in his forties — remembers the year of the suicides, back in the seventies when he was just a teenager. Written in a report-like prose, full of dark humour and strange details, the novel pulls the reader right into a time when a world was falling apart not only for the young adolescents. I was fascinated by how Eugenides builds a scene of suburban America that is loosing its innocence as the boys are losing theirs while growing up. The suicides and the boys’ investigation of its reasons subsequently become a metaphor for more general changes and loss. Big politics are almost not mentioned, of course, the teenage boys are only interested (well, I’d say addicted to) in the girls of the Lisbon family. But after the first death, their neat Christian order is crumbling apart, like a domino once the first piece has fallen. The Lisbons are an exaggeration (they even seem to live in the fifties still), of course, but through the constant focus of the neighborhood’s boys they appear like focused in a lens. Though the language in the book is very rational, what sticks to my mind is this feeling of change: from childhood to adolescence (eventually the boys have become men), a stable world is breaking, most visible in the neighborhood and the Lisbon family, but affecting everyone’s lives. Glimpses on the boys twenty years later reveal what they have lost: their childhood, their friends and community, their dreams, their loves, their innocence — they are no ‘virgins’ anymore.

P.S. : It’s only revealed late in the book, the setting is a very American suburb of Detroit, actually Grosse Pointe, if that sounds familiar to anybody… And, by the way, the author has been living in Berlin since 1999.

(sorry, that’s in German, it’s on a book I’ve read)

Wie es leuchtetEndlich wieder zum Lesen gekommen und “Wie es leuchtet” von Thomas Brussig beendet. Na ja, waren ja auch 600 Seiten….

Fazit? Durchwachsen. Halt ein Brussig, d.h. man sollte nicht DEN Wenderoman erwarten, sondern eine Satire. Die startet ganz gut durch, mit ungewohnt ernsthaften Ueberlegungen und Beobachtungen des Autors zur Wende ’89. Liest sich auch ganz flott. Etwa ab der Haelfte des Romans tritt Brussig aber auf der Stelle, faellt in bekannte pubertaer-sexuelle ‘Abschweifungen’ zurueck, von denen man gehofft hatte, er haette sie hintersichgelassen.

Gegen Ende des Buches kriegt er nochmal die Kurve und wird deutlich praegnanter; die Ernuechterung aller, schon wenige Monate nach dem November ’89, wird sehr gut getroffen.

Dennoch, “Wie es leuchtet” wird wohl kein Klassiker werden… Vielleicht schafft das ja Ingo Schulze mit “Neue Leben” – schon jemand gelesen?