Kehlmann is a German novelist whose books I quite enjoy. His language appeals to me a lot. Previously I read his book Die Vermessung der Welt (Measuring the World) putting Von Humboldt and Gauss side by side in their quest to measure the world, and last year Tyll, a newly and beautifully imagined retelling of Till Eulenspiegel.
A few weeks ago, in our book case I found Kehlmann’s book Ruhm (Fame), a small collection of 9 stories that turn out to be connected and form a novel as a whole. I couldn’t remember buying it, nor if I had already read it, and started in the past days. Probably I read about a third because that is where I encountered the receipt from the bookstore: The Balmer Buchhaus in Zug Switzerland, dated 27 November 2010.
Me, in Zug in November? That sounded not quite right. We visit friends there regularly, but usually around New Year and at some point during the summer. Did I or we really visit there in November a decade ago? My Flickr photo stream provided immediate proof we did indeed.
Lake Zug at sunrise in late November snow, 2010
Checking my calendar from 2010 I found out the reason for our trip. We helped my sister move house that month (which I do remember). She lived in the neighbouring part of Austria, and had been recently widowed, and moved into a new apartment right on the Swiss border (now she lives in Brussels with her new husband, and is about to retire to Portugal). On our way back we stopped at dear friends near Zug (which I also remember). And visited the local bookstore (which I forgot).
There’s also photographic proof of it, as I snapped an image of books I wanted to maybe research online after our visit.
The one on the left I think we decided to buy after I took the photo, because I think it is in the bookcase somewhere too.
A space opera, forming a good escape for a few hours, leaving the pandemic news behind. It ends with what could have been an escape too, was built as one by an alien race, but rather is a purposeful new start for both protagonists, a ship’s AI and its captain.
Embers of War
Fleet of Knives
Light of Impossible Stars
It is a bit like an endless Sunday yes. The empty streets, and until now the sunshine. Except maybe for the deluge of conference calls I get pulled into, which is more akin to fighting flood waters at the front door. Need to find me some digital twins to sand bags.
The perpetual Sunday feeling made me realise I now have a better notion of how the cats feel when we are away for a few days. When we get back home and they wake-up on the couch and stretch out it’s like they say “this has been a really long weekend….”. It will be weeks, if not months before we get to do that stretching. Perpetual Sundays, now there’s a title for a podcast.
Je viens de faire un petit tour dans le quartier avec mes jambes et mes bâtons. Peu de monde, beaucoup de calme. J’ai toujours aimé les dimanches et les jours fériés, ici, où tout est fermé et rien ne bouge.
Cette période c’est comme un dimanche, mais tous les jours…..
I’ve seen some reports about increased cyber attacks, and of course there’s the usual flood and flotsam of disinfo going around. If I find some time this week I’ll have to watch this vid.
Frank Meeuwsen zegt stay the f*ck inside. Word.
Een vriendin met relevante achtergrond formuleerde het nog iets directer, n.a.v. de drukte aan het strand en in de buitengebieden dit weekend.
Tegen het volgend weekend zijn alle beademingsplekken die Nederland heeft bezet. Coronapatiënten liggen gemiddeld 3 weken op de beademing. Als je dit weekend het virus oploopt doordat je geen afstand van elkaar hebt gehouden, en je hebt beademing nodig, dan vis je ofwel achter het net, of je zult voor altijd moeten leven met de wetenschap dat ze iemand anders hebben moeten laten sterven om jou aan de beademing te leggen.
Het is eenvoudig. Blijf thuis. Bij ons, en bij mijn collega’s geldt:
Blijf gewoon thuis!