Er ist ein Schriftsteller ausser der Reihe. Ausserdem war sein erstes Anliegen der Gartenbau. Sein ganzes Vermögen hat er für die Schöpfung der Parks Muskau und Branitz verbraucht. Sogar seine Ehe wollte er zu Geld machen. Er “be”-schrieb, was er tat. Seine Bemerkungen über den Gartenbau haben schon Goethe gefallen und sind auch heute noch sehr lesenswert. Von seinen Reisen in unseren und andere Erdteile blieben uns umfangreiche Schilderungen. Begraben ist er mit seiner getreuen Luzie und seiner aethiopischen Sklavin in Branitz in einer Pyramide. Leider, leider habe ich weder Muskau noch Branitz gesehen.
He too writes world-travel-literature. He established that kind of books and influenced many other authors, among them William Dalrymple, Claudio Magris, Philip Marsden, Luis Sepulveda or Rory Stewart. He was the first reason for my longing for Patagonia – and I would like to see the tombs of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, who died along Chatwin in South-Argentina. But first of all his “Songlines” have to be read. What a phantastic theory is it to say that the Australian Aborigines are busy to sing the world, and if they don’t do it path, rock and meadow cease to exist! Chatwin is a great help to understand what nomads and sedentry tribes are. To mention is his volume of essays “What am I doing here?”. There we find writings about Indira Ghandi, André Malraux, Ernst Jünger, Nadeshda Mandelstam and the deliverance of women from their corsets. His extraordinary sensibility for non-daily things and phenomenons is clearly shining up.
Chatwin loved women as well as men – he died jung, I think from AIDS. Though working as an auctioneer at “Sotheby’s” in London he never stayed long “at home”. Until his return he kept a few private things in a locker.
Er schreibt jedenfalls Weltreiseliteratur. Er etablierte die Reiseliteratur weltweit und beeinflusste auch Schriftsteller wie William Dalrymple, Claudio Magris, Philip Marsden, Luis Sepúlveda, und Rory Stewart. Dank ihm habe ich Lust, nach Patagonien zu reisen und die Grȁber von Butch Cassidy und des Sundance Kid zu besuchen. Aber vor allem die “Songlines” sind bemerkenswert zu lesen. Welch phantastische Theorie, dass die australischen Aborigines ihre Welt tȁglich neu zu singen haben! Um zu verstehen, was Nomaden, was Sesshafte sind, ist Chatwin hilfreich. Ich mochte auch seinen Essayband “Was mache ich hier”, in dem er von Indira Ghandi, André Malraux, Ernst Jünger, Nadeshda Mandelstam und der Befreiung der Frauen vom Korsett berichtet. Seine ausserordentliche Sensbilitȁt für alles Nicht-Alltȁgliche scheint auch hier stark auf. Chatwin liebte wohl Frauen und Mȁnner, er starb jung – wohl an AIDS. Auktionator bei “Sotheby’s” in der britische Hauptstadt hielt er es selten lange zu Hause aus. Bis zu seiner Wiederkunft verwahrte er ein Minimum an persönlichen Gegenstȁnden in einem Schliessfach in London.
Of course the rose is the flower of all flowers. Roses do stand for the qualities of the heart as well as those of sexual organs: condition of life (just imagine, your heart would stop to beat only for one minute of the 86 years of your life!), unique ability of life to reproduce itself. Lilies as polarity to roses stand more for birth and death (but that would be another story). Many wise gardeners pushed the breed of roses since the time of old Iranian empire, many types were created by them and if you study the names of roses you study history, tradition and mythology: Ömer Chaiyam, Penelope, Cassandra, Aicha, Venus’ thigh, Josephine de Beauharnais, Grand Hotel, Henri Matisse, Helmut Kohl, Chevy Chase, New Dawn… Did you know, that Suriye means “land of roses”? And that Bulgaria does even nowadays the biggest export of rose-oil (with it you should (!) care your skin). That Virgin Mary is called “rose of the world”? That American writer Gertrude Stein – though she wrote many good sentences – remains famous by her saying: “a rose is a rose, is a rose”? That one of the greatest bestsellers in the nineties of last century was the book “The Name of the Rose” by Umberto Eco? And that it is enough to write “rose” several times to prove her connection with love? Look: ROSEROSEROSEROSEROSEROSEROSEROSEROSEROSEROSEROS
Ein unkomplizierter Verwandter Obens, Naimerlot, sass ganztags in seiner Weinhandlung am Markt. Oben war einer seiner Stammkunden. Aus Italien kannte er Sangiovese; Pinot Grigio und Barolo (von seinen Zeiten als Student, wo sie unterwegs immer eine mit Werg notdürftig verschlossene Flasche Chianti im 2CV dabeihatten, wollen wir hier nicht reden); aus Spanien Rioja und Navarra; aus Österreich den Grünen Veltliner und den Blauen Zweigelt, aus der Schweiz den Dôle und natürlich den Fendant, aus “deutschen Landen” den Mosel-Saar-Ruver, mit dem man Socken flicken kann (jedes Loch zieht sich sofort zusammen, wenn es mit ihm benetzt wird…)…
Und natürlich der griechische Retsina: “Wine makes everybody hopeful” hatte beim Minos auf der Innenseite des Etiketts gestanden, erst beim mählichen Leeren der Buddel konnte man es lesen…
Oben waren die Attribute der Conoisseurs bekannt: Ob ein Wein nun würzig, herbtrocken, spritzig, pfefferig im Abgang, ausdrucksvoll, samtig, edel, weich, anpassungsfähig, geschmeidig, vollmundig oder langlebig sei, für Oben war am Ende nur entscheidend, ob der Wein gut oder schlecht war. Am liebsten mochte er eh, wo immer er gerade war den offenen Landwein. Jetzt gerade sass er am Ufer – zu Besuch in einem seiner Lieblingslokale, dem “Tschapa”, schaute übers Meer und murmelte: “epi oinopa ponton”. Er kaute an einem Schluck Syrah. Der Mond hing am Horizont und hatte einen Hauch Kaffeebohne im Abgang…
Früher war das Freiwild das zum Abschuss freigegebene Wild. (Die armen Rehlein! Denkt der Tierschützer jetzt. Der Jȁger aber weiss, dass er in seinem Revier viel mehr Rehe hat, als er abschiessen kann. Gibt ja kaum noch Wölfe und Luchse. Die lieben Tierlein fressen dann die Rinde junger Bȁume und verursachen enormen Waldschaden). Heute wird das Wort nur noch metaphorisch gebraucht. Manche Frauen glauben, sie seien Freiwild für die Mȁnner, sozusagen vögelfrei. Warum? Nehmt doch Mȁnner als Freiwild!
“Mens sana in corpore sano” (“a sound mind in a sound body,” a line found in Juvenal, “Satires”)
The author is sitting in Gümüşlük , feeling rather sound, though much thoughts go around in is head…..
Brutus, as we know from school, murdered the great Caesar. As we know in Yarımadası too, he fled to Gümüşlük, ancient Myndos, and lived there for a while, far from the capitals of power.
“Brutus” means “stupid”, earnest, without whit; in fact we created “brutal” and “brute” from this adjective. It was told that Brutus, Marcus Junius, swore to save the Republic, the most modern achievement of common life, from people wanting to be the boss, the chief, the head of the state, and thus he stabbed his friend Cajus Julius Caesar…., who betrayed the Republic in wanting to be the one and only holder of power, the “Caesar”.
Five centuries earlier there was another Brutus (from the same family of Junii) stabbing the last of Roman kings, Tarquinius Superbus, which raped the beautiful Lucretia This ancestor was thus founder of the Roman Republic. It was said, that both Brutuses were quite planning and intelligent and disguised for a long time as fools. (You just watch the fools in Shakespeare’s plays).
But in spite of these Brutuses, the body of the Republic was replaced by the reign of the Caesars, the imperators, the queens and kings, the sultans, the başkan. Republic and real democracy are up to our days a rare and menaced species…….
From the Roman days up to our time there is as well the tradition of creating busts in public places. The human head marks the impact of individuality (and it is like one of those ironies of history, that one of the best early busts is that of Brutus…). Up to our century the bust, the human head without any body, is an icon, placed in academies, on altars, in gardens, barracks, above entrances, in public space, being the ornament of numerous representative buildings like parliaments, opera houses, churches… Even here in Turkey, still belonging to the non figurative sphere of eastern cultures, the portrait (for example of Kemal Atatürk), takes a decisive place in public sphere.
Thinking about that two facts forced their way into my mind: Islam destroys faces – for example of holy people shown in paintings –
and french revolution invented the guillotine, the machine to “harvest” cut off heads by dozens and hundreds……….
I may be allowed to put an etymology of the word “head” here:
Head: – old English heafod = “top of the body”, also “chief person, leader, ruler”, in old Saxon it was hobid (the hobbits!), German “Haupt”, Gothic “Haubib”, from the Proto-Indo-German kauput, Latin “caput”.
More or less derived from these we find a bunch of (important) words we rarely reflect about: headline, to head for, cabbage (!, from caput. French people even say ” mon chou” as a love word), cap, chief, captain, caporal/corporal (the head as leader of the corpse, the body), capo (in mafia), capital (the main town of a country) capital (the stocks, the property), capitalism, cattle (moveable property, especially livestock, Turkish küçük baş hayvan = sheep, goats, büyük baş hayvan = cows and horses…), capsize (when a ship is sinking by the head), cape, chapter, handkerchief (ker chief = cover head), Kennedy (said to be from old Irish cinneide = ugly head), pasha ( from Turkish baş = head (just collect the composed words of it), chaperon, penn (Gaelic = head, ”Pennsylvania”) and many many others… (see: Online Etymology Dictionary http://www.etymonline.com/index.php)
Is there any body?
Now have a look at – maybe – the oldest human sculpture of the world, the monumental “Venus” – which measures only about a span!, found in Willendorf near Vienna and about 30000 years old. Her body – a heap of wheat, as king Solomon would say, but her head, her face like wrapped in sheets and invisible. The body, today often a matter of shame, of strange desires (köfte! dance!! naked swimming!!!), which has to be covered, which one don’t has to talk about (Queen Victoria was not amused about visible ankles of her subjects) was then the important, the face still unindividual and not to be remembered…..
Obviously this Venus is similar to the ancient mother-goddess Kybele. Kybele – kubus – Kaaba/means “cube” (originally, says the tradition, Kybele was represented neither as human nor as animal but as a stone. Mekka as far as that the place of an adoration far older than the time of Prophet Mohammed…….)
The holy stones like the Kaaba were called Bayt Allah/Beth El “house of god”, these stones often were meteorites and are to be found in much important places. A late recall of these atavistic places of adoration may be the “Black Madonna”s to be found for example in Polonia or in Chartres and said not to be created by humans (“from the stars”)
Every year from 15. to 27 of march the Hilaria, the “ludi megalenses” were celebrated in Rome: to the honour of “Magna Mater” (the great mother, as Kybele was called too) a pine trunk was erected by young men and girls and women, covered with the blood of an sacrificed oxen, danced around it. These festivities had orgiastic character. In ancient Rome, Hilaria were a class of holidays, times of pomp and rejoicing; there were public ones in honor of Kybele at the spring equinoxes as well as private ones on the day of a marriage or a son’s birth. In reduced shape they did come up to our days: to the “Maibaum”, a trunk put every spring in the centre of German villages, often the new married couples or the new born babies were represented on the top, which shows the fertility touch of that tradition.
What a coincidence. It was on 21 march that Brutus murdered Cajus Julius Caesar….. as we might say now, the defender of the body (the people, the republic) against the head/face (look at coins: there’s the face of the mighty one!)
Do we know anything about the body of our kings and presidents? But we see her faces everywhere.
I am smiling now: as a big exception to that I saw huge photographs in public space, showing Mustafa Kemal in pants sitting on the shore….
But in a future article let’s talk about the body and it’s members: hands and feet…..
Once Heracles upheaved Atlas, who was losing all his power then. Similar it feels for all of us during earthquakes: we are quite terrified (terra!) to lose the stable ground underneath our feet.
An earthquake feels rather like a living being (though we know the scientific explanation for it’s existence): not only the dishes sing and cling inside the wardrobe, but the earthquake itself roars and shouts! And soon after that the voices of the frightened people are to be heard in the dark all over the place: Are you ok? What happened to your things?
The big earthquake comes unexpected, but in the aftermath we wait every second for the earth to tremble again. We here had about 160 small ones, among them two of up to 5.0. Reassuring the speaker on TV said, that those had nothing to do with the big one but were completely independent ones. Were we reassured? One one side yes, but on the other: who cares which earthquake has to do with which one? And even if for years nothing happens we would wait for…