dancing_moon: Wao Youka as Dracula (Creepy)
So I was going to do a nice, well-structured post on the German university system (because some of my former classmates from Sweden were curious) but that will have to wait a bit, since I'm feeling a bit too tired for that right now. My annoying almost-cold is beginning to become a real chest cold, which I am valiantly fighting with the help of fresh ginger tea, eucalyptus honey, hot steamy baths and a bit more actual shut-eye in the sleep/internet equation.

In the beginning of November, we'll go see the Norwegian all-female band Katzenjammer. According to our Katzenjammer-expert, they do "chaos pop with some folk-punk". It's fast, engaging and entertaining at least, and I think the concert might turn out to be really great - they seem like one of those bands that do extra well live.


One of my favorite songs, A bar in Amsterdam.

We bought the tickets today and, since we were at the ticket office already also got tickets for the musical Tanz der Vampire - one pair of plastic fangs included with the tickets!
Alas, it's based on the movie by Roman Polanski, him of serious skeevyness, and as such, I'm sure he'll get royalties. Otoh, I hope it's not too much, because Tanz der Vampire nicely filled some ticky-boxes on my mental "Stuffs I Must Do in Berlin This Exchange Year": Seeing some big-budget stage extravaganza, seeing a original German-language musical and vampires/gothy stuff. They'll show the Rocky Horror Picture Show here in Berlin too, in November, which works for ticky-box one and three, but since it will either be translated or in "denglish" (German talk, English songs) it moves to the second position.
Also, the stage images they have on the website look wonderful (eeeeeven though one of the posters has a bit of a Twilight-y vibe going on) so, uhm, I'll just be evil and go. Sorry.

A few days ago, I finished reading Walter Moer's Ensel and Krete: ein Märchen aus Zamonien. Bookblather goes here )

Basically, it's a take-it-or-leave-it book, though anyone who has a strong liking for Moer's style ought to have fun with it. It's also the first book where Hildegunst von Mythenmerz is introduced, which alone makes it worth a read.

When buying this one, I also noticed that the sequel to his Die Stadt der Träumenden Bücher had arrived: Das Labyrinth der Träumenden Bücher! Only out in hardcover so far, but I'm very much looking forward to reading it later :) And there's apparantly a third part coming out in about a year, swell!
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
In other news, I'm down in Gothenburg again. Visiting Miko-chan and staying at Miko-chans mother as usual (alas, cat allergies). Just as well, mom has Plans for my bathroom again and now she can poke about there on her own...

Mac showed me a lovely old fairy-tale book, translated from Swedish to German. Vogel Blau by Z Topelius, which is written in Fraktur (Gothic script). The most amazing thing? I can actually read it now! Amazing, I never managed to read the old-fashioned books I was showed in Germany... of course, those were more along the lines of Thomas Mann and history books, while these are tales of Sleeping Beauty etc. Quite the bit sharper than the modern children's verisones though, very entertaining reads, even if I had a great deal of trouble figuring out out the V (Dolch? Dulp? Volf? Wolf... aha, no! That is the letter k and thus it must be Volk!! /I iz genius/). Anyway, both amusing and challenging, I am going to read through it all before I go home

Have also read My girlfriend is a geek and Bakuman. Disliked both and for oddly similar reasons... In My girlfriend is a geek, we have a yaoi/manga fanatic girl who has no sense of appropriate boundaries. Alright that she talks to her boyfriend about her favorite ship, but when she starts involving him (and his friend, partly) in her mistress/butler fantasy without his consent and the narrative treats it as comedy I am skeeved out.

The translation is also a typically "fansubby" one, with keywords such as fujoshi, otaku, seme etc left untranslated in the pages (might be a glossary, I didn't check and the book is at home). While it is part of the plot that the guy doesn't know all these words, he presumably knows at least what some of the sounds ought to be - and more importantly, the japanese readers do know them.

Bakuman is about a guy who, due to a girl he crushes on and has never really talked to, decides to become a manga artist. Everyone is either dull or ott and it lacks to moral issues and tension that made Death Note readable. I much prefer the other manga industry parodies I've read
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Finished Heinrich Böll's "Inte ett enda ord" (And never say a word, in english) from 1953, found at my grandmother's and borrowed. I'd read most of it last year already, it's a very thin book, but then I forgot to bring it to Gothenburg. So I had like ten pages left to finish.

Anyway, it's a very interesting book but I don't get it. And yet, I wanted to kept reading and I can't stop thinking of the book. The theme pops up in my mind now and then, worrying me - what is it about, what did he want to say? Or did he just want to show something, a time, a mindset?

It's a story about a marriage in post-war Köln (Cologne). Some quotes from the back of the book,
"Artistic shards among the dust of war [...] critical of the cover of nobility of the higher catholic priests, with hope of revelations in the meeting with a hideous plaster angel."

It's a marriage almost falling apart, but frozen in its destruction. Poverty, alcoholism, love and a thousand failures of humanity all around the central characters.

Extremely different from "Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum", which I also like a lot. Especially the language was much more poethic in this early book, but then in Katharina Blum he uses a very special style.

The wiki article on his life was interesting to read and helped me make sense of some things in the book. I also learned a new German word: Trümmerliteratur.

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May 2012

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