[048] Waiting for the shock treatment

“it appears like an innocuous illness. monotony, boredom, death. millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. they work in offices. they drive a car. they picnic with their families. they raise children. and then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. some never awaken. they are like the people who go to sleep in the snow and never awaken. but i am not in danger because my home, my garden, my beautiful life do not lull me. i am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing.”

anaïs nin, diary, winter 1931/32


and here we are, again, waiting for the shock treatment…

[048] Waiting for the shock treatment

[037] great great britain

occasion-related summary – what great britain stands for (for me… so far):

richard burns, colin mcrae, kris meeke, craig breen, elfyn evans
jungle (brockie & mc det)
aston martin, lola, radical
the it crowd
gordon ramsay
throbbing gristle
wine gums
top gear (clarkson, hammond, may)
drum and bass (amoss, dispatch rec.)
user, utility plastics, serial scratch
monty python
brands hatch, brooklands, donington park, lydden hill, snetterton, thruxton
prodigy, fluke
lincolnshire poacher
peaky blinders
barbican, tate modern
uk space techno
luke slater, cristian vogel, neil landstrumm, regis, surgeon, luke vibert
billy connolly
craig ferguson
scotch eggs
sarah kane
tricky, portishead
james graham ballard
hyde park
ginger beer
little britain
ray cokes
waldemar januszczak

to be continued…


[037] great great britain

[028+] shangri-la, addendum

in addition to the verbose chronicle of the sólfar anecdote, i decided to provide a little information about the other spots as well that are mentioned in the article – and to explain why exactly they became symbolic landmarks in my biography and that valuable for me personally.

1. barbican estate (london)

my father is an architect and architects usually have books on architecture. those with less text and more pictures radiate a very early attractivity to architect sons. at least in my case. and yeah, of course there was this one book. i deeply enjoyed the very unique kind of hypnotic effect those photographies had on me and, all in all, spent weeks looking at them. what amazed me the most was barbican estate – take that, sydney opera, lomonosov university and lincoln center! yeah, i soon started intense daydreaming of walking around there and the more i dreamed the more became obvious that i had to go there one day. happened late 90s.

2. bargfeld

bargfeld is a small village in the vast german tundra called “lüneburger heide”. it’s known for hardly anything but being an escapist’s hideout and the place that my alltime favourite german writer, mr. arno schmidt, chose for spending his last 20 years, together with his wife alice and some cats. the house he bought and lived in and the entire property are a pure myth, so it became obvious that i had to go there one day. happened a few years ago.

3. absinthe route (france / switzerland)

not much explanation needed here. absinthe is the thing for me since my late 10s and of course a true loyalist, disciple and believer has to visit the sainted birthplace. thats why it soon became obvious that i had to go there one day. happened only recently and i wrote an article about it.

4. former kling klang studio (düsseldorf)

a family saga says, that my mother used to listen to “kometenmelodie” when she was pregnant with tiny me. my conscious connection with the music was established by a tape my father gave me as a kid. it contained “autobahn” in full length amongst other shy and poppy electronic music pieces. and queen. kraftwerk are the pioneers and godfathers of electronic music and most of the opus was created in their own “kling klang” studio. never felt that much admiration for a band again – you’re not a band, björk! alongside the urgent wish for attending a concert it became obvious that i had to go there one day. happened some years ago.

5. gellért thermal bath (budapest)

when i came back from my first budapest visit, i found out that hadn’t been at gellért thermal bath. in the following i almost bit my hand off due to furious(est) anger and since there was no alternative sedation it became obvious that i had to go there one day. i grew up in a city with thermal bath tradition and even though i always denied my rootedness of any kind, my origin most probably played a role here. never in my life i visited a place again without solid preparation beforehand. second visit happened soon after the first.

6. old tresor (berlin)

“old” means leipziger straße. i’ve never been to any other address with a “tresor” label above the entry door. not much explanation needed again. tresor berlin was the center of my techno universe, the mekka of the underground movement. heard it the first time mid 90s from the beloved frontpage magazine. it’s one of those rare places you feel not only overwhelmed but seriously honoured when entering for the first time. dunno if anyone knows what i am talking about. anyway. it soon became obvious that i had to go there one day. happened soon after my 18th birthday and several times afterwards until it was closed down.

7. people’s friendship arch (kyiv)

in early 2009 it occured that i found myself wondering whether or not to book a flight to kyiv. the problem was neither the fact that i had never been there before nor the well-meaning safety advices by the health insurance dude. the crux was that the entire plan based solely on promises of two persons i never met before in real life. in case of one of these persons it even wasnt completely sure that this person really was, what she claimed to be – and not a fat, hairy, tourists eating dude. but on the whole, the kyiv idea was just too promising and exotic in the perfect way. at some point, curiosity and bravery finally took the lead over scepsis and doubts and i started imagining how i stood on that hill unter the arch and everything had turned out just fine so far. i simply had to give it a try and so it became obvious that i had to go there one day. happened in late 2009. and yeah, everything turned out fine in the end! more than that.

to be continued…

[028+] shangri-la, addendum

[024] what i read

i wonder if a more appropriate title for this post would be ‘what my bookshelves contain’ – but i’ve read the largest majority of the books i own, at least for a representative page amount. let’s start with a tiny attempt of classification of the writers’ names only:

1. fiction

a) german (speaking) postwar classics = dead writers
arno schmidt, thomas bernhard, wolfgang koeppen, robert walser, dieter leisegang, max frisch, peter weiss, ingeborg bachmann, jörg fauser, jürg federspiel, …

b) german (speaking) contemporary = alive writers
peter handke, thomas meinecke, elfriede jelinek, rainald goetz, andreas maier, sibylle berg, thomas harlan, benjamin von stuckrad-barre, jürgen becker, annika scheffel, …

c) international (dead and alive)
haruki murakami, t.c. boyle, orhan pamuk, anaïs nin, jack kerouac, bret easton ellis, serhij zhadan, kateryna babkina, michel houellebecq, matias faldbakken, charles bukowski, douglas coupland, david foster wallace, …

c) theatre
samuel beckett, sarah kane, eugene ionesco, yasmina reza, kathrin röggla, christoph schlingensief, tim etchells, …

2. non-fiction (topics)
contemporary art, nascar, sushi, travelling, buddhism, hinduism, theatre, philosophy, literary science, linguistics, electronic music, architecture, photography, …

[to be updated…]

[024] what i read

[022] autumness

ok, it’s been a while. so let’s get back on track again now. the last couple of weeks flew by with me back to work, walking through the forests around, enjoying the transition of summer into fall, reading murakami and getting caught by his unique and addicting mixture of pretty detailed realism and well dosed breezes of grotesquery.

haruki murakami never was this kind of top level writer for me – mostly because of the extent of his texts and books. didnt read much so far. i mean, i have the the wind-up bird chronicle for years now in my shelf, almost untouched and always kept there for this mythical and vague “later” moment, when there’d be time. only recently i used the ardennes created chill wave to get through this book and i am still benefiting from the mood it created. autumness!

not sure whether to call autumn my favourite season or not. i enjoy it a lot, most of all i enjoy the fact that summer is gone. those months that heated up the incubator of brain eating organisms inside my skull. now it’s peaceful again, regained control so to say – looking forward to winter stagnation probably.

what else happened? i met one of my childhood heroes personally after decades of waiting – the grave digger, i started to get interested in formula e (it’s essential for me that the hype is gone when i dig into something new) and i attended the frankfurt book fair. not sure what will be mentioned in an own post. still enjoying the days and nights… back later.


[022] autumness