Tag Archives: Zettel’s Traum

Reading Zettel’s Traum Suspended

I started reading Arno Schmidt’s legendary magnum opus about a year ago.  I knew quite well that it was an enormous challenge not least because German is the weakest of my reading languages, although the “germanness” of Schmidt’s language in … Continue reading

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Reading Zettel’s Traum: Week 27, pp. 337-350

Wilma talks disapprovingly about Pagenstecher’s eremitical existence, calling it “TIMON=Dasein”, invoking the rich Athenian from Shakespeare’s play Timon of Athens who ends up living in a cave after squandering his fortune on the manipulative friends and various hangers-on. Daniel is bluntly … Continue reading

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Reading Zettel’s Traum: Week 26, pp. 317-336

“The intricacy of the universe is drifting, it seems, towards a new maximum”. Thus begins the third part of Zettel’s Traum, which is called Dan’s Cottage (A Diorama). This statement could refer both to the expansion of the universe we … Continue reading

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Reading Zettel’s Traum: Week 25, pp. 301-314

Pagenstecher draws the Jacobis’ attention of  to the fact that Poe completely lacked planning when creating his works. What he did instead was “combinatorics” (not in the mathematical sense, of course). Also, one of Poe’s serious disadvantages was absence of any … Continue reading

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Reading Zettel’s Traum: Week 24, pp. 281-300

First off, an important correction: I was gravely mistaken about the meaning of the word “gall” (Galle) discussed in the previous installment of my read. As it turns out, it is a botanical term denoting an abnormal, usually ball-like excrescence on a … Continue reading

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Reading Zettel’s Traum: Week 23, pp. 262-280

Another metamorphosis takes place. Daniel and Paul turn into mushrooms, whereas Franziska and Wilma assume the roles of picky mushroom pickers (the pun is intended). When they are discussing different visual aspects of the mushrooms, one might get a feeling that in reality … Continue reading

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Reading Zettel’s Traum: Week 22, pp. 241-261

Pagenstecher wouldn’t be Pagenstecher if he didn’t contrive to relate the furs obtained by Rodman and his companions during the trapping expedition to the furs in Zacher Masoch’s Venus in Furs. A relevant quotation about Austro-German psychiatrist Krafft-Ebing’s treatment of … Continue reading

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Reading Zettel’s Traum: Week 21, pp. 221-240

When Franziska notices a scar on Daniel’s finger and asks him about it, the man recollects how he cut it. It turns out that Pagenstecher remembers the exact date of injuring his finger. The company is reunited when Daniel and Franziska meet … Continue reading

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Reading Zettel’s Traum: Week 20, pp. 201-220

Etym-analysis of “cypress” is followed by a more general examination of bushes, shrubbery and trees in Poe’s works.  Three types of etyms are distinguished: universal, which are common to the whole humankind;  generational, which are bound to a particular time-period, and … Continue reading

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Reading Zettel’s Traum: Week 19, pp. 184-200

As you might have heard, John E. Woods’ translation of Zettel’s Traum is finally available for pre-order. So, let me continue with my slow and patient reading of the book amid the cries of jubilation reverberating throughout  the ranks of Arno Schmidt’s … Continue reading

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