Beauty Bellezza Beauté

Conrad Felixmüller (1897-1977).


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Goethe, a Very Short Introduction, by Ritchie Robertson

So do you know the land where the lemon trees bloom?

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

This Very Short Introduction does exactly what a VSI should do.  It introduces the reader to its subject and explains why it is significant, and it’s pitched at a non-academic audience in accessible language and with a coherent organisation of the content.  Ritchie Robertson’s Goethe, a Very Short Introduction made me want to drop what I’m currently reading and find out more about this great German writer.

Goethe (Wikipedia Commons)Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a celebrity novelist at the age of 25! His debut novel, TheSorrows of Young Werther (see my review) was an early example of the Sturm und Drang literary movement, but today its passionate evocation of hopeless young love would place it on the YA shelves (and the film studios would option it and he’d have a mega advance to set him up for life).  But as Robertson explains in the preface, there…

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We Worry

Climate change requires that we give it urgent attention. Maybe people in Germany are better informed and acid rain has damaged many forests there too.

Observing Hermann

People living in Germany are the most worried about climate change, according to new analysis of 18 countries published this week.


The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) examined data collected by the European Social Survey on public attitudes to climate change of 16 European countries, Russia and Israel.

Of these 18 countries, it found Germans are the most concerned, with 44% “very or “extremely” worried about climate change. At the other end of the spectrum, just 15% of Poles say they are “very or “extremely” worried.

MeanwhileChaos hits European flights as snow snarls major hubs. Germans worry about that kind of stuff, too. They’re always leaving Germany in the winter to escape the cold weather.

Der Winter hat in vielen Teilen Deutschlands zu chaotischen Zuständen geführt. In einigen Regionen zählte die Polizei in der Nacht zum Montag Hunderte Einsätze.

PS: Get your free sample of of Brain…

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“How important are the visual arts in our society?……

A wonderful gallery with a great restaurant-lovely!


…I feel strongly that the visual arts are of vast and incalculable importance. Of course I could be prejudiced. I am a visual art.”  ~ Kermit the Frog

Kermit is, of course, absolutely right. Art, indeed The Arts, are vital for helping us understand ourselves and our place within society. Perhaps most importantly, however, immersion in art is a joyful, inspirational experience.

In my last two posts, I wrote about our recent trip to Paris and our visit to the Museé Marmottan Monet. This was not our only arty experience, however – oh no! In fact, we found ourselves in a gallery that we had not visited before, and what an unexpected treat it was.

The Museé Jacquemart-Andre began life as the private mansion of Édouard André and his wife Nélie Jacquemart and was used by them to house their considerable collection of treasures collected during extensive travelling, and…

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Berliner Weihnachtsmarkt by Franz Skarbina, 1892.

The painting we would like to introduce today is the 1892 “Berlin’s Christmas Market” by Franz Skarbina.

The Christmas Market painted by the artist eight years before the end of the nineteenth century was located in Berlin’s Lustgarten: in the background on the left you can see the western edge of the old Stadtschloß, the Royal City Palace, while the buildings on the right form the line of the soon-to-be-demolished Schloßfreiheit.

Schloßfreiheit was a small street which used to run along the palace’s western front facade and separated it from the Cöllnischer Stadtgraben (now known as the Spreekanal). Built in 1672, it comprised ten buildings whose owners, having paid heavy money for constructing houses on very unstable, marshy grounds, enjoyed a series of financial privileges such as freedom from many forms of taxation practised in Berlin at the time. They were also free from…

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“Sonnet 31: Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts” by William Shakespeare

Always worth returning to The Sonnets

Stuff Jeff Reads

Painting of Henry Wriothesley

Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts,
Which I by lacking have supposed dead,
And there reigns love, and all love’s loving parts,
And all those friends which I thought buried.
How many a holy and obsequious tear
Hath dear religious love stol’n from mine eye,
As interest of the dead, which now appear
But things remov’d that hidden in thee lie!
Thou art the grave where buried love doth live,
Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone,
Who all their parts of me to thee did give;
That due of many now is thine alone:
Their images I lov’d I view in thee,
And thou, all they, hast all the all of me.

This poem is one of the “fair youth” sonnets in which Shakespeare expresses that the young man is the culmination of all the loves which Shakespeare had before. But I also…

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