10th July 2014
Es haben,’ erwiderte nun der Biba, ‘unzählige Weise auch auf andern Sternen immer wieder nur den einen Gedanken gehabt, daß grade nur die Ergebenheit uns mit unserm ganzen Leben versöhnen kann. Auf einzelnen Sternen sterben Millionen von Lebewesen in jeder Sekunde – dieses große Sterben ist nur dazu da, damit die Überlebenden die großartigen Schauer der Ergebenheit kennen lernen. Man nennt das zuweilen auf andern Sternen auch Religion. Und es ist ja auch so klar, daß wir eigentlich stets etwas vor uns haben müssen, das größer ist als wir; nur so bekommen wir immer wieder einen Begriff von der kolossalen Großartigkeit der Welt. Würde es uns so leicht sein, höher zu steigen, so würden wir die Welt nicht so als Größeres und Ganzgroßes empfinden; wir müssen immer wieder zurückgedrückt und ein wenig erdrückt werden, damit wir merken, wie groß das Große der großen Welt ist – wie wir diese Größe niemals ganz ausmessen könnten.’

Lesabéndio: Ein Asteroiden-Roman von Paul Scheerbart (1913)

"There have been,” Biba replied, “countless beings who, on other stars as well, have always had but only the singular thought that devotion alone can reconcile us with the entirety of our lives. Millions of living creatures die each second on individual stars - this grand death exists only in order to acquaint survivors with the terrific shudder of devotion. On other stars this is sometimes called ‘religion’. And it’s also rather evident that we have a constant need for designs that are bigger than ourselves; it is only in this way that we are capable of reclaiming some kind of conception of the colossal grandiosity of the world. Were it easy for us to ascend higher, we wouldn’t perceive the world as being so grandiose and gargantuan; we must always be pushed down and somewhat crushed, so that we recognize how great the grand world is - that we’d never be capable of completely surveying this magnitude.” — Lesabéndio: An Asteroid Novel by Paul Scheerbart (1913)

14th June 2014
Their [Women authors who write at cultural and linguistic intersects] narratives are often confined to being occasions of self-discovery, self-fulfillment, and self-realization of—to state it facetiously—the ‘souls’ of minority women authors. The authors either turn into authentic subjects with experiences of patriarchal subjugation, native informants who ‘finally’ (and rather simplistically) claim their own stories in their own voices by writing (graphing) their selves (auto). Or they are aptly criticized for self-exoticization and self-promotion, in that they confirm and reinforce prejudgments, stereotypes, about their cultures—often perceived as part of the abstract oriental monolith—or their status as women: subjugated, colonized, eternal victims of oriental patriarchal malevolence with no agency for resistance.

— B. Venkat Mani, Cosmopolitical Claims: Turkish-German Literatures from Nadolny to Pamuk

22nd May 2014

A blog for academic pursuits in Germanistik

Or at the very least, fewer irrelevant photo reblogs. I’ve always wanted to maintain a blog and tumblr has, by far, been the medium through which I’ve come closest to achieving this goal, even if my ‘personal’ tumblr is much more of an experiment in cataloging than a true blog. More than anything, I’ve been inspired by tumblrs such as LatiNegr@s that present academic findings and news items in a way that is accessible and—at least to some—entertaining to read.

At any rate, we’ll see how this side-blog venture fares. Since I’m currently deep in the research phases of my spring finals (and very much using this very post as a means to procrastinate), I’ll just end this post with a spooky photograph of a horse-mounted, Gasmaske tragender WWI soldier.