How to translate “Rausch”?

September 21, 2007 at 1:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments
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I watched a very interesting panel discussion about psychoactive substances yesterday on 3sat, one of the few channels untouched by the general dumbing down of television that has occurred over the past 15 years (the only actual ‘shows’ on that channel are political cabaret – nice).

The people on the panel of delta – a sociologist, an ethnobotanist and a biologist and addiction researcher – were pleasingly unbiased (less biased then I am – I’ve never experimented much with drugs as the little exposure that I had to them did not seem to do me too good; with the exception of alcohol, of course, which is the one drug that middle-Europeans more or less know to handle and have integrated well into their rituals – from Bierfest to Holy Communion).

And one comment of the Ethnobotanist (a curious guy with long gray hair and tie-dye t-shirt) lingered on: that there is no equivalent expression of the German ‘Rausch’ (m.) in English. In technical terms, intoxication would be the equivalent, yet intoxication is much closer to poisoning than Rausch is to Vergiftung (=poisoning). And a high is neither the same – Rausch is much closer linked to alcohol than to any other drug. And a mere ‘drunkenness’ does not express the drive that is associated with a Rausch.

There is a bar and discotheque in Cologne (where I studied) called Das Ding (The Thing), and it used to advertise its experience using the slogan: “Der gute Rausch” (the good intoxication). It doesn’t use that slogan anymore, yet people still go there for only one reason: getting extremely drunk and inhibited in order to lose one’s inhibitions . I went there once, it was extremely packed and it was really awkward, as you were constantly chatted up by some drunk guy (that was before ‘Komasaufen‘, ‘coma boozing’, akin to binge drinking, became a sport). The only good thing about it was that only students were allowed to enter – this kept and keeps pimps and other folk who want to take advantages of hordes of drunk young women/people outside.

I just checked their website: Yes, they still operate, and they still have the same agenda: two days a week they serve free beer from 21-23h, two other days you can buy Whiskey Coke for 1 Euro, and the fifth day a bottle of champagne costs 4 Euros, plus 50c for each (empty) glass.

Anyhow: Anbody knowing a good translation for Rausch – let me know!

These are’s suggestions:

inebriation Rausch {m}
intoxication Rausch {m}
drunkenness Rausch {m} [Alkoholrausch]
jag [sl.] Rausch {m} [Alkohol-, Drogenrausch]
delirious state Rausch {m} [deliranter Zustand]
high [coll.] Rausch {m} [Drogenrausch]

Do you have an election problem?

June 19, 2007 at 8:40 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Repost from SkunkCabbage’s site, so good it deserves being reposted over and over again. Also, the colour of the freeze frame blends in nicely with the design of my blog.

The folds of the human garment – on Huxley’s trail

April 15, 2007 at 2:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Just these two paintings by Albrecht Dürer from (1526), John and Peter on the left, Markus and Paul on the right, and a quote from Aldous Huxley‘s Doors of Perception based on his mescaline experiments.

Johannes und Petrus by Albrecht Dürer Markus and Paulus by Albrecht Dürer

This was something I had seen before-seen that very morning, between the flowers and the furniture, when I looked down by chance, and went on passionately staring by choice, at my own crossed legs. Those folds in the trousers—what a labyrinth of endlessly significant complexity! And the texture of the gray flannel—how rich, how deeply, mysteriously sumptuous! And here they were again, in Botticelli’s picture.

Civilized human beings wear clothes, therefore there can be no portraiture, no mythological or historical storytelling without representations of folded textiles. But though it may account for the origins, mere tailoring can never explain the luxuriant development of drapery as a major theme of all the plastic arts. Artists, it is obvious, have always loved drapery for its own sake—or, rather, for their own. When you paint or carve drapery, you are painting or carving forms which, for all practical purposes, are non-representational—the kind of unconditioned forms on which artists even in the most naturalistic tradition like to let themselves go.

In the average Madonna or Apostle the strictly human, fully representational element accounts for about ten per cent of the whole. All the rest consists of many colored variations on the inexhaustible theme of crumpled wool or linen. And these non-representational nine-tenths of a Madonna or an Apostle may be just as important qualitatively as they are in quantity.

The Doors of Perception, Harper Perennial, New York, 2004 [1954], pp. 30-31.

Can somebody help me get some mescaline, please? Where did those folks get it from in the 1960s? Legalizing drugs wouldn’t be a problem if there weren’t so many people who don’t know what to do with themselves and who’d use it just to kill time (and their mind).

Btw, Dürer’s disciples are also considered an illustration of the four temperaments (or four humours): choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic and sanguine. You decide which one is which!

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