Back – and sick

April 11, 2007 at 6:51 am | Posted in Sick | Leave a comment
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Both my boyfriend and me have returned with a slight fever and a sore throat – it’s one of the in between stages where you don’t know whether you should lie down or not. They’re the ones I like least.

I am off to work soon, let’s see how I am going to cope. If I had another day off on my hands, I’d start with a review of The House of Mirth. If I wrote a PhD about naturalism, like Cabbage does, I’d definitely frequently experience pangs of crushing depression. Everything that I feared was going to happen, happened – and if not exactly, then worse. Poor Lily Bart!

P.S.: My boyfriend consoled me by saying “But it did not really happen!” Somehow that made and makes no difference to me. It’s the discursive probability that saddens me:-(

I’m Reading The House of Mirth

April 2, 2007 at 10:14 pm | Posted in Literature | 4 Comments
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… by Edith Wharton and it’s fantastic. Too bad it is a tragedy, so it must end tragically. But I so much hoped for Lily Bart to marry Lawrence Selden (she! proposed after a fifth of the novel, with no kiss exchanged yet – but a woman, of course, cannot propose, and so her question wasn’t a proposal), but now I fear that she is going to lose the little money she has through Gus Trenor’s speculations… sigh…

Post for Cabbage: Early cinema

March 28, 2007 at 11:13 am | Posted in Film | 8 Comments
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An excerpt from an essay by Alfred Döblin about the cinema – early cinema, as the text was written in 1909. Bibliographic details: Alfred Döblin: Das Theater der kleinen Leute. In: Das Theater. Volume 1, No. 8 (Decemver 1909), pp. 191-192. Cited from: Prolog vor dem Film: Nachdenken über ein neues Madium, 1909-1914. Edited and commented by Jörg Schweinitz. Leipzig: Reclam, 1992, pp. 153-155, here: p. 155.

Deutlich erhellt: der Kientopp ist ein vorzügliches Mittel gegen den Alkoholismus, schärfste Konkurrenz der Sechserdestillen; man achte, ob die Lebercirrhose und die Geburten epileptischer Kinder nicht in den nächsten zehn Jahren zurückgehen. Man nehme dem Volk und der Jugend nicht die Schundliteratur noch den Kientopp, sie brauchen die sehr blutige Kost ohne die breite Mehlpampe der volkstümlichen Literatur und die wässrigen Aufgüsse der Moral. Der Höhergebildete aber verläßt das Lokal, vor allem froh, dass das Kinema – schweigt.

An attempt at a translation:

Clearly illuminated: the cinema is an excellent remedy for alcoholism, the keenest competition of small distilleries; one should pay attention whether cirrhosis of the liver and the birth of epileptic children aren’t going to decrease over the next ten years. One should bereave the people and the youth of neither pulp fiction nor cinema, they need the very bloody fare without the common stodge of folklore literature and the dilute infusions of morality. The person of higher education, however, leaves the locale, above all glad that the cinema is – silent.

Kientopp is an early expression for small cinemas and came out of fashion with the introduction of bigger movie theatres that tried to imitate bourgeois theatre. Smoking and drinking was allowed, it was cheap and – to the horror of the self-proclaimed educators of society – men and women sat down together in the same darkened room.

A Sechserdestille isn’t exactly an illegal pub (I don’t think), but a small place where people went to get cheap and heavy booze.

You might know Alfred Döblin through his novel Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929). He wasn’t a naturalist, but is deemed the German equivalent of James Joyce. Nevertheless, and considering this piece above was written in 1909, it might be useful for your project. Schweinitz’s collection of early writings about film is a treasure trove really, but I don’t think translated into English. Maybe something similar exists, or the doyen of early cinema, Thomas Elsaesser has published something.

Maybe Jetsam has suggestions for improving my translation.

Friendly Comment Spammers 29/40

March 21, 2007 at 7:32 am | Posted in Spam | Leave a comment
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Comment spam is a nuisance, but not an unsolvable problem if you’re on WordPress. Akismet catches most of the spam (after having given it some time to learn) and you only have to check every once and again whether it’s really all spam in the queue. Most spam turns out to be as nonsensical as this one (this, however, being an example of email spam):

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Tra1madol as low as $2.17
Levit1ra as low as $11.97

See our site!

US pha1rmacy for Americans!
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With best regards
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I can hardly imagine that anyone would buy Viagra from a website that presents itself in such a dyslexic fashion. The next one comes from almost the same category. Note the difference, however: They have built in something similar to the spam protection tricks on many websites. While you’d normally have to replace the [at] with @, they are asking you to replace the dash with a dot. I also enjoy the bit about Mr. Perkins and Mr. Crouch (why not ‘crotch’?)


VIArrGRA $3. 35
VALrrIUM $1. 25
CIArrLIS $3. 75



Replace “-” with “.” in the above link to make it working.

Its classified information, until such time as the Ministry decides to release it, said Percy stiffly. Mr. Crouch was quite right not to disclose it.

A cute translation trivia on the side: There is an old-fashioned German word for @ that was used by some in the early days of the internet, but has now fallen into oblivion: “der Klammeraffe”, meaning the clipping or clinging monkey:-)

Here is the friendliest comment spam so far. I almost de-spammed it, that’s how effective it was:

Comment Spam

Ooooooooooh! I just realized I forgot to capture the last line of this spam comment in my screen shot where it read I just wanted to write SOMEthing… and I thought that was kinda neat from a spammer. But I’ve already trashed it now.

P.S. So that was another trivia post. I must excuse myself for not coming up with anything more substantial at the moment. There are actual plenty of things on my mind, but I just don’t get around to writing them down. I also need to answer a couple of comments still (Baudrillard in particular, and read about Capitalism 3.0 and learn about the different epochs of American Naturalism). Hope to get around to this tonight.

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