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Review: Party in the Blitz December 30, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Review: Party in the Blitz

Elias Canetti was a Bulgarian-Swiss-British writer, who wrote autobiography, a particularly twisted form of central European sociology and who penned one important modernist novel, translated into English as Auto-da-fé. He won a Nobel Prize in 1981, which is, of course, no guarantee of quality: Dario Fo and the EU did, Borges and Calvino didn’t. But […]

Capital Problems March 19, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval
Capital Problems

Capital cities should represent a country. They should be the head that directs and controls: unless you live in a properly federal society and there are none of those left. But what happens when capitals come to outweigh and dominate the country that they stand in? Take an example from close to this blogger’s home. […]

From Vienna to the Baltic in Roman Times November 28, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient

  A couple of rarely examined sentences in Pliny’s Natural History (37,45) give the outline of a grand old Roman adventure in the times of the Emperor Nero (54 AD 68 AD). There are about 600 miles from Carnuntum [Roman camp close to Vienna] in Pannonia to the shores of Germany from which amber is […]

D’Annunzio Over Vienna August 15, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
D'Annunzio Over Vienna

Gabrielle D’Annunzio – poet, fighter and proto-fascist – is one of the few individuals in Beachcombing’s reference cabinet to have a file all to himself: he started his life in ‘Italian Eccentrics’ but there was just so much material that he was shunted out into a manila folder of his own. In the many foolscap […]

Cat Fishing and Brahms April 13, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Cat Fishing and Brahms

Again apologies for cessation in email communications and posting, Beachcombing is on the mend and normal service should resume tomorrow. *** Not so long ago Beachcombing said something unwise about musicians, namely that  the classically inclined folk prior to the shamans of modern rock did not have particularly bizarre lives and that music was a […]

Transvestite Knights in the Thirteenth Century March 7, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Transvestite Knights in the Thirteenth Century

Ulrich von Liechtenstein (obit 1278) was a standard thirteenth-century knight. He had castles (three of them). He fought – above all, in Eastern Germany. And he also dressed up as a woman and rode from Maestre (Venice) up to Vienna. Yes, yes, Beachcombing stopped too when he first read this many years ago. But now […]