Interview with Woody Allen 
Wednesday, 22 .June, 2005, 17:44 - English Entries, Movies

The online version of German magazine "Spiegel" has an interview with Woody Allen - you can find it here.

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Read: Schmerznovelle bei Helmut Krausser 
Wednesday, 22 .June, 2005, 17:44 - English Entries, Literature

Kraussers "Schmerznovelle" (tranlates somehow to "pain novella") has not been translated into English yet. The only book of him that made it into English is "The Great Bagarozy", of which I only saw the film version. I have the movie in good memory.

A friend of mine recommended Krausser to me. Schmerznovelle was the first book I read that was written by him.

It is a completely exceptional book. It is short, dense, intelligent, thrilling and most of all it left me totally confused. Confused first about the story itself, that got twisted all the time, even in the very last chapter. I did not understand the last chapter - leave it like this for the moment.

The real confusion did not grow from the turns of story, but from the destruction of reality that Krausser slowly waves into the short chapters. From a point on there are only phenomens left, but it is impossible to make definitive statements about them. You see the story going forward, you understand what is happening, but neither the main character nor the reader can interpret it anymore. There are several interpretations given - but which one is true? Is there any true interpreation at all?

So the only person that is really trustable is the main character, who tells the story. He tells the story by looking at it mostly in a straight time-line, but throws some reports and letters into the middle, that made me think I would know how the book goes on. Nothing I knew. And then in the very end, our narrator is put in front of an unclear background. Two sentences are enough to let us understand that there was more to him then we saw during the novel. His story was not told completely, he stayed silent about certain parts, he tried to appear different to us then he really is. But still, it might be that these two sentences do not mean much. We don't know. We cannot know, the book ends here.

"Reality is just the nearest myth" ("Realität ist nur die nächstliegende Fiktion") Krausser writes and then he takes away every base for anything that is near - he forces you to chose your personal reality myth and by chosing one you will always doubt it. It did not come along obviously, you selected it. You can never be sure of. But if you cannot be sure of this piece of reality, which one can you be sure of at all? Did he really only remove the knife from the corpse, as he assumes, as he cannot remember it anymore, or did he maybe even put the knife into the body when it was still living? What will he choose?

The book holds some exreme sexual scenes, that one might object to or enjoy, there is most likely no other way to feel about them. It is definitly not one of these "listen to me, I talk about sex and perversion" books. To get stimulation from what is written there you have to have a ...special approach to sexual intercourse. Which does not mean that it would not be stimulating, just saying that most likely not for everybody.

The language is at every moment perfect. There is not a word too much, you never have the feeling that the author talks too much. The chapters are short and Krausser has a unique way to put "bigger spaces" between paragrahs. Ususally these spaces indicate a shifting of scenes or a time gap, some books indicate them with three stars ("***") or something like that. Not at all here. There is just a gap and then the story goes on. These gaps are put in the middle of dialogues and at least for me they put my attention up, it had the effect of ringing a bell.

Metaphors in this book are never lame or wrongly placed, although there are quite a number of them. There are some paragraphs were we just have to follow the narrators views on life and its meaning - they are as thrilling as the story that goes on around them.

If they don't translate it, this book is one of the few reasons that I know why somebody should learn German.

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To those who ask how my vacation is 
Tuesday, 21 .June, 2005, 17:42 - English Entries, Thoughts

When I ate the Pizza Quattro downstairs in one of the four Pizza places around my home, there was a seagull sitting on a car and looking as if it owned it. Most likely the seagull did, just the guy who parked the vehicle there did not know. That happend while the sun was shining, the Pizza hot and the beer good. Amazing how many things are going on in parallel - pedestrians found the time to walk by, grass was growing on the other side of the road.

Is it a bird? Is it a ...

Soon we will have two holidays in a row, i.e. all shops will be closed. I wonder what would be worst to run out of during that time. There is always the filling station around the corner, I know, but maybe all oil resources get used up until Friday and the filling stations have to close down. I am sure they can still survive by selling milk, bread and other food for prices higher than chemical stocks, but let's don't make the thought too complicated and just assume I would run out of chocolate, coffee or yoghurt. I am meditating about this question, that at the moment - with two holidays coming closer, as said - seems of existencial importance.

In order to proof to me that I am not completely paralized by fear, I went down to the supermarket and bought all three goods in heavy overdozes, just to ensure that I will face the problem only mentally but not physically. Although the White Stripes say: "The problems at hand are lighter than at heart" I would not like to try.

Now the coffee is brewing, just one more cup of coffee. I opend all windows and a bee or something like that flew in. It stopped in the air. Waited. Flew a straight line down to the left. Waited again. Flew a straight line up left. Waited. Always when waiting it was moving its little wings very fast and tried to look like an electron, of which you can either know the position or its speed, but never both at the same time - blurry and impressive. It flew some more straight lines before it left - in a straight line. What I really regret is, that I do not remember the geometrical pattern it drew into the air, with the heavy green leaves of the birch (koivu) trees as a background. Maybe it was message. Something like "Don't let your coffee brew too long, else it will taste bitter" or the coordinates of the planetary system, from which the insect origined.

It is deep in the afternoon, the sun will be out another six or seven hours. My brain leans lazy on the top of my spine and the music sounds beautifully destructive. And the grass is still growing, listen to it!

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Lake Espoo and Espoonlahti - or: the Elk Trip 
Monday, 20 .June, 2005, 17:41 - English Entries, Helsinki, Finland, Cycling

I did some smallar cycling trips during the last days, but today I wanted to see more of Espoo, so I started West. You can see the trip from the map below.

The Elk trip

It took me quite long to go through Läppävaara, Kilo and Kauniainen. The map that I use is very good for that region, but there are too many streets and so I had to stop every few minutes and find out which way to go. Still it was beautiful to go there, especially as long parts of the journey went through wood and green.

Close to Bemböle is a big street crossing - it must be a festival for highways. There is also a Kahvila (Cafe) close to the crossing, but somehow it manages that to give you a quiet atmosphere, even when sitting outside, eating a sandwich and drinking a beer, as I did.

After that break I went around Lake Espoo, which I did not see too much of. The road went through the woods and gave me the joy of hills nearly all the way - which was really fun. Besides trees there are also golf courses in that area. Most likely they breed them there and lots of people with "handicaps" too. That is not an insult! A handicap means something different in Golf-language, but don't ask me what. I know some golfers, they are good people and I always wonder how they could end up with that sport.

Lake Espoo

There is a little beach at Oittaa and they also have a Kahvila there, which I can very much recommend. I took half a liter of water, coffee and a chees cake and did not believe the lady when she said "Kolme E-uro" (that's three Euro). It was really true. Ok, the chees cake was not too big, but it was good. Besides that the beach is small and there are only normal people and children - nobody tries to show off. I sat on a wooden terrass in the sun and planned the next moves.

Down to Espoon Keskus where I lost my way, as the merciless map shows. But only for a few minutes, then back on track to the Southern part of Espoo. Shortly after Espoon Keskus is a large park area that is worth seeing. Most of it is wood, there are some lakes and meadows with violet flowers, of which I do not know the name (did not even make a picture ... stupid me).

Smaller Lakes on the way

I followed the indications to Espoonlahti, which I should not have done. They lead me to the town center of Espoonlahti and not to the sea. Also this is obvious from the map, as I drove one part twice from West to East (see lower left corner). But I finally made it to the shore. The whole are there reminded me of Tegernsee, a place close to my home town. A lot of not-so-poor people seem to live there, which one can see from the houses and the ships. If you go there, you will understand them - it is again beautiful.

Somehow I feel like I have to apologize for only seeing and talking about beautiful things. Please wait until Winter, then you will read other content here.

In Tapiola

The way back was easy after some food ("Mega Dog" - the Fin-Esso version of a hot dog, don't forget to stress the first syllable of Mega - it is not Meeeega it is _Me_ga) and ice tea it was just like rolling home.

Before I took the bike out of the cellar I was not aware how green Helsinki and Espoo are, although I lived in Espoo for a while and was aware that it is more a collection of settlements with forests and meadows inbetween than a real city. As there are so many recreation areas there are never too many people at one place. It is quite easy to find a smaller lake where you can sit alone for a while. After that while it seems strange that only several hundred meters away are the two biggest cities of Finland.

Now look a the outline of the trip. It looks like an elk or a reindeer. That was not my intention, but somehow my subconcious must have take part in that.

Anybody interested in cycling there together?

One more thing on the mega dog. The guy who gave it to me asked "do you want also the spicy sauce" and usually I say no, but this time I tried it. Daring. The he asked if I want the normal or the spicy sausage and I went for the spicy one as well. Very Daring. The effect was zero. The Finish version of Spicy not only leaves your stomach lining intact (German: Magenschleimhaut), it also does not jump on your tongue. It is the silent (spicy) way of this country.

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Seen: Star Wars Episode III 
Saturday, 18 .June, 2005, 17:40 - English Entries, Movies

There would be lots of things to say about this movie, but I think all of it has already been said. It is a more than worthy ending for this great adventure - Lucas really did it all better than ever before.

Episode I and II were disappointments to me, although the ending of II had already some scenes in it where the spirit (or the force?) came alive again. It was the first time we saw Yoda fighting and I felt as excited as I felt when he, many many years ago, in another galaxy, taught "young Skywalker" to be a Jedi. And this time? He enters the room to confront the source of all evil and when two of the guards want to make a move for him, he just lets them break down by a little hand gesture, not even looking at them.

Everything is it the peek of strength in this movie, the legend shivering with power and within all that we have a real story. The big question "how could Anakin turn Vader" is answered in a more complex way than I have thought. No no - it is not an intellectual thriller this time, it is still the good old straight-forward star wars, but there is a reflection of Goethes Faust in Skywalkers eyes when he is listening to the messenger from the dark side.

The movie starts high up in the sky, spaceships batteling - and ends in the black and red hell of a vulcanic planet. Symbolism all around, but most of the time it is done so well that you think it is the story you are watching, not the message. And still there are jokes, the movie is making fun of itself without going ever too far (at least in I & II they went over the top).

It gets 9 out of 10, because I did not like how Palpetine was played when he showed his dark side. Everything else was what it should be: legendary.

-- original date: June 18th 2005 --

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