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View Full Version : Going to Mitteleuropa tomorrow...AHHH, what to bring to READ?


Ukulele Ike
08-02-2007, 05:05 PM
Leaving on a jet aeroplane for Munich tomorrow night. After a few days, train to Austria; bicycles along the Danube to Vienna. Then into the Czech Republic and on to Prague. Many small towns between the cities. Planes, trains, automobiles, bicycles. A little over two weeks. What do I bring along to REEEEEEEAD....?

Without going beyond the bedroom bookcases, I have stacked up beside me

Barbara W. Tuchman; The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War 1890-1914. This one I bought special for the trip....it's probably the only nonfiction I'm going to pack.
Arthur Schnitzler; The Road into the Open
Arthur Schnitzler; Selected Short Fiction (no, it's not there. Where the Hell is it? Maybe Pianola [17 year old daughter] took it with HER....I told her she really HAD to read "Fraulein Else." She's in Paris now, and is meeting us by the Starnbergersee. If she DIDN'T bring it I'm gonna kill her.)
Robert Musil; The Man Without Qualities, Vol. I
Stefan Zweig; Beware of Pity
Jaroslav Hasek; The Good Soldier Svejk
Frederic Morton; A Nervous Splendor
Thomas Bernhard; The Voice Imitator: 104 Stories

Some of these I read years ago....some I started and never finished....the Musil and the Zweig I never even opened. On the way to work tomorrow I pass several fine bookshops, if someone thinks I should be reading something not listed above.

An Gadaí
08-02-2007, 05:27 PM
Fiction or non-fiction?
Non-fiction, I recommend Norman Davies' Europe: A History. It's a big book but has lots of wonderful passages about Mitteleuropa.

Ukulele Ike
08-02-2007, 05:34 PM
Fiction, I think. The Tuchman should be plenty of non-fiction for this trip.

If I want other non-fiction a quick run to the basement shelves offers me....umm....

Edward Crankshaw's The Fall of the House of Habsburg
Alan Palmer's Twilight of the Habsburgs
and
William Johnston's The Austrian Mind: An Intellectual and Social History 1848-1938.

And some more fiction. Without digging too deeply, I've got

Joseph Roth; The Radetzky March
and
Bruno Schulz; The Street of Crocodiles.

Well okay, I guess that one's Polish.

Athena
08-02-2007, 05:35 PM
Why, the lovely little edition of War and Peace I picked up at the used bookstore the other day. It's only about 4 inches tall and about 1.5 inches thick, printed on India paper. It's so damn cute I couldn't resist, even though I have at least two other copies of War and Peace. This one is like a travel edition War and Peace.

Oxford University Press, "The World's Classics" #233. No publication date that I can find, oddly enough, but it does have what I think is a price tag on it reading "30/-n UK"so it's got to be older than 1971, right?

Athena
08-02-2007, 05:39 PM
OK, since you can't get my War & Peace out of my grubby paws, how about some Ian McEwan? I've read "Saturday" and "Atonement" lately, and "On Chesil Beach" is on the bookshelf. I really like how he gets in people's heads.

That's it for me. Everything else I've read lately has been non-fiction.

Ukulele Ike
08-02-2007, 05:54 PM
Athena --

Pianola's got a copy of War and Peace with her, believe it or not.

I think what I'm really looking for, though, is a proper work of German, Austrian, or Czech lit. And I'm partial to late-19th, early 20th century.

I'm looking forward to visiting Fraz von Stuck (http://franz_von_stuck.tripod.com/)'s villa in Munich, for example.

capybara
08-03-2007, 09:44 AM
Ah, I'd recommend Schorske's "Fin de Siecle Vienna", but you're already on a plane.

Or Milan Kundera?

Bridget Burke
08-03-2007, 10:10 AM
Well, it's probably too late to search for an old paperback copy of The Enquiries of Doctor Eszterhazy by Avram Davidson. The more recent Adventures of Doctor Eszterhazy is even harder to find at a decent price.

But that's what I would take to Mitteleuropea.

Doctor Eszterhazy sought out the unusual at the turn of the last century, in the Triune Monarchy of Scythia- Pannonia-Transbalkania--perhaps best described as an "alternate" Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Davidson built his fantasies on a deep knowledge of history, language, religion & the arcane. And topped them off with dollops of wit--instead of Schlag!

twickster
08-03-2007, 10:23 AM
Magic Mountain.

Ukulele Ike
08-03-2007, 12:26 PM
Nope, still here. Leave for the airport in a few hours.

I love Davidson, but definitely too late to search for anything out of print. Thomas Mann is a fine suggestion, but I don't know if I want to undertake Magic Mountain just now; I have a new translation of his novellas and short stories I might bring. "The Blood of the Walsungs" would be great fun to reread.

Let me google the Schorske, I don't know it.

Ukulele Ike
08-03-2007, 12:33 PM
Wait, yes I do. Second-shelved on one of the basement bookcases. I didn't look back there.

capybara
08-03-2007, 01:11 PM
How about Graham Greene?

Ukulele Ike
08-03-2007, 03:00 PM
Don't rub it in. Whenever I think about Vienna I imagine myself win one of those fur-collared topcoats that Ernst Deutsch or Siegfried Breuer wore in The Third Man.

Unfortunately, it's going to be in the mid-eighties there.

twickster
08-03-2007, 03:13 PM
...Unfortunately, it's going to be in the mid-eighties there.
Centigrade or Fahrenheit? ;)

kellner
08-03-2007, 03:16 PM
Unfortunately, it's going to be in the mid-eighties there.Ah, come on, Austrians may be a bit behind the times but it's not that bad. :D

Ukulele Ike
08-03-2007, 04:15 PM
...okay, I'm taking the Zweig and the Bernhard in addition to the Tuchman.

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