Writing East and West

Month: October 2022

Protests and bullets

Elias Canetti in his memoir recalls an event as of July 15, 1927 that even many years afterwards was clearly photographed on his brain. At that time, workers were shot in Burgenland, Austria, but the murderers were acquitted. That caused an uproar in Vienna.

In Picasso’s Temple

Picasso’s studio was a “temple of a kind of Picasso religion”, according to his late lover Françoise Gilot. Among its regular visitors was the photographer Brassai who was known for his clumsiness and Picasso took pleasure in taunting him with the words, “Well, what are you going to destroy today?”

Boas on Russia, 1914

„Thus Russia has only one goal, to become the largest power as leader of all Slavic peoples. That would mean about the same as if England or the United States or Germany wanted to be the leader of these three nations plus Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, as well as Holland and Belgium because these languages are related.“

(Franz Boas, German-American anthropologist, in a personal letter to his son, British Columbia, August 15, 1914, in: The Ethnography of Franz Boas: Letters and Diaries of Franz Boas Written on the Northwest Coast from 1886 to 1931, compiled and ed. by Ronald P. Rohner, Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1969, p. 273.)

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