Three Honourable Gentlemen, Laerke and Sainte-Beuve

(16.Feb.2019) Today is Saturday and the 16th of February. Which means that yesterday was my maternal grandmothers birthday. She was anno 1885 but died already in 1918 (link 1).

It’s nice and sunny here in central Copenhagen, in fact nice enough for me to having brought my old Hasselblad in it’s own easy to carry shoulder bag. Even if mostly because I need to make a few test shots.

The Hasselblad is a 500ELX. Bought in one of the friendly downtown photo stores, and for a pittance, really, due to several issues needing attention or repair. Which I’ve eventually managed to accomplish, I fancy.

The lens – a Zeiss Sonnar 150mm – has a tale of it’s own. It had two issues: The coating on the inner surface of the rear lens cell is defective – something occasionally seen with these older 150mm lenses, at least according to the talk about town.

Which means you must be careful to not have the sun rays directly into the lens, would make the lens almost opaque. If you, however, take care to avoid this special condition, you may still make perfectly sharp negatives but for a slight decrease in all over contrast.

The other issue is, the lens has been put together by combining two partially defective lenses. This means the front lens cells and the focusing mount are from one lens, while the rear lens cells are from another.

It turned out this changed the focus of the combination a bit, making the focus a few milimeter shorter. Which has made a recalibration of the focusing assembly necessary, of course.

Happily I seem to likewise having managed this by my own devises. On the ground glass everything seem ok, but you cannot really judge the sharpness at the edges of the frame on the ground glass, making a few test shots necessary.

I’ve brought a Kodak T-Max 400, but doubt I manage to do the tests today, after all.

This is because I once more happened to drop in on one of the antiquarian dutch book sales in the Heilig Geist Church House – the oldest house in Copenhagen, by the way.

And lo and behold – almost first rattle out of the box – or rather in the second row of books on the first table right inside the entrance – I oogled a marvellous sight: Thirteen nicely bound volumes of Sainte-Beuve’s CAUSERIES DU LUNDI.

I almost couldn’t believe my luck to have a chance to acquire this wonderful set for another pittance, i.e. 20 Kroner (3 dollars) per volume – 260 Kroner (39 dollars) in all.

Because – firstly you hardly ever see this set in our town. Secondly it’s very nicely bound in contemporary half calf. And thirdly the volumes are partly first editions (the late volumes are generally in first-, the middle volumes in second-, and the early in the third edition).

This means they are all from the 1850’s (when the author still lived (1804-69); the volumes were perhaps most likely originally acquired as a set right around 1860?), – and thus very likely nicer printed and more ligible than the later editions from, for instance, the 1920’s.

This paritular set has a very nice book-plate from a – completely unknown to me, of course – noblemans library:
‘Bibliotheque de Boussoit – Comte L. de Nedonchel’.

Here are a few of the articles from vol. 8 (sec. ed. 1855):

– Le Cardinal de Bernis
– De l’Ètat de la France sous Louis XV
– Malherbe et son Ecole
– Le Prince de Ligne
– Histoire litteraire de la France, publiee par l’Institut
– Le Roman de Renan

And a few articles from vol. 9 (sec. ed. 1856)

– Nouvelles Lettres de Madame, mere du Regent.
– Froissart
– Duclos
– M. de Stendhal
– Geoffroy de Villehardouin

Finally a few entries from vol. 10 (first ed. 1855)

– Oeuvres de Francois Arago
– Fenelon, sa Correspondance spirituelle et politique
– Buffon, ses Oeuvres annotees par M. Flourens
– Chateaubriand, Anniversaire du Genie du Christianisme
– Bossuet, Lettres de M. Poujoulat, Portrait par M. de Lamartine
– Saint-Martin, le Philosophe inconnu. (Link 2)

Of course the volumes 14 and 15 are not there, neither is the (much later issued) register volume 16. But of small avail, I trust many of you may feel like me, that the first 13 volumes no doubt contain ‘good stuff a’plenty’

In the BurgerKing close to the City House, where I’m now writing this while sipping coffee, some nice person left an issue of todays Politiken, the leading daily in our small capital. Why not take a quick look at a few headlines?

On page 6 of the general news section there is a whole-page treatment of the predicament of the rising tension between the European Union and Russia.

This is once again making it abundantly clear, that contemporary European statesmen are either completely obtuse to or even clueless about what’s in fact going on on the big scene.

Compare this headline from yesterdays internet news site Zerohedge.com:

Russians Told To “Prepare For Worst Outcome” As US Prepares New Sanctions
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-15/russians-told-prepare-worst-outcome-us-proposes-new-sanctions

Without going into an extended analysis of the disgraceful history of the quite recent and sudden decay in the friendly post-1990 cohabitation between Eastern- and Western-Europe – Russia and the EU – you have to necessarily behold and keep in mind the obvious fact, that the US is frantically, almost desperately trying to provoke a confrontation between Russia and the rest of Europe.

It’s even clear – except for those who will not see, of course? – that the US and its friends are systematically and deliberately trying to drum up a (nuclear?) war between Europe and Russia.

The US and its friends seemingly endeavor, infamously and maliciously, to have Russia and Europe destroy each other so as to eventually split the spoils between themselves and China?

Please compare my blog update from last December 28. (whence I repeat the highlights concerning the recent G.20 conference, tweets of mine are indexed with an asteriks, comments with an arrow):

*In early a.m. of Wednesday Nov.28.2018 had vision of US-President donning his new, green Chinese generals uniform. The Uniform was however in Russian Style. Thats why I tweeted that same wednesday that Xi and US are going to embrace in #G20 and split up #Russia.

*(28.Nov.2018) In early a.m. there were rumours in the ether that US & Xi are going to embrace at G20. The split: US to have Europe to Urals, Xi to have Siberia to Urals and IL gets MiddleEast?

>The above two tweets seem to have made quite an impact. You can follow a bit of the resulting panic reaction here:

*Trump Cancels G-20 Meeting With Putin
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11-29/trump-cancels-g-20-meeting-putin

*One Snub Too Many: Kremlin Sours On Trump As “Patience Coming To An End”
“We can do ‘give and take’ but not ‘give and give’.”
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-06/one-snub-too-many-kremlin-sours-trump-patience-coming-end

*Trump told Erdogan in the Dec. 14 call, “OK, it’s all yours. We are done.”
Turkey Says US Agreed To Vacate Syrian Kurdish Enclave As Ground Attack Imminent
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-25/turkey-says-us-agreed-vacate-syrian-kurdish-enclave-ground-attack-imminent

*(The Race to Obfuscate: Meng Wanzhou The Red Herring?)
What does NOT make sense is that the arrest happened on Saturday and markets did not find out about it until Wednesday night.
This is where what had to be a massive conspiracy of silence begins to raise some interesting questions.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-12/larry-lindsey-something-about-huawei-cfo-arrest-doesnt-make-sense

*And then? Come G20, ‘nothing’. Trump stalks the edges of G20 looking tense and defensive. He was no alpha-male, dominating these events. He looked crocked. It was all a bit of a dud, really
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-10/what-didnt-happen-g20-far-more-important-what-did

*The Presidents of two pre-eminent military and nuclear powers, who sit astride major geo-political faultlines, and who need to talk, circled each other, closed-faced, and without stretching out hands – they could not find even, the subterfuge for sitting together.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-10/what-didnt-happen-g20-far-more-important-what-did

*Jatras concludes, more in sorrow than in anger, “it would be only a small exaggeration to say that with respect to foreign and security policy, Trump is now a mere figurehead of the permanent state. Even if Trump and Putin do happen to meet again, what can the latter expect the former to say that would make any difference?”.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-10/what-didnt-happen-g20-far-more-important-what-did

>Also the former insider, gen. Wesley Clark, is obviously confused. He would be, ofcourse, because he haven’t had a chance to read my blog (unlike a few other top players), hence he simply don’t know the lay out:

*Ex-NATO Commander Wesley Clark To CNN: Did Erdogan Blackmail Trump?
“Was there a payoff or something? What was it? Why would a guy make a decision like this?”
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-24/ex-nato-commander-wesley-clark-cnn-did-erdogan-blackmail-trump

And almost as insanely as tellingly, the US is now again preparing new sanctions on Russia – while concurrently doing everything to negotiate a trade deal with China. Sadly, on this issue nothing of real importance has changed materially since December 28th!

On page 20/21 of the Art Section of Politiken you find a double spread about an exhibition of ‘Queer Art’ in the Willumsen museum in Frederikssund.

What caught my eye was a photograph by the brilliant photographer Laerke Posselt, whom I knew slightly more than a decade ago.

She was then strikingly beautiful, intelligent and cultured, and almost as interested in old photographic paraphernalia as myself, to boot. Something that’s not easily accomplished, I dare say.

The reproduced photograph of a young teenage queer is straight (no pun intended, I assure you) but on it’s own and alone hardly extraordinary?

On page 5 of the Feuilleton section there is an important essay by three of the certainly most distinguished and upright gentlemen in contemporary Danish public debate: Ole Hasselbalch, Bjoern Elmquist and Ole Stig Andersen (link 3).

At issue is the fastly increasing surveillance and censorship by government in our small country. However I haven’t yet managed to peruse the essay in detail and thus have to confine myself to generalities.

What I find especially important, and also somewhat neglected about the issue of surveillandce is the notion, that more or less constant and ubiquitous surveillance is certainly in disagreement with our constitution (the Grundlov) by limiting citizens constitutionally guaranteed right of free movement and travel very materially (Par.71).

If you as a rule have to report to the government every few minutes or hours, meters or kilometers, yards or miles when moving or travelling you have certainly not freedom of movement.

And it doesn’t really mitigate your predicament that the reporting is now fully automatic and electronic and, perhaps even clandestintly, relayed to Government or their Secret Police.

On page 8 of the Book Section there is a review of a stark satire on the plutocracy in modern Germany – ‘HOCHDEUTCHLAND’ – by Alexander Schimmelbusch.

However I have to call it a day as I need to be all set for the poor man’s opera tonight (on my radio). But hope to comment soon on HOCHDEUTSCHLAND. Keep posted, svp.

Link 1.
En minderune

Link 2.
Lidt om illuminater

Link 3.

Malebranche, Carlyle, Stefan Zweig And Your Pet

(16./18.Febr.2019)

Crossposted on www.gamleboeger.dk and http://blocnotesimma.wordpress.com

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