Månedsarkiv: september 2018

Kai Friis Moeller – H.G. Wells – Queen Christina – Madame de Pompadour

(18.Sept.2018) Today is tuesday and I believe perhaps I’ve never seen a nicer September day here in Copenhagen. Bright and clear and sunny and neither hot nor cold nor windy – just about perfect.

It was thus sort of unfortunate that I didn’t feel like making a photographic outing with one of my old plate cameras this morning. Also I have some Ektachromes in the refrigerator in various cut film sizes that perhaps ought to be put to task before too long. But just not today.

Instead I’ve managed to get Ubuntu installed on an old ThinkPad of mine. And – ofcourse – I’ve also managed to get a chance to visit the book cases in the Copenhagen book street, Fiolstraede, as well as the ongoing dutch book sale in the CoalMarket (Kultorvet).

At Paludan’s in Fiolstraede I found two slim volumes by one of the greatest critics in 20th century Denmark – le redoutable Kai Friis Moeller. Both volumes issued in 1946. The price was 10 kr each ($1,50).

1. ET NARRESKIB. Af Kai Friis Moeller. Copenhagen, 1946, Gyldendal, 75p. Very nicely bound in contemporary, wine red cloth. Original edition was issued in 1935.

The six essays offered here seem to more or less have a common thread of sarcasm. Here is the beginning of item number four: LE NU ARTISTIQUE.

‘Hr. Dr. phil. Martin Ellehauge, der har vundet sig en position ved at skrive bøger paa engelsk om engelske dramatikere, er nu debuteret ogsaa som dansk forfatter med en bog om sine dramatiske landsmænd.

‘Hvad man end kan sige om denne gennemgang af efterkrigstidens danske dramatik, saa vil den i hvert fald ikke friste læseren til at gentage den kompliment, som hans første bog om engelsk skuespildigtning skal have indbragt ham i TIMES’ LITERARY SUPPLEMENT, at ‘hans kritik er behagelig fri for modefordomme’:

‘Bogen er i hver eneste linje ligefrem imprægneret med alle den hyperortodokse psyko-analytikers seksuelle tvangstanker, ytrede med en fanatisk ihærdighed, som hundrede aar ud i fremtiden vil gøre den til en lækkerbidsken for den forsker, der maatte ønske at studere danske modefordomme af 1933 i deres naiveste form.’

(There you are – please!)

2. PROFANE PROFETER. Af Kai Friis Moeller. Copenhagen, 1946, Gyldendal, 148p. Original edition was issued in 1922.

There are 11 essays, and here a couple of samples from EN GUDFORLADT BIBEL:

‘I et tidligere kapitel har jeg refereret, hvorledes H.G.Wells i sin nyeste bog, THE SALVAGING OF CIVILISATION, foreholder vor stakkels verdensdel USA som den ideelle, rent unationale statsformation, efter hvis mønster man foreløbig burde omdanne de nationalitetsbestemte europæiske riger til ‘Europas forenede Stater’ – som det første skridt henimod virkeliggørelsen af tusindaarsriget ‘The World State’. Jeg har tillige paavist, at denne skønne fantasi bygger paa en fuldkommen misforstaaelse af amerikanismen.

A few pages later he says:

‘Lad os et øjeblik sammenholde denne kaadmundede bestemmelse af nationalitetsbegrebet med en anden og mere alvorlig. Den hidrører ikke fra nogen af Mr. Wells’ modstandere, men tværtimod fra en af de store ahner til den tidsaand, hvis endelige forfald markeres tydeligt igennem bøger som den foreligende.

‘Den jeg vil citere, er ERNEST RENAN: I et navnkundigt foredrag, holdt paa Sorbonne i 1882, har han stillet nøjagtigt det samme spørgsmaal som nu Wells: Qu’est-ce qu’une nation? Og ligesom wells, blot grundigere, har han paavist, at hverken i Racen, Sproget, Religionen, Interessefællesskabet eller Geografien har nationen det, den kan hælde sit hoved til.

‘Men af den grund falder det ham ikke ind at lade haant om den nationale idé. Tværtimod giver han den klare definition heraf, som Encyclopaedia Britannica opgiver at finde, og som Wells finder det næsten hyklersk blot at søge efter:

‘En nation er en sjæl, et aandeligt princip. To omstændigheder, der i virkeligheden er een og samme, danner denne sjæl, dette aandelige princip. Den ene ligger i det forbigangne, den anden i det nærværende. Den ene er den fælles besiddelse af en rig arv af minder; den anden er den nuværende slægts samtykke, beslutningen om at leve sammen, viljen til fremdeles at gøre den arv gældende, som man har modtaget udelt’.

These lines of M. Renan brings to mind an essay from two years ago (Link 1) in which I stated: ‘Moral betyder ansvar for vort fælles kosmiske arvegods’, which should somehow update the above to be suitable for our own age, the Space Age? (The mantra may perhaps be translated into English approx. like this: ‘Morality means respect and responsibility for the common cosmic heritage’?).

In the dutch book sale in the CoalMarket the price today is 20 kr ($3). I found these

3. BAROKTIDS-MÄNNISKORNA I ROM. Av Kasimir Chledowski. 2nd ed. (Translated from the polish by E.Weer). Hugo Gerber, Stockholm, 1920. 531 p. ill.

This beautifully bound volume, printed on de luxe paper, has 17 chapters and among the names treated are: Orsini, Borghese, Galilei, Bernini, de la Trémouille, and – in chapt. 12 – ‘Drottning Kristina in Rom’.

This strange woman probably still have an interest for some readers in the Nordic countries. The author treats of her on 82 pages, but doesn’t mention the follwing curious facts about her ancestors.

She may, ofcourse, have her name from her great-grandmother Christina, duchess of Holstein-Gottorp. Christina of Holstein again had the same name as her mother, Countess (‘Landgravess / Landgrevinde’) of Hesse, married to the well known Landgrave of Hesse, Philip the Magnanimous (1504-67), called ‘an eminent warrior’ but also renowned for his weakness towards the fair sex.

Philip was a direct descendent of Germany’s national Saint, St.Elizabeth – also called Elizabeth of Thüringen or of Hungary. Elizabeth (1207-31) was a daughter of the Hungarian king Andreas II and his German queen Gertrud of Merania.

Queen Christina also – through her great-grandfather, the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp – descended from a nephew af St.Elizabeth, i.e. the Hungarian king Stephan V, whose queen was a turkish princess Elizabeth of Kumania (daughter of a Prince Zayhan ‘of the family of the Chans of the Kuths’).

Queen Christina hence had trace amounts of both Hungarian and Turkish blood running in her veins, and this fact may, or may not, explain some of her resolve and hard edges, not (now) typical of the Nordic peoples?

Much has been written about Queen Christine (1629-89), but as far as I know the above facts haven’t been mentioned. Space age Germanic peoples – and especially the Nordics? – normally dont talk about their ancestors. Perhaps they have been mesmerized into believing they haven’t any?

If so this would fit smoothly with the modern (Danish) political philosophy of disruption: ‘Burn everything down every 7 years’ (link 2) – and ‘Don’t look back – look forward!’. The problem is, ofcourse, if you don’t have a history – neither do you have a future. (link 3)

In any case, the Nordic peoples and their culture are – sadly, but obviously – dying. The same applies, I’m afraid, to much of (Western) Europe. Except for Hungary, perhaps, that seems to have more stamina than most. (note 1)

(Incidentally queen Christina was a second cousin to one Joachim von Holstein, who owned an estate in Mecklenburg (note 2) and whose son was captain Philip Christoph von Holstein (1693-1759). This gentleman lived for a few years in the first half of the 18th century in a village in Northern Jutland, Goettrup. He was one of the Godfathers for my maternal great-great-great-great-grandfather, born 1742, who got his name Christopher after him).

4. MADAME DE POMPADOUR. By Nancy Mitford. Translated into Danish by K. Windfeld-Hansen. Copenhagen, Grafisk, 1955, soft cover.

I’ve already managed to read a few dozen pages of this very interesting tale from the reign of Louis XV, the french king that ruled for abt. two generations in the 18th century.

One irritating detail is she gets around the complicated family history of the most important persons she relates about in a rather cavalier way. F.i. she doesn’t mention, that the so-called Regent – the Duke (Philip) of Orleans, that ruled from 1715-23 while Louis XV was but a child – was a nephew of Louis XIV. And so on and so forth, the extended royal family was enormous and is hardly possible to keep tab on for most readers without some help from the author.

But it’s nearly always particularly interesting to read female authors of history and memoirs. Usually you are then also relieved of the burden of hearing of all the foolish and dreary wars and campaigns.

Note 1.
As an aside: The Hungarian language is said to have more affinities with Sumerian than any other known language. A distant second and/or third reportedly are Finnish and Turkish.

Note 2.
Joachim Jürgen v. Holstein was a grandson of the Duke Johan Frederik of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp (1578-1634). He became archbishop of Bremen-Verden and was, like his grandfather Philip the Magnanimous, renowned for his weakness towards the fair sex, even if he never married. A historian (1718) relates about him, that he was “von einer sehr geistlichen Lebens-Art, da er nur 3 Maitressen zugleich hielt”.

1. http://www.gamleboeger.dk/2016/09/01/fugleperspektiv/

2. http://www.gamleboeger.dk/2018/01/10/disruption-and-wispy-trails/

2. https://blocnotesimma.wordpress.com/2019/05/05/huxley-lauto-van-gogh-the-universe-piet-hein/


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

Tweets on www.twitter.com/gamleboeger *)

(*)My twitter account now has been banned by the friendly folks at Twitter – i.e. I cannot access it. My first blog www.imma.smartlog.dk, that I started in 2008 was totally blocked in 2014 (after attaining abt. 100 hits/day) when I posted this satire (in danish) http://blocnotesimma.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/krig-krig-krig/ ).

NINE-ELEVEN-EIGHTEEN or Ob Einem Manne Sey Zunemen Ein Eelichs Weyb Oder Nicht?

That’s a lot in one headline! But let’s just start at ‘the beginning’.

Nine-Eleven seems to have been the beginning of the so-called ‘War on Terror’. Planned and perpetrated, perhaps, by certain parties that hoped to win the world? – or perhaps to wreck the world through the ensuing chaos?

If this hypothesis is tentatively accepted, what can we then possibly say abt. how things are running along right now?

Well – in some ways the hypothetical plotters obviously have had at least some degree of success:

1. The economy is now almost perfectly set up for the next Grand Wrecking Party. Trillions of ‘fake’ dollars ‘printed’ and circulated without being backed by a corresponding amount of trillions of dollars of new value created – ofcourse amounts to really stealing the necessary ‘collateral’ from the value of already existing dollars/dollar-accounts. That is, the value of your dollar bills and your saving accounts is correspondingly diminished. Keine Hexerei – nur Behändigkeit!

These trillions of – what virtually amounts to – counterfeit dollars ofcourse tend to insanely inflate the nominal dollar value of the various kinds of hard assets, especially land and housing.

The money printers – the large global banks and private bankers, that also own/control the major central banks – have managed to have their puppet-economists and puppet-politicians obfuscate these rather simple facts mainly by keeping the value of land and housing out of the inflationary indexes. Quite insane, obviously!

In the last decade ‘everybody’ have been borrowing money like mad to buy starkly inflated assets – bonds, shares and housing mostly – at very low if not nearly zero rates.

Made possible by the banks having now for some years been swimming in massive amounts of easy – ‘counterfeit’ – dollars and euros.

The catch, ofcourse, is that all these loans ultimately have to be repaid in full. That is – if you and your progeny are not to be effectively debt-slaves for the rest of yours and their life. And remember most peoples salaries have in fact been stagnating or even diminishing throughout the same decade.

So when the general populace begin to realize that everybody are too deeply indebted to ever being able to repay this debt, then the panic should start? And that, I (and others) believe, is where we may be right now. That is, in these days and hours. Even Goldman-Sachs claim most crash indicators have been flashing a stark red within the last few days (cfm. zerohedge dot com).

2. There is thus seemingly an urgent need for another horrible, massively brutal and reckless terror- or war-happening? And as today is Sunday Sept.9th – wouldn’t it be just hunky-dory if ‘someone’ could please stage a chemical-attack in Syria, or something, on Nine-Eleven-Eighteen?

Personally I’ve cancelled my appointments and travels for tuesday (as a matter of fact had planned to visit Helsingborg, Sweden with relatives that very day), partly because it would certainly have been a well-nigh impossible-to-withstand temptation for certain parties to make a hit/kidnapping in the general chaos if a major war would please start in Syria that very day?

Because – mind you – an US-American assault on Syria in the wake of another false-flag chemical attack could, or should necessarily result in a Russian selfdefense-attack on the US-warships used as platforms for firing cruise-missiles?

If Russia once more wince from returning fire they could easily loose every and all vestige of any credibility left among friends and foes alike. Some observers think this could be the end of Putin’s rule in Russia.

Doubtless the insane global power brokers are – well, yes insane enough to test Mr. Putin. Some observers are ofcourse also clever judges of character so as to have noted, that Putin is not really a warrior. He is obviously a fighter, but seemingly no warrior. Perhaps he might give in?

In that case he – as well as all of Russia – is dead meat. Perhaps Mr. Putin and his friends might hope for a safe haven in f.i. Israel? But Russia in general would be sunk – set up to be raped and robbed once more, like when Mr. Rasputin helped to set it up for 1917?

Because the insane ‘Raubmörder’ – perhaps the bane of our beautiful planet, as the right honourable Mr. Voltaire reportedly thought? – will never let go of their prey and spoils of war until someone draw a line of fire!

But now back to our headline. This really nice early autumn day here in Copenhagen also is the last day of the ongoing dutch book sale in our downtown Heillig-Geist Church-house. The price today is 5 kroner pr item (80 US-cents, 70 Euro-cents). So lets take a look at my booty.

The second part of today’s headline

1. OB EINEM MANNE SEY ZUNEMEN EIN EELICHS WEYB ODER NICHT is the title of a small book by Abrecht von EYB, issued in Nürberg in 1472.

This new edition is a photographic reprint from 1993. 157 pages, bound in dark blue cloth, with original dust cover. From the back cover:

‘Zum erstenmal in der frühen Eheliteratur Deutschlands wird hier auch die Frau als Wesen geistiger Individualität gesehen. Zahlreiche den Ausführungen beigefügte Beispiele aus der Novellen- und Legendenliteratur sorgen für eine lehrreiche, differenzierte und – zumal für heutige Leser – erbaulich-vergnügliche Auseinandersetzung mit einem Thema von zeitloser Aktualität, das über die Jahrhunderte hinweg nach wie vor die Gemüter beiderlei Geschlechts bewegt und beschäftigt.

‘Die in der vorliegenden Ausgabe im Anhang untergebrachte Einführung von Helmut Weinacht bietet u.a. einen kurzen biographischen Abriss zu Albrecht von Eyb sowie eine Rezeptions- und Forschungsgeschichte. Dem reprographischen Nachdruck neu hinzugefügt sind 16 Holzschnittillustrationen aus dem 15. Jahrhundert, die den Text anschaulich ergänzen.’

It’s curious, though not necessarily easy, to read this german text from the late middle ages. But it would certainly have been helpful if the typeface had been just a trifle larger.

2.PROFILER. With drawings by Otto C. Carit Andersens Forlag, Copenhagen, 1944. 128p.

This small volume (in paperback) is an (anonymously edited) anthology of 11 essays by then living, well known danish authors, in which each on abt. a dozen pages tell about their life and work-day.

The authors are: Kjeld Abell, Knuth Becker, H.C.Branner, Aage Dons, Leck Fischer, Mogens Klitgaard, Jacob Paludan, Nis Petersen, Soya, Knud Sønderby, Johs. Wolff.

That is, pretty much the danish parnassus in the late war years. I’m sure it augurs for interesting reading.

3. FRANKRIGS LITERATURHISTORIE – I DET ATTENDE AARHUNDREDE. By Hermann Hettner. På dansk v. H.Schwanenflügel. Kjøbenhavn, Høst & Søn, 1875 (inside it says 1876).

From the short foreword I quote:

‘Det er ingen glimrende, men højst mærkværdig og vigtig Litteraturepoke, som jeg her skildrer. Man kan hverken skjænke Karaktererne eller Ideerne sin fulde Sympathi og Beundring; men dens indflydelse er så vidtomfattende og mægtig, at dens virkninger spores endnu den dag i dag.

‘Enhver har lov til at rose sig af sin flid. Jeg har redelig arbejdet efter kilderne. Man fører ofte disse forfattere paa tale; men man kjender kun lidt til dem. De fleste ville synes, at jeg har brugt for lyse, en eller anden, at jeg har anvendt for mørke farver. Jeg malte, hvad jeg saa.

‘Bibliografisk fuldstændighed har jeg paa intet punkt havt til hensigt at give. Litteraturhistorien er ikke historien om bøgerne, men ideernes og deres videnskabelige og kunstneriske formers historie’.

I’m quite sure I already own a sample of this book. But I don’t remember if it’s perhaps in a later edition or another language (originally issued in Germany). In any case this volume has all the charms of it’s time – nice paper that’s not too white, beautifully printed and bound – whence I may opt for discarding the other.

By the way I noticed this very specimen also in the previous sale. It’s both strange and also telling that nobody but myself in all of Copenhagen have felt compelled to pay 80 cents for this magnaficent volume on french literature in the ages of Louis XIV and XV. (Note 1)

4. DEN UNGE BRANDES. Miljø – Venner – Rejser – Kriser. By Henning Fenger. Gyldendal 1957, 273 p. Illustrated.

This volume is the second in a series by the author. It covers the years 1859-72 approx., i.e. the young years of Brandes (b.1842).

This softcover volume is in a somewhat shabby condition. But it shines by its many old and hard to find photographs (or Daguerreotypes) of Mr. Brandes and his family and friends.

Opposite page 224 is reproduced a photograph from 1870 of Hippolyte Taine, the french writer who was a friend of Mr. Brandes.

As an aside: I own many – or even most? – of Mr. Taine’s work in more or less contemporaty french editions. Only the work reportedly most used by Brandes (Taine’s book on contemporary french philosophers) eloped me like this:

I had found the book in a certain dutch book-sale and paid for it. But as the very nice shop assistant would help me bag my books, this very book slipped, fell to the floor and ‘broke it’s back’. Which wexed me so much I instantly discarded it. I shouldn’t have done that, ofcourse, and have come to ‘regret it ever since’. Especially ofcourse after learning this title was one of Mr. Brandes favourites, read and reread by him.

Perhaps I’m not supposed to have a keen interest in Mr. Brandes and his work, being as I am a distant relative of the redoutable editor (C.Ploug) of the main conservative paper in 19th century Copenhagen (Fædrelandet). But I have come to respect Mr. Brandes for his mature view, especially in his late years, and I look forward to skimming this volume.

Also today I fetched five more volumes of the French series of volumes that I talked about last

5. PARIS OU LE LIVRE DES CENT-ET-UN. Paris, Chez Ladvocat, 1832-34. Each volume abt. 400 pages. Bound in contemporary half calf. Passably preserved outside as well as inside. Volumes 4, 6, 9, 10 and 15 (vol.15 being the last in the series).

I have now learned this series was written and issued by a group of writers (101 in all?) in order to help a friendly but recently bankrupted publisher. The essays are thus supposed to be original items and not just reprints.

Among the content of the 9th volume you find (please excuse the missing diacritical signs, they are simply too much trouble to hunt down on my danish keyboard):

– Napoleon au Conseil-D’Etat. par M. Cormenin

– La Sorbonne. par M. Antoine Delatour

– Le Bois de Boulogne. par M. Amedee Gratiot

– La Force. par un Prevenu.

– Le Boulevart (sic) Du Temple. par M.N.Brazier.

– Une Visite a Saint-Germain. par M. Henry Martin

– La Vie De Cafe. par M. Merville.

– Une Seance Dans Un Cabinet De Lecture. par m. A.Fontaney

– Une Agence Dramatique. par m. Leon Halevy

– La Libraire a Paris. par M. Frederic Loulie

– Dix Heures Au Chateau de Ham. par L’Editeur du Livre des Cent-Et-Un.

6. GODE KLERKE. Litterære Essays. Af K.F.Plesner. København, Samleren, 1944. 185 pages.

Among the essays you find:

– Kardinal de Bernis

– Gamle Sibbern

– P.O.Brøndsted som kulturpersonlighed

– Poul Chievitz

– Valdemar Vedel

– Niels Møller

– Kai Friis Møller, skolar og poet

– Nis Petersen. Minder og dokumentation.

I’m quite sure I already own this title, must be somewhere in a stack or a book case. But for 80 cents I guess you can afford both ‘a user and a keeper’ of this slim volume.

On page 156 mr. Plesner writes in his essay on Kai Friis Møller, the leading critic:

‘Selv har han aldrig givet pardon eller taget personlige hensyn. “Hvor megen pris man end sætter på en forfatter, er det dog altid ærgerligt at måtte give ham ret i et og alt”, skriver han i en anmeldelse af Paul V. Rubow, den eneste fagfælle, for hvis lærdom og stil han viser tydelig respekt.’

7. DIE GÖTTLICHE KOMÖDIE. Von Karl Vossler. 2nd ed. 2 volumes. Heidelberg, Carl Winther, 1925, in all 835p. Very nicely bound in contemporary cloth

I had noticed these two beautifully bound volumes several times throughout this sale. But only today I learned they were dealing exclusively with Mr. Dantes famous comedy.

I dare to wager there must be some part(s) of these impressive volumes that’s of general interest also to the layman. From the foreword I quote:

‘Einem weiteren Kreise gebildeter Leser will dieses Werk das Verständnis von Dantes Göttlicher Komödie erschliessen. Zuerst sollen die bildungsgeschichtlichen Grundlagen betrachtet werden, auf denen die Dichtung sich erhebt, sodann diese selbst in ihrer poetischen Ursprünglichkeit und eigenart.

‘Im ersten Teil haben die Quellen des Dichters, im zweiten hat nur sein Werk das Wort; daher man den zweiten unabhängig vom ersten geniessen kann und vielleicht gut tut, zuerst den zweiten zu lesen, denne der erste setzt eine grosse Vertrautheit mit dem Gedichte voraus.’

All right – that’s it for today. Be safe – and look sharp for nine-eleven!

Note 1.
My massive, one volume ‘Oxford Companion To German Literature’ (by Henry and mary Garland, 1976, 977 pages) squanders fully eleven-and-a-half short (useless) lines on mr. Hettner!

But my Swedish encyclopaedia (Svensk Uppslagsbok, vol.12, 1935) uses almost a half page, and says a.o.: ‘En bestämd rationalistisk uppfattning, ej fri från moraliserande inslag, dominerar det friskt skrivna och populära arbetet, vars omdömen ännu för t.ex. 1920-talets Schück äre i stort sett auktoritativa.’

(Henrik Schück (1855-1947) was a swedish university professor and for many years a leading literature critic and -historian)


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

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Sunny September – in Denmark and Tiveden

Today is Sunday and the 2nd day of September and a nice and sunny one at that.

In a way perhaps far to nice to browse old books at the sale in the Heillig Geist Church-house here in central Copenhagen and to afterwards write for my blogs about the finds – here in a somewhat dark and slightly too noisy Baresso café.

Had I realized before going out just how nice a day it is I should probably have opted for a photographic excursion instead.

But be this as it may – here we are and here are some of the books I fetched today. The seller is Nordisk Antikvariat and the unit price today is 20 kr ($3).

1. LITERATURE AND WESTERN MAN. By J.B.Priestley. London 1962, Heinemann/Readers Union. 405p, org. whole cloth and dust jacket.

This nicely kept volume is obviously issued as some kind of a ‘economy model’, but very usable at that. Especially the typeface is adequately large and very legible although the space between lines is somethat tight. Likewise the page margins are rather closely cropped.

On the rear flap of the dust jacket you read:

‘Literature and Western Man is the result of forty years’ reading and re-reading of the best that has been written in half a dozen literatures in the last five hundred years.

‘Taking whole centuries and whole countries in his stride, the author sums up, in that pungent and generous style that is pecularly his own, the achievements of the writers of the Western World since the time of the Renaissance….’.

He starts his treatment of France in the 16. century thus (on page 14):

‘Certain places at certain times seem to men, perhaps in very different places and long afterwards, to possess a magical quality, capturing and holding the imagination.

‘This is true of the Italy of the early Renaissance; it is equally true of France during most of the sixteenth century.

‘We cannot have travelled south-west from Paris without returning in thought, almost as if we shared a dream with men long dead, to the French Renaisance.

‘Above the rich meadows and the mirrors of the water we see the entrancing châteaux built when Francis the First was King, or the castle at Blois where the Valois so often held court; we pass through Vendôme, which was Ronsard’s town, Chinon, where Rabelais was born, and when we have done with the Loire country we probably reach the Dordogne, where Montaigne retired to write his essays.’

2. PARIS OU LE LIVRE DES CENT-ET-UN. Tome Second. Paris, Ladvocat, 1831. 422p. Contemporaty half calf.

I also found vol’s 1, 7 and 14.

I’m not sure how to catalogue these volumes. But perhaps they are quarterly magazines – or something like that?

On the last page is a table of contents, where you find among other

– La Chambre des Députés, par M.A.Bazin.

– Le Salon de Lafayette, par M.Auguste Lucret

– Des Soirées Littéraires, ou Les Poètes Entre Eux, par M. Sainte-Beuve

– L’Abbé Chatel et son Église, par M. Jules Janin.

– Charlatans, Jongleurs, Phénomènes Vivants, etc, par M. Pommier

– Un Atelier de la Rue de L’Ouest, par M.Cosdelier-Delanoue.

– Le Cocher de Cabriolet, par M. Alex. Dumas

– Les Deux Saint-Simoniens, par M. le comte Alexis de Saint-Priets

– Un Bal Chez le Comte D’Appony, par madame la comtesse de Bradi.

– Les Gens de Lettres D’Autrefois, par M. Kèratry

There are six more entries.

Among above authors I only know Sainte-Beuve, the famous literary critic; M. Jules Janin, another literary critic and -historian ((who, incidentally – as I have now learned – took over M. Sainte-Beuve’s seat in the French Academy)); and of course Alex. Dumas (ainé), the prolific author.

I’m not sure whether the other 3 volumes are equally as promising. Also at this point I have no idea if the featured articles are written for this volume or just reprints.

3. LE XVIIe CIÈCLE. Pages Choisies des Récits et des Mémoires les plus Curieux de ce Temps. By André Ducasse. Paris, 1946, Bordas, éditeur. 385p, softcover.

This slightly shabbily manufactured, although passably preserved volume is nevertheless a somewhat lucky strike for myself, being as I am interested in French memoirs, not least from the 17. century.

In the table of contents in the back you find the headings for each of the 6 chapters:







In addition there is an appendix with several useful items, and also an index of names.

But from the French dreamland (of Mr. Priestley) we now for a moment turn our attention towards the diametrically opposite part of Europe – namely that of Bulgaria:

4. ALEXANDER VON BATTENBERG – SEIN KAMPF MIT DEN ZAREN UND BISMARCK. Nach des Ersten Fürsten von Bulgarien Nachgelassenen Papieren und Sonstigen Ungedruckten Quellen. By E.C. Corti. Vien 1920, Seidel & Sohn, 321 p. Org. half cloth (broken).

This volume treats of the occurencies in eastern Balkan (on and) after the Wiener Congress in 1870. But off hand it’s difficult to get a handle on the red thread going through the story as told here. Except for a general feeling it may well be a highly competent and well written account of the problems at issue.

5. VÄGEN TILL ÖVRALID. and ÖVRALID – DRÖMMENS VERKLIGHET. By Kate Bang. Stockholm 1945 and 1946. Bonniers. 261 and 166 p. Bound in orig. half cloth, original dust jackets. The first volume dedicated to ‘Herr Bibliotekar Helge Topsöe-Jensen fra Kate Bang’. The other volume likewise, except from Frederik Bang.

The first volume is introduced like this:

‘Det var Verner von Heidenstams önskan, att mine barn, Karen och Jörgen, skulle få en sann bild av det varme vänskapsförhållande, som bestod mellan honom och mig.

‘Det var han själv som föreslog, att jag skulle föra dagbok, som kunde bli till stöd för vårt minne, när vi en gång i framtiden ville berätta för barnen om våra reseår.

‘Det var också han, som – då vi vid inflyttningen på Övralid beslöt bränna våra gamle brev – yrkade att vi dessförinnan skulle göra ett utdrag ur dem; han ritade röda streck i marginalen för det som skulle bevaras.

‘På hans ålderdom satt vi ofta vid brasan och talade om våra minnen, bläddrande i dagböckerna och brevutdragen. “Väl att du har detta”, sade han, “det skall hjälpa dina barn at förstå varför du har levat och handlat som du gjort.”

‘För åtta år sedan, augusti 1937, såg jag Heidenstam sista gången, för nära sex år sedan tog jag farväl av Karen i Ville d’Avray, och det är två år sedan Jörgen följde mig til färjan i Helsingör.

‘Mina barn har levat i det ockuperade Frankrike och det ockuperade Danmark, medan jag gästat det fria Sverige; den döde och de levande har jag under dessa år kunnat komma nära endast i ‘erindringens rige’.

‘Därför har jag uppfyllt Heidenstams önskan och skrivit om våra minnen långt tidigare än ursprungligen avsett. Flera av Verner von Heidenstams gamla vänner, främst Prins Eugen, har menat att den bild som här givits av Heidenstam kunde ha interesse även för andra än mina barn.’

On the dust cover of the second volume ÖVRALID you read:

‘Med Vägen till Övralid och dess fortsättning, Övralid, har Kate Bang skapat ett av den svenska memoarlitteraturens finaste og personligaste verk.

‘I Övralid ger hon en bild af Heidenstams liv från den höstklara septemberdag år 1925, då han flyttade in på bondgården på Lidberget med den stålande utsikten över Vättern, till hans död 1940.

‘Kate Bang berättar om långa vandringar kors och tvärs genom Tivedens skogar, där skalden på nytt upplever sina barndomsminnen, om ‘Bedstefars’ otvungna samvaro med de båda livliga danske barnen, Jörgen och Karen, om höglasning i biblioteket av Troels-Lund, Ibsen, Hans Larson, Höffding, dansk och svensk lyrik och av nyare författare Pär Lagerkvist och Harry Martinson och till sist om Heidenstams kamp för at hålla liv i sin tynande arbetslåga under de sista tragiska åren…’

I can’t say I’m a great fan, or just a fan, of von Heidenstam or his writings, but nevertheless I feel these memoirs/diaries might certainly be worth a look – and my 6 dollars. Several of the photographs in the books are from Denmark, by the way.