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Then the circle would have no dotted lines. How do singular statements about events negotiate the problem of time? On the face of it, then, a lonely snowflake falling in summer, and the helpless cry pointing to it, would just as soon disappear from our minds as contribute to our meaning-making. Why not leave it at that? So, let me come back to my opening question: Is it only an expedient cry, a singularity that becomes worthless the moment it extends along the arrow of time?

Is there any place in art for trying to preserve such vulnerable singular statements? Brecht makes an especially interesting case since he is known for uniting his art with punctual intervention into the politics of his times. For the politics that his art engaged in to remain relevant, either his interventions would have to have been non-singular—i. I think that we can agree that both are the case, but what strikes me is not the historical ascription of general political meaning to his themes and person—i.

This question, the one I find interesting, is an old one, and surprisingly hard to get a hold on. Art, by contrast, has ahistorical formal merits, or it has fleeting merits, but to the skeptical mind it has no enduring civic value. I propose to get at this question by regarding the interpolation of the graffiti into its lyrical context as analogous to the way Brecht sees his actors participating in the epic dramatic context.

The gap, however, allows for something less urgent: The meaning, then, can be seen to change with each token of its inscription. To answer that, we need to posit a reception aesthetics. We are the split subjects, receiving the invincible inscription in its objectivity, but instead of submitting to its propaganda, we assume a Baconian spirit and subject its bold meaning to our pragmatic direction. After all, the unity of the poetic text is well stewarded in text-critical editions.

So how do we procede? The process is, in fact, the topic of the poem itself. The soldier first scrawls the lines high up in his dark cell where they can hardly be seen. When the defacement is nonetheless spotted, the guards call a painter to cover it. A process then begins whereby instead of erasing the lines, they are highlighted in a progressively more enduring fashion, from pencil script to painted white wash, to letters carved in the wall.

Each repetition is thus an intensification, ending in a quite literal engraving in stone. What are we to make of this unexpected end proposed for the inscription?

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If we were to hear the slogan in some context other than that of the poem, how would we respond? I remember visiting the old jail in Park City, Utah with chiseled Wobbly slogans still recording defiance after one hundred years. Whether one understands it with emphasis on the objective mark or the subjective act, the issue, as we have seen, is settled with its subsequent reinscriptions by the painters and the mason. That double indexicality sets up the final Witz of the poem.

Rather, what resounds is the punctual command to destroy the inscription along with its imprisoning wall. A gesture of revolt, not revolution. It is a consummately Brechtian move in two respects. Therefore it is ill in counsel, good in execution; so that the right use of bold persons is, that they never command in chief, but be seconds, and under the direction of others. For in counsel, it is good to see dangers; and in execution, not to see them, except they be very great. Maarten van Dijk Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 1 Sep. Rodopi, , , Suhrkamkp, , Ja, nicht nur das: Doch im Rahmen eines abrissartigen Vorworts wird selbst das etwas kursorisch ausfallen.

Juni , Ungarnaufstand und Mauerbau , mit massiven Boykottdrohungen entgegen. Doch auch sonst schwoll die Brecht-Literatur zu diesem Zeitpunkt so schnell an, dass Grimm in der 3. Jahrhunderts herausgestellt worden war. Jahrhunderts, nicht einfach beerdigen. Nicht so bei Brecht.

So konnte etwa die begonnene Kommentierte Berliner und Frankfurter Ausgabe seiner Werke bis zum Jahr abgeschlossen werden und auch das neu konzipierte Brecht Handbuch blieb nicht unbeachtet. This paper brings together two contrasting interlocutors: This is all to examine a seemingly trivial subject, namely tabletop TRPGs and live-action role-playing games larps. Yet at the center of this discussion lies a decidedly non-trivial question: How can a medium such as the role-playing game — which encourages strong, immersive identification with a character — also draw on an aesthetic of alienation, political modernism, and media self-reflexivity?

How can role-playing games activate political registers on a formal level, as well as in their content? To answer these questions, I build on the theories of Brecht and Moreno, my prior research on self-reflexivity in TRPGs as well as recent discourse in the Nordic larp community on political activism. Peter Brooker helpfully points out that Brechtian theory is no static quantity. Dialectics concerns theater coming from theories that are then tested in praxis, which helps revise the theory, and so forth.

Verfremdung or alienation constitutes a Viktor Shklovsky-inspired strategy of defamiliarizing capitalist reality as well as the illusionism of the stage through specific techniques to break audience-character identification. Specifically, scholars and designers tend to see it either in terms of critical medium self-reflexivity or an opportunity for socio-politically critical analysis, rather than as a combination of the two. He then goes on to argue why Grand Theft Auto 4 is Brechtian, given its play with elements such as player perspective and objects.

Even in the early s, game studies theorists such as Greg Costikyan used Brecht, only to then depart from Brechtian distanciation. One can play this game at home or in a theater. A gamemaster and narrator preside over the theatrical version, and forcibly drag members of the audience up to the stage to then role-play out the grisly scenario Costikyan envisions.

But directionless negative affect coupled with special effects and a disdain for personal boundaries still does not align the piece with Brechtian theory: To be able to appreciate and understand Brecht is to distinguish oneself in the Pierre Bourdieu sociological sense: Self-reflexivity is easily incorporated into pop culture such as The Simpsons , South Park , Guardians of the Galaxy, and other major corporate franchises.

Another reaction is to turn the Brechtian lens outward once more to subcultures around the world as I recommend to discover how political modernism might be identified and promoted in other artistic spheres. But he was also participating in larger debates in sociology in the s and s about the relationship of agency to structure in society.

Through 10 tasteless mini-games that each last around 10 minutes, the game reflects on how the medium plays with the social fabric of human lives by staging some thoroughly tasteless situations. This group of Jewish-American larp creators revel in putting players on the spot, from having them play Ann Coulter and others at a KKK press conference, to suddenly playing football, to taking on the role of larpers looking for a larp.

Bush administration and other far-right individuals seems to appear at random throughout the games. Does this game suggest the right wing is largely a performance of cynically held beliefs? Or that larpwrights are tyrants who stage their participants in silly and ultimately irrelevant material, regardless of how political the content? Those familiar with the video game Necessary Evil can spot a similar lampooning of standard role-playing tropes through hyperbole and reversed perspective.

But it is unclear if the joint sociological vision of Brecht and Moreno is carried to a satisfying conclusion amidst the chaos: Players take on the role of a nation being colonized by an occupying colonial empire, played by the gamemaster. In a brutal, asymmetrical set of power relations, the Natives watch as the Occupation toys with and ultimately shifts their sacred values and material resources through cooptation, coercion, and violent suppression. Native players find themselves metaphorically backed into a corner, with much of their lives out of their control, and clinging to what small shred of resistance they can muster.

One can see the social system of colonialism that is then meta-fictionally experienced through the lens of a particular character being beaten by that system. And one may begin to see the TRPG itself as an instrument of suppression, assimilation, and subjugation of precisely the spontaneity that Moreno discusses.

His games have accessibly simple rules, but which put players into emotionally difficult territory from which they must suddenly distance themselves to see the larger social network. Freeform hybridizes TRPGs and larp, using body and movement as the latter, but eschewing costumes and embracing storytelling as the former. The Michael Haneke-style scenario follows the arc of a middle-class family suddenly caught in the middle of a civil war that transforms them into refugees and puts them in morally compromising situations as they make their way to relative safety.

It also combines Brechtian alienation techniques as well as those of Moreno-style psychodrama. The Moreno element comes to the fore in the construction of the characters, who all have psychological fantasies that impede their spontaneity: Anneke wants to maintain control even when she has none, Elsie tries to escape from danger, Andre does not want to reveal how dependent he is on everyone, and Henrik is ambivalent about the whole situation. But then the Brechtian critique of the medium enters: Through emergent play, it becomes obvious that just talking about the refugees around a table i.

There are two other alienating moments in the second Act. One is Scene 8: The scene has no prescribed reaction, and indeed player-characters often ignore this information as a mere blip on their radar. Another, Scene 10, involves the gamemaster playing the journalist on a cramped boat, interviewing the refugees after their humiliating adventure. The journalist character is encouraged to rub salt into their wounds by asking general questions about their experiences, with the gamemaster knowing full well that the player-characters have just been through hell.

Their multiplicity of Selves meets brute social realities, as well as the lies we tell ourselves to nevertheless keep going. But Moreno corrects the notion that a player deeply inhabiting a character cannot also be distanced from their role through game structures and mechanics that place them within an uncomfortable, asymmetrical social network that also reflects on RPGs as ultimately a social medium. The Italian Journal of Game Studies 5. Peter Thomson and Glendyr Sacks.

Gamasutra 29 October A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste. Mutations of a Modernist Theoretical Practice. Derek Attridge and Jane Elliott. Springer VS Verlag, , pp. The Theatre of Spontaneity. Beacon Press, , p. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.

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Larp Art, Basic Theories. Markus Montola and Jaakko Stenros. Liwanag Press, , p. The Social Framework of Role-playing Process. Now David Barnett has created a website as a companion to this volume: It is an excellent resource not only for those who have read his book, but for those who want a lucid introduction to Brecht and his theatrical ideas. He provides a blog as an open forum for those who would like to discuss all things Brecht, and within it he continues to reconsider some of his definitions. Of particular interest is his use of the site as a model for how shows may be documented.

While he describes a possible Brechtian approach to contemporary plays in his book see his discussion of Closer by Patrick Marber in Chapter 8 , Barnett has since applied his ideas onstage with actors and a production team. This is accomplished electronically, allowing Barnett to add layers over the digital images to more easily connect theory to content. Within each photograph, Barnett has placed the title of the scene and written comments on what each Figure is revealing sociologically, as well as an analysis of the overall intent of the staging.

For example, Barnett gives each moment of Scene 2 captions and explanations. In future, I wonder if Barnett might also provide film and audio examples. Barnett also offers a Download section that contains possible exercises for working in a Brechtian fashion. I believe that Bertolt Brecht himself would have found value in this online approach to theatre productions and the new insights it might have afforded him.

It seems to provide one answer to the question: I appreciate the care Barnett has taken to give us a useful tool for Brechtian studies and his intent to continue to update it. It is well worth visiting again and again, especially if one is interested in the documentation which explains process, as Brecht intended with his original model books.

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Du bist fertig, Staatsmann. Der Staat ist nicht fertig. Unter deinen Gesetzen steht dein Name. Der Staat braucht Dich nicht mehr, Gib ihn heraus. To him, it would have seemed a pompous gesture, superfluous at a moment when the state was so clearly on the brink of collapse. The crowd in front of him, about a million people, may not have even wanted to hear this message. Uncertain of what the next few weeks would bring, their interests were more concrete.

Instead of the arduous work of transforming a state in shambles and adapting it to the conditions of their collective lives, the masses eventually opted to fulfill their individual desires. In his favorite Brecht-Text, the Fatzer -fragment, which works through the relation between the individual and the collective, the revolution fails to gain traction on a very basic level. It collapses before it begins, because the individuals cannot identify themselves with the greater cause, the transformation of the state.

The struggles of Baal, Kragler, and Garga are about self-assertion against the limiting demands of society. Through these characters, Brecht develops a notion of individuality that is both self-sufficient as well as interchangeable, which he probes in Mann ist Mann. In Fatzer however, Brecht stages the conflict anew. This time in the context of the First World War and the Russian revolution.

In the third year of the war, four soldiers on the western front decide they have had enough of the war and walk homewards, where they hide in a small apartment, trying to survive as they wait for the state to collapse and the revolution to begin. Their leader is Johann Fatzer, who has realized in a sudden epiphany that he is fighting for the wrong cause. On behalf of the clandestine group, Fatzer is supposed to provide food for all of them. They trust him and his individual abilities:.

Especially in the earlier fragments, Fatzer is the rational consciousness of the group, who observes and detects the contradictions that perpetuate a war fought under for the wrong reasons.

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The others in the group rely on his agency and only begin to question decisions once they stop working to their benefit. He is sometimes erratic, sometimes egoistic, sometimes indifferent. Yet, solidarity is only a virtue they demand from Fatzer, not from themselves. He gets beaten up by some butchers, because he wanted more meat than allowed, while his fellow deserters keep back and deny knowing him. In another episode, the three entrust Fatzer with their passports and all their money to test if they can still trust him.

They should have known already that they cannot because Fatzer spends the money and throws their passports away. Finally, the three decide to execute him, but they ask him for his consent first which he obstinately refuses. Moments later an explosion kills all of them. In the basic structure of the four, Brecht stages variations of false consciousness, or rather the lack of stance.

On the scale of Leninist critique, Fatzer is the anarchist whereas the others represent a spectrum of revisionist ideologies. Although these schematic attributions shift as Brecht probes them in different situations, they represent modes of collective and individual failure. Unconscious of their positions, they need to realize what there is to be done, and the chorus informs them about this:. Obviously, this message comes too late and finds them already locked into a pattern of behavior and disconnected from the social conflicts they want to fuel.

With the help of the chorus, the rehearsal of their practical contradictions shall lead to unity through consent. As Brecht accumulated more and more scattered notes and drafts of the Fatzer text, he gradually resolved the dilemma of political commitment and individualism by deciding for the former. Man sollte es nicht. Kein Grund zum Klagen, das ist ein Grund zu wenig, nichts sonst! Fatzer is now considered more negatively as the egoist, while the figure of Koch is renamed Keuner and becomes a strict Leninist, persuading workers to join by reading the Communist Manifesto to them.

In the juxtaposition of community and individual there are two dimensions in this text. The group of soldiers is a potential community, but only if they manage to connect with the masses and eventually manage to lead them. Before a socialist community can be formed, the social potential needs to be activated. In his practical critique of social norms, Fatzer marks and reveals why and where the revolution fails. However, instead of subordinating his critical ability to the needs of the group, Fatzer remains the free-floating asocial intellectual, who indicates room for improvement, or even perfection, in his opposition to the socialist community.

Fatzer acts against the injustice he sees and takes the goods that are distributed unequally. His actions are immediate and follow a clear strategy: Instead they send Fatzer out into the world to try his luck under hostile conditions. They become aware that the only way to change these conditions is to consent to them. Denn so geschieht es wie ihr hier saht, und nicht anders. Instead, he counteracts the logic of capitalism by sabotage, desperately attempting to destroy its foundation: Beyond consumption, he wants to spoil the scarce goods of food and water, while also rebelling against the use of his own labor force.

Dies ist nicht einfach. Der Rest ist Fatzer. He questions private property, especially the machine of distribution and redistribution. Against the instrumental reason that turns him into a tool of either imperialism or Bolshevism, Fatzer becomes the spanner in the works. Where Keuner may calculate the costs and benefits of the revolution, Fatzer remains the incommensurable residue.

After the subsequent half-finished sentence, the verse continues in another direction, piling on new meaning that often contradicts the previous line. The effect is a surplus and a congestion of meaning as well as a breathless reader, who always feels the need to catch up with the rumbling verse.

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The traditional device of the enjambment is revived and employed as a broken rhythm instead of a dynamization. The text itself comes to subvert the speech and disorient the speaker. Unable to comprehend its relation to nature, he sees change where there is permanence and immutability where there is transformation.

Dwarfed, yet expanding, this new man becomes the passive majority that is ever-present and unidentifiable. Also, the chorus, the collective voice per se, changes its roles and names, from being pluralized and numbered to the antagonism of chorus and antichorus to Fatzer Chor and the eventual question:. Positions, identities, and ideologies change and are not to be trusted, which undermines any call for consistency and a clear, political marching order.

The dissociation of speech from the dramatic actors, as well as the presence of various choruses, leaves blocks of text next to each other, either in contradiction or ideologically aligned, depending on the reading. Instead of arbitrariness, I suggest that the Fatzer-verse effectively performs the ideological resistance of the Fatzer figure on the textual level, subverting what is taught and learned. On this level, the fragment proves to be productive in raising the question of collective and individual anew, reaching beyond the historic context of the plot.

It is important to note that the subversion of the Leninist discourse does not lead to a plurality of voices that express themselves freely and are equally heard. Instead, the text suggests a need for objection and contradiction from which nothing necessarily needs to follow. Fatzer objects vehemently without offering any clear ideological alternative. The Fatzer -fragment is, therefore, not only a point of departure for postdramatic theater, but it is also a model of performative critique. It might also be applied to intervene in the political discourse, wherever it identifies and collectivizes.

As a fragment, Fatzer is the result of the necessary failure of subsuming the particular under a whole, to the same degree as the individual Fatzer resists subsumption under the collectives of warfare and revolution. In its unfinished structure, the text holds open a potential for resistance against false consensus. If something is to be learned from the Fatzer plot today, it goes in two directions, in both of which we need new models of critique.

Their consent to intolerable conditions led them to passively wait for someone else, namely Fatzer, to make a move. As they settled in their isolation, awaiting his failure from a secure distance, their call for solidarity and community remained ineffective. The second lesson is much simpler: One scene in particular caused outrage among the audience: Herr Schmitt, a giant clown, is depressed for whatever reason.

Instead of comforting him, two other clowns amputate his body parts, one by one, apparently with his approval. Even without fake blood, the possible interpretations of this consensual destruction have multiplied: Is it a metaphor for the lack of agency the young generation faces?

Or just the fever dream of an overworked part-time waiter? Music, news, and commercials blare from a radio in the middle of the dark stage. Five young actors enter and address the audience. So far nothing unusual in Korean theatre culture, although the code of conduct is usually played over speakers rather than proclaimed in person.

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While these announcements effectively introduce the cast and figuratively invite the whole world, the audio-visual montage which follows is more confrontational. Soon however, the scenes of success turn into a fast-paced history of violence: Nazi rallies leading to Auschwitz. Then the images switch to color and more recent local scenes appear, from the Korean war to the subsequent authoritarian regimes in the South, including the Gwangju massacre of Although a bit rough in its associative cutting, this multimedia opening effectively establishes a contemporary frame of reference for the fall from grace, an analysis of technical and moral failure.

The members of Ensemble Theaterraum, young actors in their early twenties, born after democratization, embody a new spirit of opposition that is limited only by dire economic outlooks. Casual, anti-illusionistic acting characterizes the whole performance. First, one of the actors, now lined up with the others at the back of the stage, approaches the audience. Questions directed at individual spectators follow, mostly unanswered: Starting from the runway, marked by LED-lights on the floor, she twists and bends her body in almost impossible ways. Or is she depicting her own struggle between underpaid work and unpaid acting?

With a jump into the air, suggesting a stroke of genius, she calls the class — us? Ultimately, all scientific breakthroughs lead to failure, the pilot is lost at sea, and the promised progress stagnates. Concrete examples of everyday exploitation, taken as far as I can tell from the life of the actors themselves, ground the production decidedly in contemporary Korea.

An intruder disturbs the atmosphere of the final scene, though. It is the sixth actor, the only male member of the ensemble, who has decided to remain off-stage throughout the performance in order to conduct a social experiment. Posing as a beggar in front of the building, he made some extra money — on that day 4, Korean Won, the equivalent of three or four dollars.

Once again, the real encroaches into the darkness of the theatre. Yet this is not the final word. Unwilling to offer closure, Bo-hyeon Park returns onto the empty stage and announces that the actors have decided to forego the conventional curtain call. It remains clear, nevertheless, that they are not here to entertain us, but to challenge our perceptions and provoke reactions. Circles and circular motion become a consistent metaphor for moving bodies which come together in a choreographed musical theater reminiscent of ballet. The boundaries of these circles are at times defined and at other times dotted.

Props such as bamboo poles and a stunning expanse of narrow bright blue fabric suggest geometries of escape, diagonal ways out. So there are circles upon circles, not just in the storyline of the play itself, where Azdak as judge famously challenges each of the two women to pull the child out of a circle drawn with chalk. Audience members in the warehouse space also sit in a single large circle around a round stage area in four groups of twelve.

Every seat is taken. Throughout the production and even before the action begins , young actors perform music and do stretching exercises on the stage. In the center, two long and narrow pieces of wood set at right angles from each other form the edges of a roomlike space for small bags, suitcases, and baskets. We see some larger items, a table and a bed in the corners behind the chairs. Every available inch of space — on the round stage area, outside the circle of chairs, and in the corners of the warehouse — is purposefully allocated either for stage action, to store props, or for singing and music-making.

A circle of small lights high over the circle of audience chairs reminds us that theater takes place in three-dimensional space. The actors frequently perform as if they were on a revolving stage, moving their bodies in a circle, so that everyone in the audience can see the faces of the actors. Typically in theaters-in-the-round, some audience members simply have to deal with seeing the action from behind. In both stories, two mothers argue over one child, and the love of the biological mother for her child causes her to refuse to harm it.

In the Biblical narrative, Solomon decrees that the mothers cut the child in half, so each mother can have an equal part. The biological mother reveals herself by refusing, and Solomon gives her the whole and unharmed child. In the Chinese play, the biological mother is not willing to hurt her child by pulling it out of a chalk circle. His version asks which relationship will benefit the child the most, biological nature or nurture? As early as , Brecht raised the related the question of ownership in his film with Slatan Dudow, Kuhle Wampe or Who Owns the World , a story about unemployment in the Weimar Republic, eviction, and a utopian tent community.

Who should own what? Is inherited ownership outdated, or is it obsolete? What is possession good for? Although the play poses sobering questions concerning biological motherhood vs. Even briefly, a golden age of quasi-justice, if not fairness, can prevail. The audience delights in all the bizarrely comic moments that Brecht provides, especially in the wedding-funeral scene. Productions often omit the prologue, and this is unfortunate, since it is essential for understanding the reason for the ensuing play-within-a-play, which is a parable meant to shed light on a land dispute in post-Nazi Georgia.

While the old goat herders insist on reclaiming ancestral — and inhospitable — pasture land, the opposing, young, fruit-tree farmers counter with a detailed irrigation plan for greater productivity. In an attempt to resolve the conflict through entertainment, the Singer invites both groups to hear a tale set in Nukha, a city in Georgia now Shaki in Azerbaijan at the edge of the Caucasus mountains near the Black Sea.

Nukha is at war with Persia and corruption has led to a coup and civil war. Workers rebel amidst the instability. Two stories are told separately, the second as a flashback. Both narrative strands merge at the end of the play-within-a-play. Along the way, another nested play-within-a-play addresses questions of war and profit, when Azdak agrees to play the role of the defendant, the Grand Duke, in a mock trial. The almost constant stage activity by no means overshadows the text. Grusha sacrifices her happiness in marriage to a draft-dodging swindler with emphasis on the swindler, not the draft-dodging to nurture the child she calls her own, while Azdak who is first appointed as judge first by the Ironshirts, then the Grand Duke perpetuates the corruption that preceded him.

But more importantly, he helps the poor, fines the wealthy, collects bribes from both the accusers and defendants, and proclaims what appear to be mostly random verdicts. So far, so good. The two simultaneous storylines follow familiar Brechtian patterns. Robert Wilson, master of moving bodies in time and space, comes to mind although he works with an admittedly different aesthetic.

A golden kraken upon a black field. Read a book with black cover: Read a book featuring pirates, ships, or the sea: A Pirate's Revenge by M. Read a book that involves a kraken or another mythical creature: A Golden lion upon a crimson field. Read a book that involves a lion or other big cat. Or, read a book set in a circus: A sun pierced by a golden spear. Read a book in which the protagonist overcomes great hardships or survives impossible odds.

Alternatively, read a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel: Read a book set in space, that involves stars, or in which the protagonist uses a weapon: Read a book with a bear on the cover or that deals with a zoo: Read a book in which a main character suffers from unrequited love. Or read a book with a loyal hero or heroine: A grey direwolf on an ice-white field. Read a book set in winter, that involves snow, or in which a character keeps an unusual pet: Read a book featuring wolves or werewolves: A three-headed dragon, red on black.

Read a book that has both red and black on its cover: Read a book featuring a either a character in exile or a queen. Or, read a book in which fire or blood plays a significant role: Vampire Love Story by H. Read a book that involves a dragon, or a creature or person who is the last of their kind or very rare: A leaping trout, silver, on a field of rippling blue and red. Read a book that has at least two of these colors somewhere on its cover: Read a book about family or about a protagonist who has to take responsibility for their actions: Read a book involving fish or fishing, or read a book that takes place primarily near water: A golden rose on a grass-green field.

Read a book in which a character comes of age or a character shows significant growth: Read a book involving trees, flowers, or another type of plant in a significant way: Aug 12, Welcome to the challenge Sally and Jess: Aug 11, Read a book with a predominately blue cover. The Bone Clocks Option 2: Read a story featuring a member of the military, or in which the protagonist does the right thing. Alternatively, read a story that involves heights in a significant way. Every Last Word Option 3: Bird shifters are fine, too! Mark of the Thief Option 2: Read a story in which the protagonist is angry about something, that involves war in some way, or in which the protagonist is fighting against injustice.

Ready Player One Option 3: Read a book featuring a stag or deer. Alternatively, read a book about a king. Read a book with a predominately black cover. The Bodies We Wear Option 2: Read a book featuring pirates, ships, or the sea. The Sea of Monsters Option 3: Read a book that involves a kraken or another mythical creature. Read a book with a predominately red cover. Black Dove, White Raven Option 3: Or, read a book set in a circus. Read a book with an orange cover. Alternatively, read a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel. Read a book set in space, that involves stars, or in which the protagonist uses a weapon.

Read a book that has both green and black on the cover. Read a book with a bear on the cover or that deals with a zoo. Or read a book with a loyal hero or heroine. Read a book with a grey or white cover. Read a book set in winter, that involves snow, or in which a character keeps an unusual pet. Her Dark Curiosity Option 3: Read a book featuring wolves or werewolves.

Read a book that has both red and black on its cover. Or, read a book in which fire or blood plays a significant role. The Madman's Daughter Option 3: Read a book that involves a dragon, or a creature or person who is the last of their kind or very rare. Es ist eine zu lange Geschichte. Vielleicht hat Piroschka selbst wieder eine Piroschka, die heute so alt ist, wie sie damals gewesen ist. Ganz von Anfang an. Leicht gezogen und hitzematt begann die Gesellschaft zu singen: Die Bugbesatzung stimmte 'Zu Mantua in Banden' an. Das hatte noch mehr Strophen als die Rheinfrage. Ach Gott, wie singt ihr schlecht!

I often hear her voice at nights: But then I wake up How it got to that — that, of course, is something that I cannot repeat in every dream. The story is too long. And yet, it has to be told at some point. So much has changed down in Hungary in the meantime. Piroschka might have her own little Piroschka these days, about the same age now, as she herself was at that time.

Now I can tell it — everything! Right from the start. This is how it began: The July sun was beating down, while herons ascended from the reeds towards the almost painfully luminous canopy that was the sky. My fellow 'scholars' — I hated that pompous word — were sitting in the mess below decks playing cards, because one of them had read aloud from his tourist guide that this stretch of river was pretty boring for the next few hundred kilometres. This landscape, minted on the final day of creation 1: We were lounging on deck in closely packed deckchairs.

A group of German tourists, travelling together, were sitting on folding chairs at the prow, the men in light blue, crumpled linen jackets. Wilting in the heat, the group lapsed into a slow, lingering rendition of: As long as I was sailing down the Danube I had no wish to know why it was so beautiful on the Rhine. From my half sitting position I leaned right back — the deckchair was set at the lowest notch -, so that I would have nothing but blue infinity above me.

But there was something else over me. I was prodded lightly in the back of the head by a pointy, fashionably high stiletto heel. My expression, I thought, seemed particularly well chosen, given the international makeup of the travelling public — one could hear English, Hungarian and Czech as well as the language of my Rhine-addicted landsmen. I remembered the advice my father had given me at our parting: True enough the graceful leg had declined to respond, but it will certainly have understood my erudite apology. The crew in the prow launched into 'Off to Mantua with the Gang'.

That had even more verses than the Rhine question. Your singing is awful! To render this as 'minted on the final day of creation' might seem to be taking a bit of a liberty, but a literal translation of the German — this landscape of the last creation day — seems too clumsy in English, however well it rolls off the tongue in German. Ich kam aus dem Europa des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts. Das Schiff war ein Passagierdampfer, der beladen wurde. Es war eine Arche. Wer von hier das Gelobte Land Amerika nicht erreichen konnte, war verloren. Ich war nachmittags im Kasino von Estoril gewesen, um zu spielen.

Es war ein letzter, verzweifelter Versuch gewesen, das Schicksal zu bestechen. Unsere portugiesische Aufenthaltserlaubnis lief in wenigen Tagen ab, und Ruth und ich hatten keine anderen Visa. Translation - English I stared at the ship. Gaudily lit up, it was lying some way off the quay, in the river Tejo. Although I had been in Lisbon for a week, I still was not used to the carefree light of this city.

The towns in the countries from which I had come were as black as mine shafts at nights, and a lamp in the dark was more dangerous than the plague in the Middle Ages. I had come from twentieth century Europe. The ship was a passenger steamer that was being loaded up. I knew that it was supposed to depart on the following evening. A cargo of meat, fish, tinned foods, bread and vegetables was being stowed under the stark glare of naked electric lights.

Workers were carrying luggage on board and a crane hoisted crates and bales as quietly as if they were weightless. The ship was preparing for its voyage as if it were an ark at the time of the Biblical flood. It was an ark. Every ship that set off from Europe during these months in the year was an ark. Mount Ararat was America and the waters were rising daily. Germany and Austria had already been submerged for a long time and in Poland and Prague the flood was knee-deep; Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Oslo and Paris had already sunk in it; Italy's towns stank of it, and Spain was no longer safe.

The coast of Portugal was the last haven for the refugees, for whom justice, liberty and tolerance meant more than home and livelihood. Anyone who could not reach America, the promised land, from here, was lost. He would bleed dry in the tangle of refused entry and exit visas, unattainable work and residence permits, internment camps, bureaucracy, loneliness, alienation 1 and the appalling general indifference to the fate of the individual, which always follows in the wake of war, fear and adversity. At that time a human being meant nothing; a valid passport everything.

I had been gambling at the Casino in Estoril that afternoon. I still owned a decent suit and they had let me in. It had been a final desperate attempt to bribe fate. Our Portuguese residents' permits would elapse a few days later and Ruth and I had no other visas. Back in France, the ship now at anchor in the Tejo, was the last with which we had hoped to reach New York; but it had been booked up for months and, apart from American entry visas, we also lacked the three hundred dollar fare. I had at least tried to get the money in the only way still possible here — gambling.

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It was senseless; even if I had won, it would still have taken a miracle to get aboard the ship. Yet on the run, in desperation and danger, you learn to believe in miracles; you would not survive if you did not. Of the sixty two dollars we had still owned, I had lost fifty six. Alienation is not the correct translation for die Fremde, which in the current context could perhaps be translated as 'the unknown'. To use that translation in this sentence however would break up the flow and 'alienation' works very well rhythmically and fits with the context.

Translation - English Near Treptow On the evening of the 20th of October the Prussian General von Knobloch was sitting in the palace and former ducal residence at Treptow on the Rega together with his staff officers and Colonel Koch, town governor of Treptow and chief of the local infantry regiment. The three windowed, panelled room was filled with the thick smoke from their short Dutch pipes and the strong aroma of a grog-punch.

But smoking and drinking were nothing more than an unconscious mechanical activity for the five men on this inclement Autumn evening. Their attention was riveted by the General's exposition of the military situation, and the map of the terrain around the stronghold of Kolberg and the fortified seaport of Treptow, that was spread out on the table between them.

General staff officer Lieutenant Friedrich von Steuben was using it to explain the current positions of friend and foe. It was about a year and a half before the end of Friedrich the Great's seven year struggle against the most powerful nations of the European continent.

The Prussian cause looked precarious that Autumn. King Friedrich was being pressed harder than ever before by his all-powerful female adversaries — the 'three petticoats', as he mockingly liked to say.

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Even more dangerous for Prussia than Maria Theresia with the imperial German army, and the troops of the weak King Louis XV of France, who was under the control of the ambitious Madame de Pompadour, was the Russian Tzarina Elizabeth with her fanatical Prussian-hatred to which she could commit the inexhaustible resources of the gigantic Russia. Apart from the other Russian forces threatening Prussia, a powerful Russian fleet commanded by Count Romanzov had appeared off Kolberg in late Summer and landed a siege force of 16, men.

It was rumoured however that the Russian fleet had brought a total of 25, men of whom 9, had stayed on board the ships to be landed as a feint at some favourable spot should the opportunity arise, whereby the Russian superiority in that area would have become fatal. General von Knobloch's brigade had been redeployed from General von Platen's forces to the small, weakly fortified seaport of Treptow, to prevent this second landing.

But in addition to that they had another difficult task: As the resources of the immediate area had long ago been used up, so that the necessary materials had to be procured over a great distance 2 , General von Knobloch was continually forced to stretch his division in narrower and longer lines, whereby of course Treptow could not be left without sufficient protection.

Seit ist er Mitglied des britischen Chartered Institute of Linguists. He has been a Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists since Working from mainly from German but also from Dutch into English I offer the following translation services: Having worked in several different walks of life over the past odd years from the military to the computer networking industry and having spent time living abroad and in the UK, I have amassed considerable life experience that serves me well when it comes to understanding the texts I am asked to translate.

In addition to this general experience I have several specific language and translation qualifications, which I outline in the following Further references are available on request but in the meantime I hope that the information provided below will assure you of my abilities in this area. This award specifically qualifies me to translate from German into English.

This diploma says as much about a candidate's ability in English as in the source language as it places high demands upon the target text in terms of register, style, grammar and spelling as well as the appropriate use of technical jargon and idiom. To read more about this qualification please follow the link below, which will take you to the appropriate section of the Chartered Institute of Linguists' web site. To return to this site please use the arrow keys on your browser: It certifies the successful candidate's abilities in speaking, reading and writing German to a level approaching that of an educated native speaker, i.

To read more about this qualification please follow the link below, which will take you to the appropriate section of the Goethe Institut's web site. PGDip KDS Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, which is not only a prestigious confirmation of my proven abilities as a linguist and translator, but also means that I am subject to a code of conduct and disciplinary procedures, designed to ensure the highest possible standards in the translation industry as well as providing clients with an independent means of arbitration and redress in the event of disputes.

For details of both the code of conduct and the disciplinary procedures, please click the 'Code of Conduct' button on the left of your screen. Alternatively you can browse to the following links and return to this web site using your browser's arrow keys: Code of Professional Conduct: IoL Disciplinary Framework and Procedures Other Educational Qualifications In addition to my specific language qualifications I hold the following academic qualifications: During this period I have worked in England, Germany and Holland and have been involved at all levels of management up to Associate Director.

My work has given me a deep insight into, and many years practical experience in the production of, most types of commercial documentation and the full procurement cycle including the drafting of procurement and service contracts, invitations to tender, tender responses and project and technical documentation; all of which I have written, proofread and edited in both German and English.

My business activities, even when I have been based in Britain, have often involved protracted periods during which my main focus has been on the German-speaking regions of Europe whereby German was used for most documentation and spoken transactions. From a technical point of view I have been most involved in consultancy relating to data networking, fibre and copper cabling and communications room design and fit out. I have worked closely with architects and construction companies and have been personally responsible for the design, procurement and implementation of highly complex, multi-million pound projects in industry sectors such as banking, higher education and law.

As well as giving me specific abilities and knowledge of both commercial and technical documentation and its translation, my industry and commercial experience, even going back to my military days, has provided me with a profound understanding of many of the aspects of what 'makes the world' tick, as it were, which is an invaluable asset when it comes to translating.

Even literature with its focus on plot, language and cultural allusions, usually plays out in a commercial world or at least presupposes an understanding of commercial and political constraints, without which a full understanding of the work and therefore an ability to render it faithfully in translation, would be impossible.

Cultural Links to Germany Having been posted to Germany with the British Army I subsequently married a German and lived in Germany for a total of 10 years, half of which were as a civilian. Throughout that time German was our house language and having raised two sons in Germany I was given privileged aspects to many aspects of German culture, which operate during the formative years of the average German, such as early schooling, literature and television as well as what one might call child culture. This is the kind of cultural exposure unachievable by the purely academic student of German and Germany.

It is augmented by an exposure to all aspects of contemporary German culture from shopping to dealing with officialdom to understanding family and international dynamics in what was then still a divided and occupied country. Many aspects of German literature and modern journalism must appear to be obscure or confusing to any translator not having experienced a similar level of exposure to contemporary German culture. I currently live in England but maintain close links to Germany through frequent visits, both personal and business related; German TV and films; closely following current affairs by way of newspapers and magazines and of course masses of reading covering 18th, 19th and 20th century literature, some of which I access through audio books.

In terms of my current academic studies, most of the history books in my library are in German and I routinely translate and quote from them in order to present a balanced view point in my essays. Other Languages Although I am only officially qualified to translate from German to English and am primarily offering this as a service, I have in the past translated from English into German when this has been specifically requested see my sample translations for examples.

In addition to German I am able but not officially qualified to translate from Dutch into English and German and have a particular interest in related languages such as Low German and the various branches of the Frisian family. Essentially, if something is written in any form of West Germanic, I can understand and therefore translate it. I have also dabbled in various other languages solely for my own interest but would be unable to offer any services in connection with them. Nevertheless it may round out this presentation of my linguistic credentials if I briefly indicate some of the avenues down which my wandering mind has led me.

We conduct our correspondence alternatively in Polish and English.