Monthly Archive: January 2012

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Happy Jew for the Happy Few

It was Dominique Bourel’s 60th birthday yesterday. Though he is not too strongly involved in the German academical system, he knows enough people in it to be entitled to a jubilee “Kolloquium”. Maybe because he is not a German Professor, he was given not the full 3-days-of-very-long-lectures-programme, but a 3-hour-firework retracing the life paths of “Happy Jews” from the 18th to the 21st century. This main theme, as organisator Christoph Schulte explained in his introductory speech, was inspired by Dominique Bourel’s thesis in his biography of Moses Mendelssohn – who was according to him a “happy jew”. The talks were...

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Places not to be

The first letters I encoded in the past few days are not really representative of the rest of the corpora, but they forced me to deal with interesting problems concerning the architecture of our index of places. Here’s a sample: Après la rupture de l’<placeName ref=”#l0004″>Espagne</placeName> et de l’<placeName ref=”#l0005″>Angleterre</placeName> la guerre paroit se perpetuer et je n’en vois plus la fin, sur tout, si <lb/>la prediction de Mr. <persName ref=”#p0008″>Litt</persName> qui a deviné si juste dans les affaires de la nation, se verifie, que la guerre avoit commencé en Amerique <lb/>et ne pourroit aussi finir, que là. Le General...

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Materiality on a Scooter (@ Ribaltone’s with Toni Bernhart)

When I was 12, I discovered in an old family house (which used to be, in the 18th century or so, a post house) a whole bunch of papers – pictures, household accounts, letters – retracing the family history. I put it all in a trunk and thought I should either bring it to the local archive (but was afraid they would not take it because it was not so old and not so interesting) or at least protect them from decay, cold, heat, rain, fire… When I next considered actually taking care of it a few years later, dormice...

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How critical should critical be? (Corpus Part Three)

I am polishing two papers connected to Louis de Beausobre, whose correspondence is the third of the four corpora we will edit first (at least part of it). As good an occasion as any other to post on that corpus and the edition problems I am seeing coming. Louis de Beausobre was born in 1730 in Berlin as the son of the French reformed pastor Isaac de Beausobre (for those who understand French, take a little look at the French wikipedia page on him: the comparison between the French and the English version illustrate pretty well the point of my...

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Missing Link

This week, we had the honor and the pleasure to welcome Helga Meise in our group, for a fruitful and Ersamus-sponsored exchange of ideas – including an intervention of her in our BA-class on Romantic German female writers (awesome presentation on Sophie von La Roche’s Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim and its importance in German literary history) – and a presentation of her latest research results on the novel writer Maria Anna Sager. Now that is someone you can try googling and wikipedying as much as you want: you won’t find any trace. As she explained it to us, it...