Emory University’s Vann Seminar in Pre-Modern European History is starting up again this week for the fall. I’ve attended several past seminars and have always found stimulating conversations in a relaxed atmosphere. (Possibly the Emory students in attendance feel less relaxed than outsiders like me.) Each seminar is devoted to a draft paper by a […]
This week I’ve been clearing out the cobwebs by taking a break to write a Wikipedia article or three. Since Saturday I’ve added these obscure items to The Free Encyclopedia Anyone Can Edit: Georg Schäfer, a German capitalist, erstwhile Nazi official, and art collector. He needed to be distinguished from the globe-trotting, tale-spinning, acid-dropping painter […]
A new German website uses hypertext and Web technology to present an archive of first-hand accounts of the Thirty Years’ War in central Germany. If you’re interested in the future of digital archives, the site is worth a look, even if you don’t read German. It’s called MDSZ, short for Mitteldeutsche Selbstzeugnisse der Zeit des Dreißigjährigen Krieges.
One thing to notice is the behavior of the image on the front page, of an armored knight attacking fleeing peasants. If you mouse over the image, it is instantly magnified to show its detail in (presumably) actual size. Moving the mouse navigates intuitively to different parts of the picture (unlike some cumbersome image viewers on the Web, which move only in slightly overlapping blocks, or respond in unexpected ways to the mouse).
The archive contains four Selbstzeugnisse (“ego-documents”), first-hand accounts of violence and war-related events in Thuringia. None of these has been published before. The four manuscripts are (respectively) by Volkmar Happe, Michael Heubel, Hans Krafft, and Caspar Heinrich Marx, and all four are constantly available through links in the upper right-hand corner of every page. Continue reading “Hypertext history: Presenting documents on the Web”
I happened on this German definition of baseball in an early Brockhaus encyclopedia. Here’s a translation: Base Ball (Eng., pronounced behs’ bahl), English and American national game, that for the most part resembles the German Ballspiel (which see). It is played with a hard, leather-covered ball and a wooden bat by two parties (clubs) of […]
An oil company is in trouble for touting coffee drinks with a slogan that once adorned the gates of a concentration camp (according to the Telegraph). “Jedem den Seinen!” shouted the Esso ads; it translates roughly as “To each their own!” Change the phrase’s plural number to singular, and you have the words on the […]
Today’s chicken joke queries Goethe in his own language. Q: Warum hat der Hahn die Straße überquert? Goethe: Das Ewig-Weibchenliche zog ihn hinüber. Translation: Why did the chicken cross the road? The Eternal Hen lured him across. I think this one works a little better in German than English. It imposes the rustic word Weibchen, […]
So on Friday my wife and I strolled beside a lake in north Alabama. We admired blue herons and Canada geese, we marveled at a stray sandpiper and a loon from the northern lakes, the way it vanished under water like a thought, and the wild calls it made. It was a perfect day to […]