Trump takes the wind out of my imagination, hence out of my responses to current affairs as a writer. I used to think satire is the way to go in dealing with things that are wrong in this world. Satire sharpens the thinking by pushing things into their extremes. “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift, … Continue reading
Franx FictionI started this website since nowadays one needs a presence to be present, and physical presence is no longer sufficient to be seen in this nebulous virtual space. So think of it as a bullhorn, as an amplification, as a mic check.
AAN ZEEA scientist attending a conference in the Netherlands gets drawn into the spell of a hotel that has seen better days, and enters a time warp from which he finds it difficult to escape. A long train ride as he visits his aunt living in Austria brings a solution of some sort.
NARCISIn a post-apocalyptic world, in which man-sized music-loving roaches roam the earth, a young postdoc is introduced to the large electronic library in the New Mexico desert in which truth filters are employed to test scientific hypotheses, to make experimentation on animals obsolete.
The ObservatoryThe old observatory of the University of Bonn is sold to a shifty entrepreneur who promptly transforms it into a striptease joint and bordello. As Hubert, the director of the Astronomical Institute, struggles to keep the scandal contained, his marriage is falling apart.
The reference problem is an old problem. We do measure the actions of people by norms that have been established before. All our actions, our pronouncements, are predicated on assumptions we all hold dear. Even satire requires a general system of reference to be heard and understood. Rogues are by definition people who defy norms. … Continue reading
Seeing a Litfass Säule in Krakow invoked childhood memories from Germany in the 50s where these advertisement columns were everywhere. These were large cylindrical columns made of concrete, erected for the mere purpose of acting as walls for advertisements, such as for concerts, circuses, lectures. Now with … Continue reading
The gallery is in a new building, in Manhattanville. I was the only visitor at that time. I took the picture from the side, to avoid glare. (It occurs to me now that the perspective distortion is a test of three-dimensionality. Hence … Continue reading
photograph of graffiti in Krakow, Poland In this competitive world — and “petty” is related to “competitive” for a reason — we must find our senses and our purpose. If after exercise we feel like shit, then we should listen. What else is out there? Have we missed something we saw as entirely tangential but … Continue reading
. Cowbird, Jonathan Harris’ website dedicated to the narration of stories of life, ceased to exist at the end of March after running for 5 years. I tremendously enjoyed contributing to it and interacting with people while it lasted. The reason was that I’ve always looked for a way to express myself in a way … Continue reading
. Birkenenau in German means a “meadow of birch trees,” just as Weidenau, the name of my home town, means a “meadow of willows.” Both conjure a beautiful, peaceful scene. But Birkenau, the bigger one of two Auschwitz camps created by the Nazis, is the most gruesome opposite of peace and serenity one could imagine. … Continue reading
(Puppets in the window of a shop in Krakow) . We all, or some of us, walk through this beautiful town thinking of a different kind of life. But what would that be? A few privileged people amassing a lot of power, their lackeys following each of their steps with forced adolation? Each display of … Continue reading
. Following is an exchange between me and Ricardo Nirenberg, editor of the OFFCOURSE literary magazine. Not trained in the Humanities, I was unaware of the vast body of human experience found in St. Augustine’s “Confessions,” and his obsession with the flesh. In both Ricardo’s reminiscences of himself as a thirteen year old and St. … Continue reading
In Stockholm, a Philately store bursting out of its seams. Tons of stamps, so many that there is only a narrow path inside the store to move about. And here he is again. He follows me. He cannot be undone. He cannot be unimagined. He is a perpetual curse of our past and future.