Today I attended a memorial to Fritz Stern, the Historian, who died in May. Stern left Germany with his parents in 1938, just 2 weeks before the Kristallnacht. He studied PreMed, then switched to History, to start a distinguished career that led him to join the faculty of Columbia for many years. His focus, or … 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.
. Today I read in the New York Times that Greta Friedman, the most likely girl captured in Eisenstaedt’s famous photograph, died at age 92. After the photograph was widely reprinted, three women claimed to be the kissees, and eleven men claimed to be the kissers. This makes 33 possible combinations, of which only one … Continue reading
Books have been written about the relationship between the choice of a title and the content it heralds. Title is a tease in one sense and a giveaway in another. Works of art are frequently titled “Untitled”, but the very appearance of the word in the very place reserved for a title makes it a … Continue reading
I’ve been obsessed, lately, about the invention of the wheel. Was it a disruptive, transformative event, or a gradual process? It is difficult to come up with a gradual process going from non-wheel to wheel. After all, the concept of the axle is an unforeseen event of courage.
The Peacock stands in one of the innumerable courtyards of the Summer Palace. “Peacock” in Chinese symbolizes long life and infinity and happiness and all other things uplifting and positive. The Peacock appears to have the habit of seeking to escape; how else can we explain the tight fence around it, not even allowing wings … Continue reading
. I was in China recently, close to the Great Wall. The building of the Wall, gigantic in scope, costed innumerable lives and suffering, and was in the end futile since the Mongols took over Beijing and started a new dynasty. This made me think of other futile projects, the Wall in Berlin, which was … Continue reading
. The word for horse in Greek has the literal meaning “Illogical.” I have searched the internet for the etymology of this name but found no answer. This name is illogical in itself, on the next level, since there is no possible reason to call a horse “illogical” except from the point of view of … Continue reading
. . The actors: God, Assistant God, Messenger. [God and Assistant God are casually dressed but both wear a cardboard halo that flaps when they move their heads as it is supported by a single spoke. The Messenger wears a uniform that shows rudiments of golden wings in the area of the shoulder blades. God … Continue reading
. 1. In the hills of that country, animals the size of your thumbnail used to sit on the branches of elm trees and sing. … 2. Herb made a fast, determined movement with his left hand – he was left-handed from birth, or as long as he could remember – and the little green … Continue reading
. Five thousand years from now, the people that are left on this earth will admire the grace and delicacy with which horses were rendered in acryl on hexagonal tilings — the medium of the day — not far from the ruins that once were the Towers of Trump on the Island of Man-Hattan, an … Continue reading