to Helen Rosenthal, New York City Council member, regarding a community forum she organized on December 8, 2016 at the John Jay College, Upper West Side. . Dear Helen: I don’t want to come across as ungrateful — I very much appreciate your initiative in organizing this event — but I walked out of it … 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 Founding Fathers did not imagine that one day a man devoid of any moral compass, an ungentleman in other words, or a brute, would pass all scrutiny of the national selection process and wind up the winner of the presidential race. As a consequence, most basic restrictions imposed by ethics – forbidding any conflict … Continue reading
I remember clearly the first days of the Gorge W Bush Presidency, when I was so sick of his pronouncements, so sick of seeing his face everywhere, so sick of thinking ahead to four endless years, that I looked for every piece of news diminishing his standing like a morsel. Now here we are with … Continue reading
. I’ve been forced to flee my home, but I have my suitcase with me containing all my important belongings. But then I get drawn into crowds, I’m torn this way and that. I need to make sure the suitcase is still with me. My hands go over it; I find it covered with a … Continue reading
As always when emotions are high, the words that come to my mind are from my native German language. When Spohie our dog was still living, and I was angry with her, “Scheisshund” slipped from my lips much faster than “Goddamn it!” So, waking up from the night of the election, the word stark in … Continue reading
. I noticed I have become more focused, more willful, more determined. It is as though my tense nights, half-awake with a sense of dread, prepare me for action. It is as though my whole body says, I will not compromise. Facing an uncertain future, these are the two alternatives: go into retreat, or prepare … Continue reading
My mind is in knots. A man who never got past adolescence, a spoiled brat, who enriched himself throughout his life by fraudulent transactions, who has insulted minorities, physically abused women, a man who has no experience in public office, has been elected president. This is a cosmic joke. He doesn’t read, but follows his … Continue reading
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
. 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