Thursday, November 7, 2013

Book Fair Bits 1: Old is new/New is old

Heavily bombed during World War II (shown in the photo on the right of a timeline in the historic part of the city), Frankfurt lost and later reconstructed many buildings (old buildings are new).

A Dance Palace/Reading Tent at the Frankfurt Book Fair is flanked by newer structures; the architect of the building on the is Helmut Jahn.

Frankfurt was surprisingly quiet. Am I too used to Manhattan's din? Or, are Frankfurt's citizens intensely-silent introverts? Perhaps providing a key to a few stereotypes, the late W.G. Sebald described how Germans survived the war years through sheer force of denial. An excerpt in The New Yorker was both fascinating and horrifying. Sebald, who lived in England, died in a car crash in 2001. On a lighter note, the colors look great the reflected on the wet strasse.

The acid-colored poster for performances of Georg Buchner's plays echoes his highly-charged (but very short) life. Robert Wilson, Tom Waits, and Kathleen Brennan collaborated on an also highly-charged version of Buchner's Woyzeck; the album "Blood Money" contains numerous songs from the Wilson/Waits/Brennan opera, including one of my faves, "Coney Island Baby."

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