Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction, Yiddish Literature, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality historical novels are some of my Literary Interests

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

German Literature IV Full Post Event Report. Copiously Illustrated

Consider this your formal invitation to the close out party for German Literature IV. The festivities will take place in the Goethe Room at The Grand Budapest Hotel. Please wear formal evening attire,if possible.  You may bring your own guests and all of the authors and characters you posted on are more than welcome.  

Your host will be Ruffington Bousweau, author of The Manly Man’s Guide to the Ports of the Mediterranean.

Consider this your formal invitation to the close out party for German Literature IV. The festivities will take place in the Goethe Room at The Grand Budapest Hotel. Please wear formal evening attire,if possible.  The time will be announced shortly, there will be many special guests, Ruffy, you will be calling him that my the end of the party, has added his own chef to those of the Grand Hotel so the food will be exquisite. If you need help with booking flights or steamships, contact the hotel concierge. Prince Youseff has kindly booked on his account the top three floors of the hotel for complementary rooms for event guests.  You may stay for seven days.

 Lizzy has been assigned the Queen Theresa Suite and Carolina, cats permitted, the Maria Antoinette Suite. There shall be, details being worked out with hotel management, a Venus in Furs Costume Party.
                                                           Can this be Mel u?
 Kafka has already RSVPed and indicates he will come if he can escape the castle, Stefan Zweig will be delighted to see his old friend Ruffy in whose modest 32 room Chateau in the south of France he once wintered, Joseph Roth, after verifying endless drinks are “on the house”, said he will be coming for sure. Gregor von Rezzori will be in attendance but Thomas Bernard refused the very idea. All event participants are invited.
                                                     Two Early Arrivers Getting in the Spirit
Post event there will be a detailed report with most indescretions veiled.

                                    Gregor von Rezzori has already arrived.
Unknown French actresses who claim to have been in a movie with Gregor, in an act of extreme kindness, he agrees to share his suite with them

                                 Ruffy, yes I am coming 

                                                     Be Sure and stock up on Medl's Catnip!
                                 Mousier Bousweau is expecting me.

                                 Please join us

Please RSVP if possible
Mel von ü

Day two

                                                    Caroline of Beauty is a Sleeping Cat Arrives

Because of overwhelming response and the large number of planned activities, field trips, music events, theatrical performances, Venus in Furs Costume Party, Stefan Zweig's Old Vienna Reunion Day, and daily showing of movies from the Weimer period, hosted by Christopher Isherwood, the sponsers of the event have agreed to extend the festival for seven days.

First we should greet our sponsers and event hosts.  

Ruffington Bousweau 

Event Manager

 Many traveler writers can tell you about the museums, restaurants, historical places of the port cities of the world only Ruffington Boussweau (1881 to 1974-UK) has the courage to tell the manly man what he  really wants to know.   E.  M. Forster said the chapter on Alexandria taught him more than he learned in a year of living there.  Paul Bowles advised his friends not to come to Tangiers without reading what Ruffy said  first.   Hart Crane met Ruffy in a Parisian Apache bar and  said "Ruffy knows all the best places and gave me some great tips on having fun on a cruise ship".  Ruffy helped with the expenses involved with the publication of The Bridge, though he admits he was never able to get beyond the third page.    Jean Rhys said he was the most handsome man she had ever seen.  She was shocked to learn he had been to Dominica and cruised the Sargasso Sea.  Ruffy was touched but had to decline when she said "no charge for you".   Marcel Proust always made sure he had Ruffy's favorite macaroons on stock whenever he heard he was in Paris.    

Ruffington (or as he loved to say "Oh, Please call me Ruffy, even my houseboys do")  first came to the attention of society when he was the  personal cruise director for Prince Nicholas (to be Czar Nicholas) and Prince Felix Youssovpov  in 1903 when they cruised the major ports of the Mediterranean with the Russian navy.   Ruffy and Felix  met in Naples when Youssovpov was doing his grand tour of Western European  transsexual brothels and they were very close the rest of their lives.    

Ruffy was born in London in 1881.      He attended the most manly of universities, Cambridge, receiving a double fifth  in Greek classics and French studies.   His family wealth, acquired in the slave trade-we can all be proud of the fact that Ruffy always forthrightly acknowledged that this was perhaps not a  morally good business- freed him to travel and enjoy the  sybriatic  life style that got him banned from the best places in Europe and sought after in the worst or was it the other way around?   He did his best to make up for his family past business with a very diversified collection of houseboys.   When asked about his shocking to many allegedly passionate romance with a Russian  ballerina reputed to be the mistress of a Grand Duke, he said,  and added a phrase to the English Language, "Any Port  in a storm".    

Ruffington Bousweau is the author of 25 classic travel books.  Sometime ago I was approached by the great great granddaughter of one of the wealthiest families in Bangladesh.   Her ancestor attended Cambridge with Ruffy's grandfather and the families are still very close. She kindly provided me with a full edition, out of print in this plebeian world, of his works, and requested I assist on the reprinting  of these works which she is having translated into twenty five of the most common languages of the Indian Subcontinent with the goal of having one million editions in schools and libraries across the region by 2020.  So far two of the books are back in print and you can read more about them below. Ruffy asked her to join us for the event and she reserved the fourth floor for her entourage and signed an unlimited line of credit to generously pay all travel expenses for event participants.  

My post on a classic travel book of the 1920s - The Manly Man's Guide to the Ports of the Mediterranean Sea by Ruffington Bousweau 

My Post on The Manly Mans Guide to the Baltic Sea by Ruffington Bousweau

Prince Felix Youssoupov 

Prince Felix Youssoupov is best known through the baseless accusation that he was involved in the alleged murder  of Gregory Rasputin.  He left Russian (keep your Trans-Siberian Railroad Czarist Bonds!) with most of his incredible wealth transferred to London, Paris, and San Francisco (he was an early investor in the Bank of California).  Ruffy and he go way back and Felix has booked on his account the top three floors of the hotel for event guests for seven days, including full room service charges.  Felix's family is related to the royal families of many principalities of Germania and the families of the rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  Special physicians will be on staff for hemophiliacs.  

Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig will be the master of cermonies at event dinners, assisted by his good friend Joseph Roth.  Joseph Roth has agreed to taste all wine served.

Gregor von Rezzori 

Entertainment director  and host of the film festival featuring period movies is Gregor von Rezzori, author of Memoirs of an Anti-Semite and a much admired motion picture actor.  We are not sure who is with him but Ruffy said it was Lizzy of Lizzy's Literary Life.

Please RSVP, bring your own guests, the year of the event is 1932 but your wireless phones and tablets will work.  If you have any requests or ideas for the week let us know.

Only if you dare!

We are looking forward to meeting you and your guests, cats and time travelers are welcome.

Get ready for the Venus in Furs Costume Party

Period outfits are encouraged for the dinners for those not in formal wear.

I will be giving more detail on entertainment next.

Day three

The Post Event Week Long Observation for German Literature Month, held at the Grand Budapest Hotel from December 1 to December 7, 2014 (virtual year is 1932) is well underway.  The three floors of rooms booked to the account of Prince Felix Youssoupov are nearly full but accommodations will be found for all.  As of now the forth floor booked by a beloved friend of Ruffington Bousweau, descended from a three thousand year old royal family from North East India (and Patron of The Reading Life) stands empty pending the arrival of her entourage so perhaps you may be lucky enough to be on her floor.  The Maharani of Raghurg's grandfather had rooms down the hall from Ruffy's grand Uncle Mortier at Cambridge and the families are very close. Ties between the families go well back into the 16th century.

Collete, with the help of Jean Rhys, having heard of the seeming shortage of women at the event, has agreed to run the registration desk. Please sign in upon arrival.  They will have your room data and event vouchers.

Collete plans to win The Venus in Furs Costume Party Contest but Jean says don't count her out yet.

Musical Events

Germania and the grand Austro Hungarian Empire are blessed with some of the world's greatest musicians and dramatists and our entertainment director, Gregor von Rezzori (and yes Ladies he is currently single) has booked an incredible lineup of events.  You sadly missed the afternoon performance of The Magic Flute by the Vienna Opera Company on Day 1 but this afternoon parts of Wagner's  Des Rheingold will be preformed.

 Herr Goethe has arrived accompanied by Lizzy of Lizzy's Literary Life and he will be speaking briefly prior to the performance below at 200 PM on December 5.

Sigmund Freud will be lecturing on "The Uncanny", based in part on Hoffman's The Sandman at 900 AM on day six and will make himself available for a few private sessions for event guests. 

Freud Lecture

                                                      Three PM Tea

Film Festival 

Their will also be a film festival, hosted by Christopher Isherwood focusing on, but not limited to, the films of the Weimer Republic.  A significant controversary has arisen over the proposed showing of Leni Riefenstahl's master work Triumph of the Will.  A number of guests have indicated they may leave the event if it is shown but on the other hand a solicitor representing a small elderly contingent arriving today  from Buenos Aires is insisting that art transcends politics, details coming. 

New Guests Arriving.

Word is spreading throughout The Reading Life World of the event.  Junichiro Tanizaki, famous for his tales of erotic obsession as dark as any European work, has arrived along with the central character in his great short story, "The Tattoo", who is a likely favorite to win the Venus in Furs Costume Party Contest.  Oscar Wilde is here also and will be a contest judge along with Jonathan and Katherine Mansfield.    

News Flash

Sissi arriving for one day only 

"looking forward to seeing Cousin Felix and meeting everyone."  

I have just received word that Prince Youssoupov has booked two more floors for the event so I confident all can be accommodated.  

As mentioned Herr Goethe and Dr. Freud have arrived.  The arrival of Rilke caused a rush of excitement when he began to distribute a special inscribed GL IV edition of Sonnets of Orpheus dedicated to Caroline and Lizzy.

Robert Walser arrived, walking in from Thun.  His arrival went unnoticed.  

More craziness to come.

You are expected!  

Please RSVP if possible, bring guests, if possible wear period or formal attire.

Tommorow we will let you know about some of the numerous field trips the concierge can arrange.

Mel u

Day four

The German Literature IV Seven Day Post Event Observation is at the mid-point with many more guests arriving as word of the observation spreads through the reading life world.  Early this morning our first American guests arrived, all from the American South, accompanied by Elizabeth Bowen. Our guests are Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers, and Eudora Welty.  Our concierge rushs over, "it is a great honour to the Grand Budapest Hotel to welcome three such refined and elegant ladies. And  Will you ladies be needing extra rooms for your slaves?"  After being assured by Ms. Bowen, an old friend of Ruffy's, that they no longer kept slaves, our beloved concierge consults with Prince Youssoupov, he  says, in French to the lobby boy, not knowing Ms Welty speaks a trifle, "put these hill Billy girls in the servants quarters, they won't know any better".  Carson immediately heads for the bar where she is chatted up by Joseph Roth.

Many guests have requested information on possible day tours, of course the concierge can assist.

Here are a few possibilities.

Danube Cruise

A beautiful four hour option, very romantic as a night cruise.  

Hungrian Gourmet Tour

Ruffy says it may not be up to Paris standards but I will certainly be on this tour.  

Godollo Castle

Home of generations of Hungarian Royalty.  

Longer trips to Salzburg and Praque are possible and highly recommended.

Our visitors from Argentina arrive and are met by agents of the Mossad and are escorted to the third level basement. They are never seen again.

Weimer Art Exhibit

More Guests Arriving    

Rabindranath Tagore, accompanied by a friend from Ulm, Germany has graced us with his presence. 

Be sure to try a few of the goodies from Mendel's.

Carson McCullers has decided to enter the Venus in Furs Costume Party Contest, Colette was observed whispering something snide to Ruffy.   Some say the fix is on the contest with the young lady who accompanied Juniciro Tanazaki (from his very powerful short story, "The Tattoo") a sure winner.  

Emergency Alert

Many have reported seeing numerous Steppenwolves throughout  the hotel and grounds, most frequently from midnight to three A.M

Berlin Jazz Dancers, 1928.  Performing and available in the Krilovean lounge every night .  All seeking sponsers for their studies.

Concierge Services

Stamps, passport security and visa requests

German Ballett.

In the Kleist Audotorium tonight at 800pm

More guests arrive.

Prefers to remain incognito 

We are happy to announce the arrival of more guests.  As we have now taken over six floors of the hotel I have invited all authors ever featured on my blog to join the event.

Paul Bowles

"I just arrived firm Tangiers.  I hope Jane will arrive soon and William Burroughs will be stopping by for lunch.

Barbara Baynton

Representing Australian, the daughter of bound Irish immigrants, is Barbara Baynton.

Princess Guermantes

"Marcel sends his regrets".

George Orwell

Confirmed working in Kitchen but declined to be photographed.  He says the whole event reeks of the foolish distractions of the upper classes, fueling the rise of Fascism.   

Old Vienna Day Cohosted by Stefan Zweig and Joseph Roth

Day Five of the Post Event Observation for German Literature Month IV will center around the Vienna of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, circa 1917 to 1931.  But first I have an appointment with Dr. Freud to talk to him about a strange dream I had tied in with old Vienna.  

My Session with Dr. Freud and Dr. Jung

"Herr u, why have you come to see me?

"Dr Freud, I seek your interpertation of a recurring dream I have had"

"tell me the dream,please" 

"I am in the reading room of the Stefan Zweig Center in Salzburg,  my wife is with me.  I suddenly feel very intimidated and I run out.  I am walking the grounds, my wife is no longer in the dream.  I am wearing shorts as I normally do in in the steam bath like climate of the tropical mega-city in which I live.  Suddenly as I wander the grounds alone my pants fall down,  then my wife reappears and yells at me that I have totally humiliated her and she leaves me there.  The next day I return to the Zweig Institute alone and everyone in the reading room stands up greets me and the librarian says they have long been expecting me"

"Hum, Herr u, what do you think this all means?"

"Well of course I wonder why my pants fall down, why do I wear shorts in a place where no one else does?  Why does my wife desert me at the Zweig Institute, or does she, maybe it means my love of reading has left her out of my life?  I do not really understand.  Does it mean I am being held back by her or is it a fear of being a poor husband? "

"Herr u, people do not recall dreams in this much detail, it is a reconstruction from your subconscious, only you can explain it"

"Oh, Greetings Professor Jung, how long have you been listening?"

"the whole time, maybe your wife is the representative of the earth, grounding and anchoring you but also imposing limits, the Zweig Institute is a world she has no place in but do you it somehow represents what your life might have been had you taken different paths long ago.  It is not yet clear to me why your pants fall down.  We need more sessions to tie these images in with archetypes of your subconscious mind in the depths of your cultural memory"

Now Colette interjects, "Mel u, you have a great wife, just ignore these two sages, if you cannot figure out why your pants fall down, stop by my suite after midnight and I will make it all clear to you"

A day in Vienna (held in Salzburg, Austria at the Stefan Zweig Center

The Old Vienna interlude will actually take place in Salzburg at the Stefan Zweig Institute.  Zweig lived in Salzburg from 1919 to 1934.  As you enter the institute, closed to the public today, you will here the music of Mozart and occasionally the Redetsky March can be heard. Many of our guests went into exhile when or before Austria was annexed into Germany.  Old Vienna was considered the safest city for Jews and many still wished the Hapsbugs ruled the city.  The writings are stepped in nostalgia, a longing for old days, a deep sense of loss  for a Pan-European Culture they knew would be destroyed.
Among guests, featured on my blog during GL III, are Robert Musil, Ingeborg Bachman, and Herman Broch, all at the event.  Joseph Roth was originally from what is now part of the Ukraine but loved old Vienna with all his heart.  

Performing at the event today only

Gregor von Rezzori once said the typical Viennese writer was "a cross between a minor Hapsurg Duke and a Monte Carlo croupier" but he joins those longing for the halcyon days when Franz Joseph ruled the Empire.

Guest Updates

Ivan Turgenav will be here tommorow to participate in the Venus in Furs Event.  He will be arriving in his private rail car with several other as yet unnamed "guests of distinctions".

This morning a tragic error may have been made.  At around six am a knight of sorrowful countenance dressed in rags and riding on a donkey approached the hotel entrance accompanied by a corpulent squire of low demeanor and said he had received can invitation to the event.  Hotel security released a pack of Doberman Pinchers and Wolfe Dogs on them.  If you have any idea who they might have been please contact event management, assuming you can locate them.

Robert Walser is walking the hotel grounds, alone.  Kafka has complained to Ruffy and the concierge that he is being hounded by a group of adolescent girls lead by a hunchback but an extensive search by our head of security found no such group.  Many guests speak of a Sandman disturbing their dreams.  Some insist they have seen several shape shifting  wolves roaming the ground.  Carmella from The Reading Life Short Irish story Month (coming March 2015) is now here and plans to enter the costume contest.  She has informed Ruffy several Irish poets  are on their way, wives, whiskey and weather permitting.

          Created by the Irish Master of the Gothic,

           Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, first known
            Literary lesbian vampire, but also
            Likes a fine gentleman on occasion

More to come on Friday and Saturday.

Mel u

Ruprecht, resident shape shifter of The Reading Life has arrived.

Special Gazette 

With the arrival of Ambrosia Bousweau twenty four hours of pure Weimer decadence begins.

With the arrival Ambrosia  Bousweau the party truly begins.  Ambrosia is the daughter of Sheridan Bousweau, youngest brother, of six siblings, of Ruffy. Her mother was the daughter of a  maid in the service of the Maharaja of Ragnor.  Ambrosia lives in Shanghai with her father part  of the year, where he maintains the family connections to the Tongs but she maintains flats in Berlin, Paris, and Vienna. She received an emergency cable from Princess Gueramantes saying the event needed her special connections in the demi-monde world of Vienna and the art and cabaret scene in Weimer Berlin  to "liven up".  Armed with a letter of credit from the Shanghai Branch of the House  Rothschild she has spared no expense in effort to help dear uncle Ruffy.

Ambrosia informs the concierge the party needs more women, she makes a few calls and soon the cream of the Viennese demi-monde begins to arrive.

Of course we must have better music.

Naturally  some boarding school chums are invited.

Endorsed by Dr. Freud 

Grand Aunt Euphemia Bousweau Rosewater

Two Weimer Starlets, Bertha Belller and Sophia Goodnight.

Madame Carolins.  Long time  Business associate of the Bousweau family.

A few party scenes

Three blocks from the hotel all is not quite so lovely.

Ambrosia (in 1946 she will receive decorations from the allies for her work in getting downed fliers to England) loves Weimer Art and has set up a large exhibit in the lobby.

"Am I do late for the Venus in Furs Costume Party, Stefan told me to enter?"

The Percival Lounge will host a cabaret tonight.

"I could sleep for a thousand years" - Ludwig von  Rosewater

Third Class Ladies Lounge 

Some late arrivals from Shanghai arriving via the Shanghai Express

Former elementary schoolmate  of Ambrosia

"so you see a vision of a new Germania?, am I in it?"

"ok, when does the Opium take effect?"

"what happens at the Grand Budapest Hotel stays there, assuming I am tipped, of course".

Venus in Furs Costume Party Tommorow 1000pm - Goethe Room

"Herr von  ü personally promised I will win"

GL IV Post Event Observation Day Six. Updates, announcements, new guests -

A look inside a modest suite 

 "Be sure to tell Ruffy that I have arrived". - Elizabeth Yusupov, late of Saint Petersburg, 


"Triumph of the Will" is no longer on the movie list.  The event management agreed to this to avoid the background check that the Mossad insisted they would complete on all guests if it was shown.

Metropolis will be substituted.

New Lecture Event. - Susan Sontag will speak on "Camp in German Art" place and time TBA

A Walk in the Woods can be a delight, I mean what ever happened to anyone in a German Forest? 

Security Director for The European Division of the Bousweau Family - 

Merilda Bousweau - daughter  of General Gestiso Bousweau of Paraquay.

Major Musical Update

From now on only the music of Richard Wagnar can be played at the event.

Theodore R. Bousweau - "the statue of limitations should have run out by now ".

Members of multiple intelligence services watch comings and goings at the hotel

Berlin  Dandys  Club arrived at hotel last night.

Ivan Turgenav has booked a luxury train Paris to Budapest for interested parties

The event is now open to all authors  featured on my blog since inception.  Numerous are arriving from Paris today.  Among them are George Sand,Guy  de  Maupassant, Ford Madox Ford, Hart Crane, Flaubert, C. K. Scott Moncireff , F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, Emile Zola, and Honore de Balzac.

More updates to come including copious details on the Venus in Furs Contest

Gabriella Rosewater has entered.

Lizzy of Lizzy's Literary Life, right front, and Caroline of Beauty is a Sleeping Cat far left background

Yesterday with the unexpected  arrival of Ambrosia Bousweau twenty four hours of pure Weimer decadence began.  The hotel is quiet this morning as many guests are sleeping in.  

Ambrosia Bousweau 

Extreme News Alert.

The Maharani of Ragnapur has at last arrived.  Her family and the Bousewau family have been close since 1642 when one of her ancestors met Tarkington Bousweau at Cambridge.  She is the director of the Ruffingtin Bousweau Library and longtime patron of The Reading Life.  Her requests have absolute priority over all others, even Prince Yusupov.  

With her are the two great writers of the subcontinent, R. K. Narayan from Malguidi and Hassan Manto, late of India.

Suggestions from Our Concierge 

For Anglophone visitors here is your best guide to Berlin, see Mendel for an autographed copy.

Leave your passports in the hotel safe

Seances can be arranged, mediums on staff

Weddings preformed

Movies to see in your Suite -featuring all of the films of Gregor von Rezzori

Now playing in the Perciful Lounge and at the contest

The contest is over!   Tempers flared, whips were cracks, blood shed but it was all among friends.  Or was it?

The contest master of ceremonies was Gregor von Rezzori, with his close friend, L, blogger extraordinaire.  

The judges were Oscar Wilde, Theodore Boussweau, Sally Bowles, Jonathan, and Mel von ü

The event registration desk was a job for Novalis

"I need to see your passport, please.  And as an extra precaution I must be checking you for concealed weapons"

Some entrants came in teams

"Bad Book bloggers need chastisement"

"Herr General, I am in command tonight"

"Is that Ermine?"

Drinks served throughout the event

"Stefan sent me"


Sorry Dear, the judges only gave you a six out of ten"

Very expensive professional talent

Hotel Staff are permitted to enter 

The Winner

From Junichiro Tanazaki's "The Tattoo", our winner.  false reports of Mel ü paying off the other judges should be ignored.  

There will be one more final event report tommorow.  

It is with a heavy exhausted heart I must close the party.  My great thanks to all who participated.  

The Party is Over!

Most of the guests have departed, with a massive clean up job ahead.  The full costs including all guests expenses were under written by The Maharani of Ragapur, The Bousweau Trust and Prince Felix Yousoupov (spellings vary).  Ruffington Bousweau gave such devotion to the event that he collapsed after five days.  His niece, Ambrosia Bousweau took over as social director and a bachanalian frenzy of Weimer decadence began as authors from The Reading Life began to arrive along with denizens of the Viennese demi-monde as well as a small contingent from the water world of Tokyo and a few school chums of Ambrosia from Paris as well as Shanghai.  

One last drink until next year

The event took place in 1932 for various reasons.  In the works I read for the event I saw disturbing undercurrents that were to begin to take over Germania.  Just out side the oppulent world of The Grand Hotel scenes of great sadness play out.  In just a few years the world so loved that was Old Vienna will be gone.  

Ambrosia Bousweau is now an Advisory Director of The Reading Life

Lizzy and Carolina depart

Hans Keilson - They Come No Wiser

Next Year

I hope so much to be able to participate in German Literature V in November 2015.  The party venue will be in Bavaria in 1882, hosted by King Ludwig.  Of course members of the Bousweau family will be in attendance and I hope you will be also.

No comments: