Felix Von Luckner: The Life and Times of a Sea-Devil

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One of my visits to a second hand book store rewarded me with a 1923 volume of a book with the imaginative title The Sea-Devil Conquers America. A book written by the German sea-captain Count Felix Von Luckner. A quick peruse of the Wikipedia-entry about Count Von Luckner, aka “The … Continue reading

60 Years of Eurovision: Ranking the Dutch – Part 1 (57-51): The Very Bad

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The Eurovision Song Contest: love it or hate it, but we Dutch have been there from the start. And as this week marks Eurovision’s 60th anniversary, I decided to rank all Dutch entries from the past 60 years. So over the upcoming 6 days we will be counting down my … Continue reading

Why I Put it Down: The Little Friend by Donna Tartt

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  So… As you might have noticed, this site has been suspiciously quiet for the past couple of months. The reason: writer’s block. And for those of you who think that’s some lame excuse for being lazy: believe me, not the case. As I found out first hand lately, writer’s … Continue reading

Georg Herwegh: The Poet Who Loved to Hate

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A while ago I talked about the countess and poet Annette Droste Hülshoff, who became an unlikely feminist role-model more than a century after her passing away. I bumped into her again when doing my research for this article about the German poet Georg Herwegh. Droste Hülshoff’s dry comment on … Continue reading

Maxie and Rosie: A Story of Wishful Thinking

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Every history student knows about those moments when imagination takes over. Of course we should work empirically; every statement should be based on reliable sources. But sometimes it just cannot be avoided that wishful thinking takes over. I experienced one of these moments when I did some research on the … Continue reading

Best Beers and Infected German Women

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Recently a little gem appeared on the German list of non-fiction bestsellers. The book was small and decently priced. But still it was a bit striking to me that it had gained the status of a bestseller. Why? Well, the book is a German translation of the Instruction for British … Continue reading

About Turkish Delight (Turks fruit), a ‘Typically Dutch’ ‘Love Story’, and F-ing Fifty Shades of Grey: A Rant and More

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So about three months ago my Facebook news feed fucking exploded because of this: Fifty Shades of fucking Grey coming out on fucking Valentine’s Day next year, such a perfect date for a movie based on a the first novel of a trilogy that basically romanticizes abuse. For those of … Continue reading

The Memoirs of a Square Dictator

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Most dictators are known for their extravagances. The Libyan dictator Muammar Gadaffi, for example, was known for eccentric behaviours like carrying a Bedouin shelter with him on all foreign visits.1 And that was one of his more friendly eccentricities. The two men who ruled the communist GDR in its almost … Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Magic Way of Moving

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The other day the Reading Dutchwoman asked me a question while I was helping her move over to a new place: what would Harry do? In this specific case, I assumed it was about how would wizards handle something like moving out. So, I present to you my thoughts on … Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Stench of Decadence

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Before I start a rant about the moral deprecation and total abandonment of whatever values there are in this world, I must say that decadence does not entail the total downfall of a civilization. It still is rather glaring though that some wizards apparently take no heed of what they … Continue reading