|June 29th, 2009||#21|
The paranormal silent type
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Where you least expect
Imagine if compulsory recruitment extended to females
All anti-gun proliferates should be forced to place a sign on their front doors stating, "These premises are disarmed"
|July 11th, 2009||#22|
Beware William Tell's Second Arrow
by William Norman Grigg
"You Swiss are so proud of your 500,000-man citizen militia.... But what will you do if a 1,000,000-man German Army comes marching across your border?"
"That's easy. Each of us will shoot twice, and go home."
~ A reported conversation between a German and a Swiss diplomat, circa 1939
Seven hundred years ago, when Switzerland was under the domination of the Hapsburgs, a dissolute colonial overlord named Hermann Gessler sought to humiliate the residents of Altdorf, the capital of the central Swiss canton of Uri.
Gessler instructed his minions to erect a tall pole in the town square, at the top of which would be displayed his cap. Every Swiss man who entered the square would be required to pay fealty to Gessler, and the foreign imperial power he represented, by bowing before his cap.
One local resident was a man who distinguished himself by both his virtuosity with a crossbow and his contemptuous hostility toward bullies. Trying to force him to genuflect before another man, let alone his empty cap, would be a bit like trying to relocate the Matterhorn one shovel-full at a time. So while others prostrated themselves before Gessler's headwear, William Tell stood erect, burly arms folded across his broad chest, slowly shaking his head as his derisive laughter echoed through the town square.
Tell's defiance became known to Gessler, as did his reputation as a marksman. The Hapsburg stooge was worried about the possibility of Tell's rebellion becoming contagious. Endowed with the vicious creativity that so often replaces character in creatures of his kind, Gessler abducted Tell's young son, forcing William to leave his mountain home and stand before him.
Gessler told Tell that his son would be placed in the town square with an apple atop his head. Tell was placed at a considerable distance from his son and told that he was to shoot the apple from his child's head; failure to do so on his first shot would bring about the death of his son at the hands of Gessler's soldiers.
According to the legend, Tell hesitated not at all in fitting an arrow to his crossbow and letting fly, cleaving the apple without harming his child.
Tell's feat, and the composure with which he carried it off, were sufficient to impress even the porcine, self-enraptured Gessler.
As Tell collected his son and turned to leave, a second arrow fell from his coat. Noticing this, a puzzled Gessler asked Tell why he'd bothered to grab a second arrow, since the first shot would either have succeeded or brought about the death of his son.
Fixing the despot with an unflinching stare, Tell replied: "That second arrow was for you, if the first had wounded my boy."
Not long afterward, Tell's second arrow found its intended destination as Tell and his countrymen rose up against the foreign occupation, leading to the eventual creation of the Swiss Confederacy in the late 13th Century.
Owing to its tradition of resolute individualism, the unexcelled marksmanship of its citizen militia, and its decentralized political system, the Swiss have managed to avoid entanglement in the affairs of other nations and preserve their independence from foreign domination.
Efforts have been made to break Switzerland to the saddle of "internationalism": In 1798, the French revolutionary army invaded and occupied Switzerland, inflicting on it a centralized "Helvetic Republic" that lasted five years.
In 1939, as recounted in Stephen P. Halbrook's book Target: Switzerland, the German military drew up plans to invade and occupy Switzerland in the mistaken belief that its citizen militia would be no match for the Wehrmacht.
Under the leadership of Colonel Henri Guisan (at the time, it was the tradition that no officer would be appointed "general" unless the country actually went to war), the militia prepared a strategy called the "national redoubt": In the event of a German invasion, the militia would retreat into a series of fortified installations in the Alps and wage unremitting guerrilla war for as long as it took to drive the invaders from their land.
Confronting the prospect of fighting an entire country under arms, and horrified by the price that would be paid to pry the Swiss militia from its Alpine redoubts, the German High Command decided to leave Switzerland alone. What this means, of course, is that Switzerland actually won its war without suffering the hideous losses inflicted on any of the combatant nations.
A decade ago, another campaign – this one more subtle than threats of military occupation – was mounted to destroy Swiss independence. Beginning in 1997, Switzerland, which rescued tens of thousands of Jews from the Holocaust, was besieged by spurious claims that its renowned banking system was hoarding gold stolen from victims of the Nazis.
Stories were put into circulation describing the cynical heartlessness of banking officials in turning away aging survivors of Nazi cruelty; those stories invariably proved to be as substantial as cotton candy and as reliable as Jim Cramer's investment advice.
Nonetheless, a global campaign of defamation and invective, spearheaded by the coprogenetic Edgar Bronfman Sr. and eagerly abetted by the Clinton administration, indelibly branded the Swiss as Holocaust profiteers, thereby setting the stage for a shake-down that continues to this day.
No matter that on three prior occasions – in 1946, as a result of the post-WWII Washington Accord; in the mid-1950s; and in 1962 – the Swiss banking industry had conducted comprehensive, diligent, and transparent investigations regarding its wartime gold holdings.
Nor did it matter that the Clinton administration's inquiry actually exonerated the Swiss of claims that they had hoarded "victim gold" stolen from Jews who suffered and perished at the hands of the Nazis. The defamation campaign succeeded in prying some $14 billion worth of gold from the Swiss treasury and – more importantly – inducing the Swiss electorate to enact a new constitution that (among other dreadful features) repudiated the link between the Swiss franc and gold.
The Imperial Regime in Washington apparently believes it has reduced the heroic Swiss to a state of subservience, because its most recent demands savor of the same arrogant, unwarranted self-assurance that led Herr Gessler to place his hat atop the pole in Altdorf's town square.
Last year, Washington tried to impose a $780 million fine on the Swiss for their refusal to enforce U.S. tax laws within their own country.
Next week, the Regime intends to press its claims in court – that is, in its own courts – in the hope of forcing the Swiss to turn over confidential information on some 52,000 Americans who have private accounts protected by Swiss law.
To their eternal credit, and the benefit of those who cherish freedom everywhere, the Swiss are responding to Washington's imperial bullying with the equivalent of William Tell's laughter, augmented by an upraised middle digit.
Earlier this year, the Swiss People's Party (SVP) began a campaign urging their fellow citizens and elected leaders to resist Washington's imperial blackmail. After the Swiss government capitulated in late February to Washington's demand to pay a $780 million fine and disgorge the names of Americans who had opened private banking accounts, the SVP – the nation's largest political party, which combines traditionalist populism with enticing hints of libertarianism – angrily demanded the repatriation of Swiss gold stored in the Swiss National Bank in the U.S.
The party also demanded a ban on the sale of U.S. commercial and government bonds in Switzerland (a sound proposal, if only because the sale of fraudulent financial instruments is a crime), an end to the Swiss government's role as a diplomatic intermediary between Washington and various national governments disinclined to act as U.S. colonies, and a refusal by Geneva to help Washington free itself from the tar-baby it created at Gitmo by taking in detainees freed from the detention facility.
Not everything about the SVP is entirely commendable, but in mounting this pressure campaign it was acting squarely in the noble tradition of William Tell and Henri Guisan. And the party's efforts may have helped the Swiss political class regain its backbone and virility: The Swiss government has announced that it will forbid UBS AG to comply with any order from the US central government requiring it to surrender confidential banking information – and that Swiss authorities would seize that information, if necessary.
Already, major Swiss banks have announced that, of necessity, they will no longer accept American clients because of disclosure and paperwork requirements being pressed on them by Washington's commissars for international wealth extraction.
These extraordinary measures, notes Bill Bonner, are being undertaken by Swiss officials in order to preserve their country's traditional role "as a protector of foreigners' money." To that end, as well as the protection of its own citizenry and their economic interests, the Swiss are "sharpening their knives and tightening their borders," Bonner writes. That is to say, they seem to be recovering a hint of the intransigent patriotism that led them to evict the Hapsburgs, throw of Bonaparte's yoke, and stare down the Wehrmacht.
Washington, the focus of evil in the modern world, is displaying the behavior we would expect terminally corrupt collectivist kleptocracy: It needs revenue to satisfy its retinue of parasitic constituencies, has the power to seize it in defiance of the law, and believes that all people everywhere should genuflect before its demands. It is behaving pretty much the way Gessler did before he was brought down by Tell's second arrow.
Wouldn't it be delicious if Switzerland's resistance proved to be the precipitating event that brought down Washington's wretched empire of debt and deceit?
Dum spiro, pugno!
July 11, 2009
William Norman Grigg [send him mail] writes the Pro Libertate blog.
|July 11th, 2009||#24|
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Split, Croatia
Blog Entries: 3
Swiss is very poor in recurses, but they become one of richest lands in world (Vatican bank and Papa Swiss Guards was have influence in that)...powerfull friends guard Swiss in bad and good times.
Tomislav (Tom) Sunic is a Croatian author, former diplomat, and political theorist of the New Right.
In name of Christ.......fight against communist
|July 11th, 2009||#25|
Local control. Decentralization. Guns in all hands. Low taxes.
All of these are suited to whitemanism.
|August 11th, 2009||#26|
The Creeping Financial Lock-Up
by Jeff Snyder
J.H. Huebert had an excellent article last Friday about the US attempts to force the Swiss bank, UBS, to divulge information about US account holders to the IRS. These efforts are nothing less than an attack on Switzerland’s sovereignty in the form of its ability to establish and maintain its own banking laws.
This is the kind of arcane financial news that is easy to disregard. When people hear "Swiss bank accounts," they may brush off the attacks as the problems of the ultra rich. If only we were so "unfortunate" to have this kind of problem to worry about, right? Unfortunately, however, I think we do. I believe that there is far more to this than a temporary, one-time money grab by the IRS from tax evaders. I believe this is also very bad news even for us "wage slaves."
The day Mr. Huebert’s article appeared, the Justice Department announced that the US and Switzerland had reached an agreement in principle to settle the US lawsuit against UBS AG seeking the names of 52,000 account holders. No details of the agreement were released but, given the amount of leverage that the US can bring to bear on UBS’s operations in the United States, it would be astounding if UBS had not agreed to some major accommodation to US demands.
Let’s go back and supply a little context about how we get to this issue in the first place.
Most countries with income taxes tax only income that arises from sources in their own country. The US is one of the few governments in the world that taxes its citizens on their worldwide income. As a result, the US is constantly seeking ways, through treaties, laws or, now we see, international strong arm measures, to track the international financial transactions of its citizens, whether in the name of preventing drug trafficking, money laundering, tax evasion or other crimes.
US taxpayers are required to report, and pay taxes, on interest or other earnings derived from foreign accounts. Unlike US banks, which will send you and the IRS a Form 1099 each year, foreign banks do not have an obligation to report your earnings to the IRS. Accordingly, the IRS is keenly interested in finding out from you whether or not you have any such foreign accounts.
Schedule B to Form 1040 (used for reporting interest and dividends) asks, "At any time during (the previous year), did you have an interest in or a signatory or other authority over a financial account in a foreign country, such as a bank account, securities account, or other financial account?" As described by the law firm of Bove & Langa in an on-line article about this matter, the answer to this question has serious potential consequences:
The question calls for nothing more than checking a "yes" or "no" box in response, but most taxpayers (and many tax preparers) just ignore it. The yes box or the no box, that’s it. There are no boxes that say, "maybe" or "I don’t understand the question," or "I decline to answer on the grounds that an answer may incriminate me." Maybe there should be such choices, since there are many who do not fully understand the serious implications of ignoring the question when such an account exists, or worse, of intentionally providing an incorrect answer, which, surprisingly, may include no answer at all. That is to say, intentionally leaving both boxes blank could be deemed a false answer by the IRS or a court."
In addition to this reporting obligation on Form 1040, a U.S. citizen, resident alien and even certain persons who are not resident but are doing business in the US with no other connection are also required, by the Bank Secrecy Act, to report the existence of a foreign account to the IRS on Treasury Department Form 90-22.1 if the combined total value of all such accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the year. The definition of the type of accounts that must be reported is very broad and includes even prepaid credit card and debit card accounts. The report must be filed even if the accounts generate no interest or other taxable income. As described by Bove & Langa, the penalties for a willful failure are quite severe:
"[t]he civil penalties for failing to report the account on the prescribed form . . . can range from up to $10,000 for a "non-willful" failure, and for a willful failure the greater of $100,000 or half the balance in the foreign account. [emphasis supplied.] If criminal activities are involved, the monetary penalties are increased and may be accompanied by possible imprisonment for up to ten years.[footnote omitted] . . . [F]ailure to maintain adequate records of the foreign account may result in additional civil and criminal penalties. The IRS states that records should be kept for five years."
As Mr. Huebert pointed out, while the IRS is seeking information about approximately some $20 billion in UBS accounts, because of the possibility that most people with these accounts may have been accurately reporting all earnings and paying all applicable income taxes on those earnings, it is possible that the IRS will not obtain all that much money, especially when judged against the current federal deficit. However, since the intentional failure to report an account can result in loss of one-half of the entire account, the IRS does indeed have a very strong financial motivation to obtain the UBS information, because even a relatively small number of noncompliant taxpayers with very large foreign accounts could generate sizable revenues. The threat of this penalty alone will give the IRS considerable leverage for nonreporting taxpayers to settle somewhere between the penalties for unintentional and intentional failure, likely resulting in considerable tax revenues from persons who honestly didn’t know they were violating the law.
More importantly, the IRS’s highly visible targeting of the "establishment" Swiss banking system will likely garner much greater future compliance with these reporting obligations, so that the IRS and US government will likely obtain detailed information about many more foreign accounts from people who have either intentionally hidden these accounts or who just want to "play it safe." In this regard, please note that TDF-90-22.1 requires the reporting individual to provide the account number of the account itself, as well as the names of the account holders and name and address of the financial institution, thus providing all the information necessary to enable the governmental to file tax liens, seek the freezing of accounts or other enforcement actions available to it under tax treaties or applicable foreign laws.
Still, it is very likely that these consequences will fall predominantly upon very high-income taxpayers. Unfortunately, the US strong arm tactics to compel foreign banks to disclose US account holders’ information are having an additional, and more disturbing effect on a far greater number of people, and one that is quite possibly also intended by our lords and masters. And that is this: to make it extremely difficult for Americans to have accounts abroad, and therefore to prevent both the safeguarding of wealth outside the United States and living outside of the United States.
According to this Forbes article, Americans are fast becoming pariahs of foreign banks. Because of US demands and pressures, foreign banks in countries around the world are deciding to close Americans' accounts, or are not permitting Americans to open new ones. In some cases, the banks are not terminating or rejecting new applications for just securities or investment accounts, but also current accounts, i.e., the standard checking accounts people use for their living expenses. In other words, the US is making it more difficult for you to live in another country, by creating international difficulties that, in the end, will seriously obstruct your ability to conduct everyday financial transactions in a foreign country. By creating high costs for foreign banks to permit US citizens to open and maintain even checking and savings accounts in foreign countries, US citizens will be unable to have the normal banking services they need to live in a foreign country, and will not be able to do things like pay rent, utilities, travel on public transportation and buy groceries.
Possibly the most unequivocal sign that distinguishes a totalitarian system from a relatively free society is the simple right to leave. In totalitarian societies, the "iron curtain" falls, and "citizens" are not free to leave. The people and their assets are effectively property of the state. They, and everything they produce, are "human resources" that belong to the government. The "citizens" are more accurately described as prisoners confined within their national borders.
The US government’s attacks on foreign financial institutions are one more means by which the US is slowly establishing controls that will prevent the populace from escaping their indentured servant status here, or just escaping, period. One of the effects of these attacks will be, to some extent, to lock American assets into American banks and keep funds here, onshore, where they are readily controllable, seizable and debasable. These attacks are a way of closing the borders, are the makings of a banking "Berlin Wall."
Slowly and methodically, we are being locked in.
August 11, 2009
Jeff Snyder [send him mail] is an attorney who works in Manhattan. He is the author of Nation of Cowards – Essays on the Ethics of Gun Control, which examines the American character as revealed by the gun control debate. He occasionally blogs at The Shining Wire. Read this interview with him.
|August 28th, 2009||#27|
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: JUDEAware, originally MassaJEWsetts
Swiss population experiences largest increase in 50 years
GENEVA, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Switzerland's population experienced the largest increase in nearly 50 years last year to place the country among Europe's fastest growing nations, the official Swissinfo.ch news website reported on Thursday.
The permanent population of the country in 2008 stood at 7,701,900 people, which is 108,400 more people, or 1.4 percent, over the previous year, said the website, quoting figures released by the Federal Statistics Office.
Nearly 90 percent of the new residents were immigrants. Laws introduced in 2007 allowing citizens of the European Union to live in Switzerland and vice versa have helped fuel the increase, according to the report.
The overall population growth rate is the most significant leap observed since 1961, and the growth rate for urban areas (1.6 percent) was higher than in rural areas (1 percent).
On the European level, only Luxembourg and Ireland grew faster than Switzerland in 2008, the website said.
|September 5th, 2009||#28|
Join Date: Aug 2007
Gaddafi's son says he wants to nuke Switzerland "off the map"
"It is just as well that Libya has renounced its bid to acquire nuclear weapons. "If I had an atomic bomb I would wipe Switzerland off the map," Hannibal is reported to have remarked afterwards."
"Speak what you think now in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
|October 29th, 2009||#29|
Join Date: Mar 2008
Jewish groups oppose push to ban minarets in Switzerland
Jewish groups oppose push to ban minarets in Switzerland
GENEVA (AFP)---Switzerland's biggest Jewish groups said Wednesday that a far-right push to ban the construction of minarets here was a "threat" to religious harmony and hindered the integration of Muslims.
"The referendum infringes religious freedom, a concept enshrined in the constitution," said the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities and the Platform of Liberal Jews in Switzerland in a statement.
It "also poses a threat to peaceful relations between the religions and inhibits the integration endeavours of Muslims in Switzerland," they added.
Swiss voters are to decide during a referendum on November 29 whether to ban the construction of minarets in Switzerland, a proposal launched by right-wing groups and backed by the country's biggest political party, the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP).
The two Jewish groups said they "take seriously the fears of the population that extremist ideas could be disseminated in Switzerland."
"But banning minarets is no solution -- it only creates in Muslims in Switzerland a sense of alienation and discrimination," they said.
The Swiss government and all the other major political parties are recommending a 'no' vote. In a historic move, local Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders have also joined forces to reject a ban on minarets.
In September, the Roman Catholic community joined in the call urging voters
to reject the ban.
Islam is the second largest religion in Switzerland after Christianity with 310,000 followers out of a population of 7.5 million. Four minarets have been built and the construction of a fifth is planned.
|November 12th, 2009||#30|
[from lrc blog]
Posted by Lew Rockwell on November 12, 2009 08:50 AM
I must say, Switzerland is still more free (and better off) than most countries not because of direct democracy, but because of highly local democracy. The truth is, democracy only works within populations of under, say, 50,000 people, and only then if one is free to “vote with one’s feet” and move away to another town if one doesn’t like how things are going. High (true) literacy rates also tend to help a lot. Anyway, it also doesn’t hurt that about 75% of Swiss urban households and maybe 90% in the countryside are armed, often to the teeth. Meanwhile murder rates here are so low, statistics aren’t even kept.
There are flaws. Most Swiss are very unhappy with how things have gone downhill over the last 30 years or so and most of that is likely owing to more sway having been given to the federal government in Zurich. Switzerland is a small country and under much, ever growing pressure from places like Washington, London, and Paris because it is so dependent upon foreign trade and exchange. I can say, the Geneva of my youth was much more free than the Geneva of today. Nonetheless, having lived for long stretches in California, Texas, France, and the Middle East (and spent meaningful time in two dozen other countries throughout the world), speaking for myself, I think Switzerland is still by far and away one of the best places in the world to live. Some of my American friends call it “the world’s biggest gated community,” which cracks me up!
Did you know that the US is one of the only countries in the world that demands the payment of domestic taxes from expatriates, even if they renounce their citizenship? What’s worse, Washington has grown so desperate for hard cash lately, they’ve spun up regulations and begun enforcement actions which have, one way or another, made felons of maybe half the American business people who live outside the US. I know people who are afraid to go back, for fear of being arrested for (new) tax crimes. It’s so bad, Swiss banks have been closing the accounts of Americans because they don’t want to deal with the IRS.
Re: Free Switzerland
Posted by David Kramer on November 12, 2009 10:48 AM
I would like to make a small correction concerning something that an LRC reader wrote to Lew. The reader wrote:
“Did you know that the US is one of the only countries in the world that demands the payment of domestic taxes from expatriates, even if they renounce their citizenship?”
If a U.S. citizen who has a net worth of more than $600,000 (it may be higher now) gives up his U.S. citizenship for tax purposes, the United States government can now continue to demand taxes from the person for the first 10 years of his expatriation. This doesn’t mean that the U.S. government necessarily will do this—just that it is now within its legal rights to do this. It will, however, immediately tax them on the value of their assets at the time of their expatriation. (It can now also bar anyone who has expatriated from the United States for tax purposes from ever entering the United States again. To my knowledge, this has yet to be actually enforced on anyone.)
I also understand that the only two other countries in the past 100 years who enacted this sort of expatriation tax were Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
re: Free Switzerland
Posted by Thomas DiLorenzo on November 12, 2009 10:52 AM
An acquaintance of mine from Switzerland recently told me that he is in the top 1% of income earners there, and has a total tax burden of about 15%, almost all of which is local tax. Of course, he is not burdened with paying for a militaristic empire that claims to rule over the entire planet.
Canadian Shania Twain in Switzerland
Posted by David Kramer on November 12, 2009 11:54 AM
Apropos Tom’s blog about his acquaintance’s low tax rate in Switzerland, I would like to point out that most people are under the misconception that Switzerland is a tax haven vis-à-vis having no income taxes. On the contrary, Switzerland has income taxes—but if you are very wealthy and want to expatriate there you can negotiate with the canon you live in as to what your tax rate will be. That’s why so many rich people move there. Here is an excerpt from an interview that Canadian singer/songwriter Shania Twain did with the insufferable Larry King in which she discusses why she lives in Canada. (Keep in mind that Canada, unlike the United States, does not charge its citizens income tax on any money they earn while they live outside of Canada. As an example, a Canadian citizen living in tax-free Monaco would owe zero income taxes to Canada if he made his living as a doctor in Monaco.)
|November 12th, 2009||#32|
For those who say Switzerland never produced any great art, chew on this!
Painted by a distant ancestor of mine, her lover (and anti-jew!) Clemens Brentano.
Last edited by Alex Linder; November 12th, 2009 at 04:56 PM.
|November 12th, 2009||#33|
Brentano, Death and the Dilemma of Romantic Despair
By Scott Horton
Clemens Brentano, portrait by Emilie Linder (ca. 1833)
I have just posted an original translation of a major poem by the early German Romanticist Clemens Brentano. He is not a well-known figure, either in Germany or abroad. But Brentano is a figure marked by irony at every turn. The irony is not his, however, but the observer’s. He wanted popularity more than anything else, it seems—he strove for it with all his country affectations (the word in German would be “volkstümlich,” which acquired over the historical stretch a rather more sinister flavor). But even today, an essay can easily be printed about the German Romanticist movement without mentioning his name. Indeed, if he does come in, it would most likely be in an ego-withering way, as the brother of Bettina von Arnim, the famous correspondent of Goethe’s. But he is still the most romantic of the Romanticists, the one who bubbles away with anxieties and the one who most enthusiastically embraces Catholicism as the Romantic antidote to modernity and reason. He is not a frivolous figure like Walter Scott; his writing is serious enough, though there is still plenty of reason to question its universality, or its ability to endure. But his work, and this poem in particular, always struck me as encapsulating the very essence of that literary movement which contributed in many ways to the modern essence of European thought. The early Romanticists were in an essential way reactionary–they are against a blind faith in progress based on science and reason; what they offer in its place is, however, blind faith. Their thinking lies at the heart of European conservatism from the nineteenth century and into our own age.
It’s an important, even compelling, intellectual tradition. But also a problematic one. And this poem demonstrates its promise and its problems in an unusual way.
I never much really liked Brentano. His writings are interesting but there is something intellectually treacherous about them. His religious euphoria spills quickly into dangerous territory, including a number of close brushes with intolerance (anti-Semitism in particular, though usually softly and indirectly expressed. It was ironic, since a good many of his contemporaries were convinced that he was a Jew.) It also has a nascent chauvinistic nationalism. He is, dare one say it, defiantly irrational. Brentano was obsessed with demonstrating his Germanness, which a psychiatrist might have explained by the fact that, as the child of an Italian father and a French mother, he had so precious little of it. Indeed, in the end, his non-Germanness is one of his redeeming features.
On the other hand, he seems sometimes a right-leaning Doppelgänger to Heinrich Heine. They both feel deep roots in the Rhineland, and both composed poems about the Lorelei. Brentano’s is not so well known, of course, but it’s actually a superior poem. (Not to say he is a superior poet, of course, Heine stands head and shoulders over any contemporary on that score). And they shared a fascination with Moorish Spain of the Golden Era—the period in which Christians, Jews and Muslims lived and thrived side-by-side under a Caliphate. His poem, “The Alhambra” marked his furthest swing from his naïve-charismatic Catholicism, and also arguably his best work.
Still, Brentano is thankfully not a popular writer. But his work, and this poem is a great example, brings key aspects of intellectual Romanticism to the fore: its tormented emotions, concerns with redemption and death. I couldn’t find evidence of this poem from 1816 having been translated before, and it struck me as one worthy of a broader audience.
This is one of the most genuinely Romantic, and most religious poems of confession in the modern canon; its lyrical qualities are impressive (though, as usual, they don’t well survive the passage into another language). These seventeen stanzas are a veritable maelström of emotion, packed with angst and brooding, fears of indefinite sort. They seem close in some respects to literature of the Thirty Years War, such as the poems of Andreas Gryphius, who senses death behind every corner (hardly paranoid; in those days it was). But Brentano is not driven to internal conflict by the depravations of war, though the Napoleonic Wars are a recent memory. It is a more modern sort of existential angst.
Consider the strange twists that start right in the title. “Springtime cry”? In the poetic canon, springtime is the time of promise, birth, redemption, happiness, light—the green fuse. It is the clean breath of renewal. How can it be linked to an existential cry?
There is only one possible construction of this turn and the several passages in which it reverberates, namely, that the author (this poem has a distinctly first-person approach, which I reinforced in the translation) feels excluded from the mystery of spring, the promise of rebirth—and the religious promise of redemption—that swirl around him. The waves (another strange metaphor) break about him, they do not penetrate. And this non-participation is what gives rise to his pangs of anxiety.
The first six stanzas present a clear dilemma, which is the unrequited striving of an alienated (or at least isolated) individual who is filled with longing for security (the longing verges on something more religious, namely salvation, but Brentano is a bit coy in his presentation until the last stanzas).
The next series of stanzas take a different approach. The metaphors move away from the surface and burrow deep into the earth; he speaks of mines and shafts. Reading this made me think immediately of Brentano’s contemporary Novalis, who was, in fact, a mining engineer, and who was able to develop the metaphor of subterranean works in the most captivating fashion. Brentano is linking to that tradition in a way that I think his contemporaries certainly would have understood. But there’s a key difference. For Novalis the interior of the earth is a treasure chest of untold riches–God’s hidden bounty for humankind to enjoy; for Brentano here, like the surface, it brings only more reminders of alienation. He feels no joy, no sharing, no sense of participation.
And then the next stanza, we are suddenly back on the surface, among waves. I am swimming, he writes. But again, the water metaphor, also frequently associated with something euphoric, especially in the charismatic Christian tradition, offers no solace. He is trapped in his self, unable to commune with the joyous world about him.
All of this cascades to a conclusion—a painful, soul-felt plea for redemption, a plea to overcome the ego-bound exclusion from the natural world. This is, I think, a powerful summation of the thinking of the charismatic Catholic branch of the Romanticist movement. Death lurks everywhere, deep in the background, even in the time when the promise of life is at its most powerful (the spring). The narrator wants an ecstatic religious experience; he sees the only solution from his heavily borne anxieties in this experience. It is the consummately irrational voice of the early Romantic movement. In Novalis, Tieck and others the extreme irrationality is more suppressed, but in this piece by Brentano it gushes to the surface. It is at once wondrous to behold, powerful and frightful. Is Brentano climbing out of an abyss? Or is he rather not sinking more deeply into one? That must be the question that history hurls after him. But there is no other poem in which this tension is expressed quite so powerfully.
|November 12th, 2009||#35|
1778 Ehrenbreitstein (heute Koblenz)
Clemens Wenzeslaus Brentano de La Roche was born on September 9, 1778, in Ehrenbreitstein (present-day Koblenz). Bettina (later "von Arnim") was one of his many siblings. Brentano met Ludwig Achim von Arnim, with whom he soon established a close friendship, in 1801 while a student of philosophy in Göttingen. After marrying the writer Sophie Mereau, he moved to Heidelberg in 1804. Two years later, his wife died giving birth to their third child. A short time later, Brentano married Auguste Bußmann, though they divorced in 1814. He stayed in Berlin as of the end of 1809. Brentano went to Bohemia in 1811 and lived there for the next two years. In 1818, Brentano closed up house again in Berlin and went to Dülmen. Brentano met the Swiss painter Emilie Linder in Munich in 1833. He produced his late works in the context of this later love. The last years of Brentano's life were marked by melancholy. In 1842, he died in Aschaffenburg, in the house of his brother Christian.
|November 12th, 2009||#37|
helping out painter Overbeck
Last edited by Alex Linder; November 12th, 2009 at 05:15 PM.
|November 12th, 2009||#39|
[Anyone who can find a full copy of this article, please post.]
Article: Emilie Linder und Jacob Burckhardt: Stiften und Sammeln fur die Offentliche Kunstsammlung Basel.(Review)
By Nikolaus Meier. Basel: Schwabe Verlag, 1997. Pp. 140.
One feature of the evolution of a public sphere in the early nineteenth-century Germany was the intense involvement of the Bildungsburgertum in cultural and associational life. This manifested itself in many ways, one of the most important of which was the formation of art associations (Kunstvereine) and the concomitant development of the concept of 'Kunstleben'. This notion is the guiding principle behind Meier's richly illustrated and extremely rewarding socio-cultural study of the development of public artistic taste and attitudes as seen in the work of two important patrons of the Basel public art ...
Last edited by Alex Linder; November 12th, 2009 at 05:23 PM.
|November 12th, 2009||#40|
[Linders make things BETTER - think of them as anti-jews. As with Linders, so with all Germanic folk. We are the GOOD GUYS. The jews are the BAD GUYS.]
TITLE: Path in the Hills above Rome
ARTIST: Johann Jakob Frey
MATERIALS: Oil on paper laid down on canvas
SIZE: h: 8.8 x w: 11.2 in / h: 22.4 x w: 28.4 cm
PRICE*: Contact Gallery for Price
GALLERY: Artis Fine Art Ltd. +44 2086723615 Send Email
DESCRIPTION: Born in Basle, Frey studied under his father, the landscape painter and etcher Samuel Frey, and the Swiss history painter Hieronymus Hess. Thereafter he moved to Paris where he copied Dutch landscapes of the seventeenth century. In 1834 he settled in Munich, at the time the most vibrant artistic centre in Germany. Thanks to the connections of his former tutor Hess, Frey entered the artistic circle of Emilie Linder, the Basle benefactor and patron of young artists in Munich. Her financial support and strong ties with the colony of German artists in Rome enabled Frey to move permanently to the Eternal City in 1835. He soon established himself at the heart of the artistic community near Monte Pincio, and became close friends with such German artists as Joseph Anton Koch, Johann Christian Reinhardt, Carl Philipp Fohr, and Johann Martin von Rohden.
Frey made frequent excursions into the Roman countryside, particularly in the summer months, making plein-air landscape sketches, as well as costume studies for use in his works painted in the studio. According to the dates and inscriptions on some of the drawings shown in the monographic exhibition held in Rome in 1980, Frey went to Tivoli, Grottaferrata, Ariccia and Civitella between November 1836 and August 1838. Towards the end of 1838 he visited Tuscany and Umbria, drawing and sketching at Viterbo, Narni, Spoleto and Assisi. It seems likely that our sketch dates to this period and its location could be the hilly terrain around Grottaferrata, Ariccia or Civitella.
The present sketch is typical of Frey’s early style and its composition shows the influence of the Nazarene School. Like the landscapes of Joseph Anton Koch or Franz Horny, it uses a well-defined foreground, with a curving footpath leading the eye into the distance. There are two further early sketches by Frey which are comparable in composition and treatment of the light.
Last edited by Alex Linder; November 12th, 2009 at 05:47 PM.
|schweiz, suisse, svizzera, switzerland|