Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels e.V.

German Publishers and Booksellers Association.

They are calling for new cartel laws that reflect life in the digital books market.

Grundrechte-Report

Fundamental rights report, an annual critique of the treatment of burgher rights and human rights guaranteed by Germany’s constitution. The report is published by eight human rights organizations, including Pro Asyl [For Asylum], Humanistische Union [Humanist Union], Neue Richtervereinigung [New Association of Judges] and the Republikanische Anwältinnen und Anwälteverein [Republican Attorneys Association]. The 2014 edition consists of 42 essays and is sold in bookstores.

Süddeutsche Zeitung reminds us that these basic German human rights include “personality rights, the right to free expression of opinion, letter secrecy, postal secrecy and the right to asylum.”

(GROONED rechh tah   ray PORT.)

Kernkraft-Weissblendung

“Nuclear Power Whiteout,” a non-native speaker’s inadequate translation of the title of the bestselling Japanese thriller
Genpatsu Whiteout. It’s a story about a fictional terrorist attack on a nuclear power plant in Japan. The pseudonymous author seemed so well-informed that there was speculation about the area of government in which he or she might have been employed.

Philip Brasor wrote, “Though it sounds like a conventional thriller, the novel’s overarching theme is the government’s determination to resume the nation’s nuclear power network after the Fukushima accident, a mission it carries out so heedlessly that it neglects to enact safety standards that would mitigate the effects of such an attack.”

Apparently the fictional novel also mentions an entrenched system of power companies’ adding 10% over the market value to purchases made for the electricity industry in that country, with some of the extra money being distributed among networks of politicians and their affiliates. And possible post-tsunami attempts in response to the engineering disasters at Fukushima Daiichi to pass legislation that supposedly increased safety, transparency and competition but doesn’t really. Bribe costs ultimately get paid by electricity consumers in their utility bills; reforms that don’t fix the corruption problem might make Japanese voters more amenable to restarting dangerously engineered nuclear power plants if they’re told it will supposedly reduce electricity prices.

(CAIRN croft   VICE blend oong.)

Bibliothekarische Bücherkette

“Library book chain,” across the city of Riga to celebrate the opening of Latvia’s new national library after twenty years of construction. Twenty-five years ago, Latvians formed a Menschenkette, a human chain, to protest the Soviet dictatorship.

Riga, Latvia, and Umea, Sweden, will be the European Capitals of Culture for 2014. Umea will be focussing on the regional Saami heritage, while Riga will be celebrating music and theater.

Update on 18 Jan 2014: Fireworks and dancing in the frozen streets kicked off the three-day opening celebration in Riga. Since the start of WWI a century ago, said ZDF heute journal, the twentieth century was a torture for Latvia of one dictatorship after the other, including occupation by the Nazis. Which is why Riga scheduled a cheeky performance of what is said to be Adolf Hitler’s favorite Wagner opera this week, Aufstieg und Fall eines Tyrannen, in very bright costumes and with a live horse.

(Beeb lee oh tay CAR-R-R ish ah   BEE chheah ket tah.)

1808

The year book printing was finally legalized in Brazil! Brazil was “guest giver” [Gastgeber] or host at the 2013 Frankfurt book fair, with a large beautiful stand creatively constructed from fireproof cardboards. They put up hammocks for visitors to read in.

(Acht say n HOON deah t ACHT.)

Barbarisch, nicht gezähmt, verwildert, wildlebend, wild

Barbaric, untamed, wilding, maenadic, agrestal, rambunctious.

German’s lack of a direct equivalent for “feral” makes it hard to translate Charles Stross’s recent essay about ways spam could invade end-users’ e-libraries.

Gepflegt, an antonym for feral, is difficult to translate into English.

(Bar BAR ish,   nichh t   get SAY mt,   fer VILLED urt,   villed LAY bend,   villed.)

Betreiber gigantischer Bibliotheken

“Operators of huge libraries.”

From a presentation at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, describing Amazon.com and Apple.com as booksellers no longer but rather operators of gigantic libraries which readers must pay to access.

(Bett RYE bah   ghee GONT ish ah   bee blee oh TAY ken.)

Marcel Reich-Ranicki

Marcel Reich-Ranicki met his wife Theophila in the Warsaw ghetto. They escaped together, walking away from a freight train, and were hidden for years by friends and strangers. But the rest of his family was killed by Nazis in World War II. Yet after the war and, as tagesschau.de said, after having witnessed the complete breakdown of the ethics of the German people, Mr. Reich-Ranicki decided to live in Germany and pursue a life devoted to literature there. He was a literary editor at Die Zeit and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, among others, and discovered television late in life where he contributed wonderfully to, as many have said after his death this month at the age of 93, the education of the German people, “Volksbildung.” His television show “The Literary Quartett” was watched by millions each week. His polite public refusal of the German Television Award in 2008 is popular YouTube viewing to this day:

“Ladies and gentlemen. In my life, and in the fifty years I’ve spent in Germany—a bit more than fifty all told, I spent my youth in Germany as well, in Berlin. In those many years I have received many literary prizes. Very many. They included the highest ones, such as the Goethe prize, the Thomas Mann prize, and some others. And I always said thank you for these prizes, as you should, and, please forgive me when I speak openly: it didn’t present any difficulties to me! To say thank you for these prizes! But today I’m in a very bad situation. I must react somehow to this prize I have received. And [?] said to me, please, please, please, don’t say anything too rough! Yes. (Laughter.) Truthfully. I don’t want to aggrieve anyone, insult or hurt anyone, no. I don’t want to do that. But I would also like to say very openly that I will not accept this prize.”

Apparently he concluded each Literary Quartett episode with a quote from Bertold Brecht: “Und so sehen wir betroffen den Vorhang zu und alle Fragen offen.” This can be translated as “and so we see, deeply moved, the curtain closed and all questions open,” yet if Fragen were not capitalized it would completely change the meaning of the sentence, turning it into the preface “and everyone openly questioning” anything that followed his show. ZDF heute journal’s Marietta Slomka said Mr. Reich-Ranicki is also said to have said, “I don’t want to bore myself.”

Update on 01 Jun 2014: The city of Frankfurt/Main held a celebration in the Paulskirche commemorating what would have been Marcel Reich-Ranicki’s 94th birthday. Some of the speeches will be printed in the Feuilleton of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 02 Jun 2014.

Schmöker, Schund

Delightful words for fun “trashy” novels, pulp fiction, brown-bag books in some neighborhoods.

(SHMÖÖÖ kah,   SHOONT.)

Reiseberichte, Reisebeschreibungen

“Travel reports,” “travel descriptions.” Travelogues, books and stories that share a wanderer’s experiences, discoveries, places and times.

From a recent travel article in Spiegel-Online:

“Iran has sensational sights to go and see. The monuments to the poets, the gardens in Shiraz, the oasis idylls of Yazd, the mosques in Isfahan, all were on my itinerary. But then I kept meeting so many wonderful people, whose stories were much more interesting than those narrated by historic stone walls.”

(WRY zeh beh RICK teh,   WRY zeh beh SHRY boong en.)

“Kein Buch mit sieben Siegeln”

“No books with seven seals.” Slogan for a movement being shared and discussed at the 2013 Leipzig Book Fair that publishes simplified-language versions of adult books to entertain adults with reading difficulties and help them practice reading. As someone who learned to read German as an adult by forcing my way through children’s books, stopping to look up words on every page, I really appreciate this project! It should also open new markets for publishing companies, in and outside Germany.

(K eye n   BOOCHH   mit   ZEE ben   ZEEG ell n.)

Hildegunst von Mythenmetz

Poet who is supposedly the author of Walter Moers’ City of Dreaming Books, which Moers said he merely translated from the first two chapters of her 25-volume opus, Travel Memories of a Sentimental Dinosaur.

(HEAL deh GOON st   fon   MOO ten METS.)

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