Thrilled sadness. -- I have found a final (Viennese) resting place for my mother (who died last week) and for my father (who died in 1980): Grinzing cemetry. I love the place both for its natural beauty and for its illustrious "inhabitants": for instance my "heroes" Gustav Mahler and Thomas Bernhard.
History lost. -- My mother's death last week means that, on her side of the family, I no longer have any relative older than my sister or my cousins. As a result, my access to my past has suddenly shrunk dramatically. I will never be able to learn anything new about my mother, my maternal grandparents, or indeed my own early childhood. (If only she had written a diary, or at least "thoughts for the day".)
The last hour of work before my annual holidays is under way. -- Never has writing a talk seemed harder.
Announcement. -- No Facebook, Twitter or email for the next two weeks, though I will allow myself the occasional "Thought for the Day" (but with the "reply-function" disabled). -- No, I am not worried that I might feel lonely.
First dates. -- There are advantages to (still) being ignorant about much of classical music: it allows for endless discoveries. Today I got acquainted with Mertanen's interpretations of Sibelius' piano sonatas. They will be regular companions from now on.
Tempting fate. -- It's almost 3pm and I have not yet received a single email asking me to deal with some urgent administrative matter. My kind of working day.
Lèse majesté. -- Listening to Bach's cello suites makes me feel tired and emotional. (Fortunately there are always Beethoven's Bagatellen to pull me up again.)
Bar-hopping. -- I am spending a lot of time on it. Some might say "too much time". (There are 138 bars in Beethoven's Bagatelle op. 33 #2. I am pretty good until bar 60.)
"Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła ..." -- Duda has done the first step; I hope he'll have the courage to keep walking.
A model for us all. -- Animal-rights campaigners in China are increasingly successful in persuading their countrymen to stop eating dogs, and to keep the animals as pets instead. I would love to see an analogous move here. Let's go walkies with Miss Piggy and Buttercup.
"Fat-handed intervention." -- I learnt this term from reading around in the "philosophy of mechanism" literature. It refers to an intervention with multiple side-effects. We need that concept for everyday life, especially politics.
When brains grow. -- There is a delightful similarity between babies and teenagers (ours anyway): they sleep for most of the day. Amazing how much I get done when working from home!
Confession of a Jacobin. -- The current hype in Germany about the visit of the junior Mr. and Ms. Windsor makes me cringe.
Dreams. -- Putin made his "Doktorvater" a billionaire. What will my supervisees make of me later in life?
True Brits. -- It's been eight years since we left the U.K. But our favourite cheese still is Cheddar. What's wrong with us?
In two minds. -- Sometimes I curse the workload created by our systems of peer-review. This morning alone I did three referee reports. And I was over the moon when I was finally able to return to reading Simmel. Brilliant man. -- But wait: Wouldn't he be a million times more convincing if he had presented his arguments in a clear and accessible form, and with appropriate references to the relevant contemporaneous literature? Was it really a good practice for him to send his handwritten paper--without any quality-checks--straight to the printer?
Wake-up call. -- I have now done extensive research on how long teenagers should sleep. Result: no more than ten hours, and irregular sleeping patterns (i.e. sleeping until lunchtime) should be discouraged. -- All sounds good to me. Okay, my dearest daughter, it's 10am; here I come. (If only I had a suit of armor.)
"It takes all kinds ..." -- There are living philosophers with twitter accounts dedicated to posting short excerpts from one of their books.
Caught in the act. -- I admit it: I don't always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And yet, I feel deeply disappointed when I discover that one of my philosophical heroes told a straightforward lie. (As when Simmel claimed, in his correspondence, to be greatly admired by Sidgewick and Jodl. Not so, both were scathing when they reviewed Simmel's books.)
"Instanbul". -- And whenever my longing for Turkey gets too strong, I shall console myself with Fazıl Say's brilliant music.
Hoşçakal! -- I learnt today that anyone who has publicly criticized Erdogan (e.g. in an internet forum) should think twice before travelling to Turkey. These days such criticism has a good chance of being counted an "act of terrorism". So be it. I'll return to Ankara or Istanbul when Erdogan is gone. Can't wait!
"@MartinKusch, get more people talking about you." -- Twitter regularly sends me emails starting with that line. They have no idea how paranoid I am: Isn't everyone talking about me (badly and behind my back) already?
Heavenly. -- If I ever were to turn religious, you might want to "blame" Mendelssohn-Bartholdy's "Elijah" and "Paulus".
Will and world. -- I never understood what Schopenhauer is on about and why we should still read him. Then I came across Simmel's semi-popular book Schopenhauer and Nietzsche (1907): it all begins to make sense now.
Health warning: serious bragging to follow. -- I played three games of "blitz street chess" against International Master Gordan Markotic (Elo 2270) in Dubrovnik today. These were my first over-the-board games against an adult since 1993. And I haven't played in front of an audience (of more than a dozen kibitzers) since the 1970s. I lost one and drew two. (And he agreed that I should have won at least one of the drawn games. But with less than 20 seconds on the clock, and my hands shaking, I turned into the worst of patzers.) -- Now back to relativism, Simmel, and all that ...