In praise of oranges

A First World War letter from a Palestinian orange grove, an orange (lower case) song, and this winter’s favourite orange cake recipe.

Truman Ward Ingersoll, diorama of an orange tree in Los Angeles

Christmas carousels

Impossible automata for my street organ this holiday season. Featuring Georg Büchner, Ignaz Bruder, German Christmas pyramids, dancing Hasidim, Lieutenant Kijé as you’ve probably never seen it, Le Tigre, and a crustacean.

Types of (German) Christmas pyramid.

Silvester Paradox meets Mr Macbeth

This is the promised translation of the chapter in Pío Baroja’s serialised novel The adventures, inventions and mystifications of Silvester Paradox / Aventuras, inventos y mixtificaciones de Silvestre Paradox (1901) in which Silvester takes up with an English conman, quack, amateur pugilist and exponent of inventions such as the translatoscope called Macbeth. The source is…

Wilhelmus van Nassouwe niet de beste Duitser aller tijden

Zegt al-Jazeera. Oliver Bierhoffs favoriet is Goethe: “Er hat Meisterwerke vollbracht und ist ein großer Name in der Weltliteratur.” Olly leest tegenwoordig Ayn Rands Atlas Shrugged, een verhaal “set in a near-future USA whose economy is collapsing due to the inexplicable disappearance of the country’s leading innovators and industrialists. The question of why these people…