niedziela, 7 stycznia 2018

Zimny Folwark / Kaltes Vorwerk: "Jechać do Lwowa"

To Go to Lvov 

By Adam Zagajewski

Translated by Renata Gorczynski 
To go to Lvov. Which station
for Lvov, if not in a dream, at dawn, when dew   
gleams on a suitcase, when express
trains and bullet trains are being born. To leave   
in haste for Lvov, night or day, in September   
or in March. But only if Lvov exists,
if it is to be found within the frontiers and not just   
in my new passport, if lances of trees
—of poplar and ash—still breathe aloud   
like Indians, and if streams mumble
their dark Esperanto, and grass snakes like soft signs   
in the Russian language disappear
into thickets. To pack and set off, to leave   
without a trace, at noon, to vanish
like fainting maidens. And burdocks, green   
armies of burdocks, and below, under the canvas   
of a Venetian café, the snails converse
about eternity. But the cathedral rises,
you remember, so straight, as straight
as Sunday and white napkins and a bucket   
full of raspberries standing on the floor, and   
my desire which wasn’t born yet,
only gardens and weeds and the amber
of Queen Anne cherries, and indecent Fredro.   
There was always too much of Lvov, no one could   
comprehend its boroughs, hear
the murmur of each stone scorched
by the sun, at night the Orthodox church’s silence was unlike
that of the cathedral, the Jesuits
baptized plants, leaf by leaf, but they grew,
grew so mindlessly, and joy hovered   
everywhere, in hallways and in coffee mills   
revolving by themselves, in blue   
teapots, in starch, which was the first   
formalist, in drops of rain and in the thorns
of roses. Frozen forsythia yellowed by the window.   
The bells pealed and the air vibrated, the cornets   
of nuns sailed like schooners near   
the theater, there was so much of the world that
it had to do encores over and over,
the audience was in frenzy and didn’t want
to leave the house. My aunts couldn’t have known   
yet that I’d resurrect them,   
and lived so trustfully; so singly;   
servants, clean and ironed, ran for   
fresh cream, inside the houses   
a bit of anger and great expectation, Brzozowski   
came as a visiting lecturer, one of my   
uncles kept writing a poem entitled Why,
dedicated to the Almighty, and there was too much   
of Lvov, it brimmed the container,   
it burst glasses, overflowed   
each pond, lake, smoked through every   
chimney, turned into fire, storm,   
laughed with lightning, grew meek,   
returned home, read the New Testament,
slept on a sofa beside the Carpathian rug,
there was too much of Lvov, and now   
there isn’t any, it grew relentlessly
and the scissors cut it, chilly gardeners   
as always in May, without mercy,   
without love, ah, wait till warm June
comes with soft ferns, boundless
fields of summer, i.e., the reality.
But scissors cut it, along the line and through   
the fiber, tailors, gardeners, censors
cut the body and the wreaths, pruning shears worked   
diligently, as in a child’s cutout
along the dotted line of a roe deer or a swan.   
Scissors, penknives, and razor blades scratched,   
cut, and shortened the voluptuous dresses
of prelates, of squares and houses, and trees
fell soundlessly, as in a jungle,
and the cathedral trembled, people bade goodbye   
without handkerchiefs, no tears, such a dry
mouth, I won’t see you anymore, so much death   
awaits you, why must every city
become Jerusalem and every man a Jew,
and now in a hurry just
pack, always, each day,
and go breathless, go to Lvov, after all
it exists, quiet and pure as
a peach. It is everywhere.

czwartek, 20 lipca 2017

Izery, Turkish War, and the Holy Roman Emperor

 [Ferdinand II Habsburg, the grandson of Ferdinand I, in a 3-Kreuzer coin, 1631]

In 1527, we read in the "Heimatbuch des Kreises Löwenberg in Schlesien" (1959), Bad Flinsberg (today Świeradów Zdrój), paid an equivalent of 142 Thalers in a contribution for a war against the Ottoman Empire. The village of Blumendorf (Kwieciszowice) paid almost three times as much: 386 Thaler. This is interesting since today Świeradów has some 4250 residents, and Kwieciszowice a mere 134, over 30 times less. 

The first "proper" Thaler had just been minted: the Joachimsthaler Gulden (1525), which was one ounce in weight (27.2 g):

Joachimsthal is today's Jáchymov in Bohemia. The Thaler was  minted with silver from recently discovered deposits:

During that time, Jáchymov attracted the interest of Georg Bauer, better known as Georgius Agricola, who based his pioneering and famous Re Metallica chiefly on metallurgical studies conducted there in the late 1520s.

The Thaler (which is of course the origin of the "dollar") will become the de facto monetary standard of the Holy Roman Empire:

[Thaler of Ferdinand I of Austria, 1560]

Raising the Turkenkriege tax in 1527 was Ferdinand I Habsburg, king of Bohemia and Hungary since the death of his brother, Louis II, in the Battle of Mohacs a year earlier.

A hundred years later, the Thaler will look  like this:

Or this:

Ferdinand (born 1503) as a young boy:

After raising funds for his military activities, Ferdinand  made some gains against Jan Zapolya in Hungary in 1528, but when the Ottoman ruler, Suleiman the Magnificent, went into action himself, the Spanish-born king saw the low point of his career when Vienna was besieged in 1529.

In 1531, Ferdinand will be elected as king of the Romans:

Świeradów had first been mentioned in history not much earlier, in 1524, and interestingly, as "Fegebeutel". Kwieciszowice has a much older pedigree, dating back to 1305, according to the "Heimatbuch", where it is stressed as a "Neugrundung", a village newly founded (= by German-speaking colonists). At that time, the area was still primarily Slavic.

 [Geographische Delin. des Zum Churfürstenthum Sachssen gehörigen Marg Graffthum Oberlausitz, by Adam Friedrich Kartenzeichner [the Cartographer], before 1742]

A few images from Kwieciszowice in the 2010s: