Jun 8, 2020

German for beginners -- Lederhosen

Our friend Sacha (depicted as Jack Horn in our literary oeuvre) and we have been back and forth today about receiving pictures from friends concerning a country that both of us left 40 or 45 years years ago. So...along those lines, here are pictures concerning things which are still happening today in those parts:

Why do you do this, you'll ask, putting up these pictures? Well, we want to sell our books, and here's a fragment from our first novel, Green Eyes, a finalist of the Lambda Literary Awards...and which--TADAA--came out out in a German translation last month. 
The fragment involves Maurice Dymond, a recent acquaintance of our narrator John Lee, who's telling about Godehart Wagner, a fictional fifth generation member of the Richard Wagner clan:

"[Godehart] tells me his life story. He’s from this minor branch of the Wagner family, but somehow he still holds some rights to the Wagner name. Not for the music, of course, that belongs to the public domain, but in some way Wagner’s name is still protected under German law, some special provisions enacted by the Nazis, and he makes his money with Wagner mugs, and Wagner busts, and this themed stuff that you find in tourists shops. And he sells leather shorts, Bavarian leather shorts, emblazoned with the Wagner motif. You know—-these garments that they wear with Tyrolean hats when appearing on the telly where they dance to the tune of Bavarian square dances, jodlers, if you will, and slap their thighs to the rhythm of the music. You are aware of that folly if you ever watched German television. It’s of no importance when you switch to a German channel, there shall always be men in Bavarian shorts and Tyrolean hats, slapping their thighs.
“Impossible.” [John]
“Mind you, they don’t dance to Wagner music, just a jodler.”
“But the Wagner theme, how do you combine this with leather shorts?” [John asking]
“Good question, no idea.”
“Do you know whether Wagner was gay, too?” [John]

“Actually I asked Godehart. Wagner wasn’t officially gay, but he had an affair with the young king of Bavaria, Ludwig the Second, Godehart told me. Ludwig furthered Wagner’s career, in fact, he underwrote his productions and built opera houses for him. Wagner would not have succeeded without Ludwig. So perhaps Wagner wasn’t gay, perhaps it was just the casting-couch behavior of an ambitious composer. But we can’t be so sure. Wagner and Ludwig exchanged quite a few letters, quite explicit, passionate ones, the jury is out on that one.”
“How do you know?” [John asking]
“Well, Godehart told me, I asked pointed questions.”
“Nobody asks pointed questions anymore.” [John]
“I do,” he says.

Buy the book, here: 

Green Eyes

Jun 1, 2020

Afternoon picnic

...just back from an afternoon picnic in the park, the "forêt domaniale de l'Estérel":

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