Pescarusul Jonathan Livingstone, Richard Bach ♥♥♥♥

Pescarusul Jonathan Livingston este, dupa Micul Print, cea mai citita parabola moderna. Nu, nu e important ca povestea vorbeste despre ordine si dezordine, despre conformism si disidenta, despre cardul care caraie si solitarul care tace si zboara. Nici relatia maestru-discipol despre care nu mai ramane aproape nimic de spus dupa ce citesti cartea nu e cel mai important lucru in aceasta istorie si nici exemplara lectie de libertate pe care o primim. Important este insa felul in care raspunde pescarusul Jonathan la nedumerirea tanarului sau prieten: “…Nu inteleg cum poti iubi un card de pasari care tocmai au incercat sa te ucida.” Cititi raspunsul pe care il primeste invatacelul si veti descoperi sensul parabolei si ceea ce e cu adevarat important in ea.
Cartea este dedicata “…adevaratului Pescarus Jonathan care traieste in noi toti”.

This is a story for people who follow their dreams and make their own rules; a story that has inspired people for decades.For most seagulls, life consists simply of eating and surviving. Flying is just a means of finding food. However, Jonathan Livingston Seagull is no ordinary bird. For him, flying is life itself. Against the conventions of seagull society, he seeks to find a higher purpose and become the best at doing what he loves. This is a fable about the importance of making the most of our lives, even if our goals run contrary to the norms of our flock, tribe or neighbourhood. Through the metaphor of flight, Jonathan’s story shows us that, if we follow our dreams, we too can soar.

Most of us came along ever so slowly. We went from one world into another that was almost exactly like it, forgetting right away where we had come from, not caring where we were headed, living for the moment. Do you have any idea how many lives we must have gone through before we even got the first idea that there is more to life than eating, or fighting, or power in the Flock? A thousand lives, Jon, ten thousand! And then another hundred lives until we began to learn that there is such a thing as perfection, and another hundred again to get the idea that our purpose for living is to find that perfection and show it forth. The same rule holds for us now, of course: we choose our next world through what we learn in this one. Learn nothing, and the next world is the same as this one, all the same limitations and lead weights to overcome.

“you’ve got to understand that a seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Gull, and your whole body, from wingtip to wingtip, is nothing more than your thought itself.”

“You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn’t flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn’t have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there.”

Am fost medic la Auschwitz, Dr. Nyiszli Miklos ♥♥♥♥♥

Asa cum chiar Dr Nyiszli declara “fara pretentii literare”, asterne pe hartie experienta traita in lagarul de la Auschwitz in calitate de medic, fost detinut ( numarul A 8450).

A fost deportat in mai 1944,si a autopsiat la Auschwitz mii de cobai  in sadicele si tristele experimente ale doctorului Josef Mengele. Acesta a supravietuit 8 luni in Auschwitz, chiar daca, in mod normal, membrii “Sonderkomando” erau omorati dupa numai 4 luni.

Evenimentele relatate în “Am fost medic la Auschwitz” au cunoscut o lume intreagă, cartea fiind tradusa in foarte multe limbi.

In mai 1944, la Auschwitz au ajuns si Nyiszli Miklos cu sotia si fiica sa. Afland ca era specializati in anatomia patologica si în medicina legala,Dr. Mengele l-a inclus in “Sonderkomando” si, curand, avea sa faca din medicul , omul sau de incredere, omul ce avea sa experimenteze.

“Am disecat sute de cadavre la ordinul medicului genial în nebunia lui, pentru ca pseudoştiinţa clădită pe teorii false să profite din moartea prin gazare sau ardere pe ruguri a milioane de oameni.

Am tăiat carnea de pe cadavrele unor fete tinere şi sănătoase pentru a pregăti medii viguroase de cultură pe care să se dezvolte bacteriile doctorului Mengele.

Am intorodus în băi cu clorură de var cadavrele infirmilor şi piticilor sau le-am fiert zile întregi, pentru ca scheletele lor curate şi bine preparate să ajungă în muzeele celui de-al treilea Reich, ca o justificare în faţa generaţiilor viitoare a necesităţii exterminării unui popor.

(…)

Acasă nu-mi găsesc locul. Umblu fără rost, încoace şi încolo, între pereţii muţi ai odăii. Trecutul îmi este încărcat cu amintiri sângeroase şi dureri profunde, iar viitorul mi-l văd întunecat.

(…)

…niciodată nu voi mai face autopsii. Niciodată.”

 

____________

 

 

During Nyiszli’s time in the camp he witnessed many atrocities to which he refers in his book, Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account.

 

While imprisoned, Nyiszli was forced to carry out medical experiments and perform autopsies on dozens of bodies, particularly on dwarfs and twins. Mengele had done research into the causes of dwarfism and twinning, and used Nyiszli to gather more information for him. Nyiszli also carried out the autopsies of prisoners; specifically those suspected to have died from camp diseases. Mengele was also searching for evidence supporting the “inferiority of the Jewish race”. At one point Nyiszli was forced to carry out medical experiments on a father-son pair, and after their murder, to prepare their skeletons for study at the Anthropological Museum in Berlin.

“           [I] had to examine them with exact clinical methods before they died, and then perform the dissection on their still warm bodies.    ”

 

One day, after the gassing of a new shipment of prisoners, Nyiszli was summoned by prisoners working in the gas chambers who had found a girl alive under a mass of bodies in a gas chamber. Nyiszli and his fellow prisoners did their best to help and care for the girl but she was eventually discovered by SS guards and shot.[2] This incident was dramatized in the film The Grey Zone.

 

Nyiszli was appalled by the disregard for human life and lack of sympathy for human suffering shown by the SS guards and officers; But like all in the camp his actions were dictated by his tormentors; he was forced to perform what for him were immoral acts. As he said (in obvious protest, under duress):

 

An event never before experienced in the history of medicine worldwide is realized here: Twins die at the same time, and there is the possibility of subjecting their corpses to an autopsy. Where in normal life is there the case, bordering on a miracle, that twins die at the same place at the same time? […] A comparative autopsy is thus absolutely impossible under normal conditions. But in Auschwitz camp there are several hundred pairs of twins, and their deaths, in turn, present several hundred opportunities!”[3]

 

During the roughly eight months he spent in Auschwitz, Nyiszli observed the murder of tens-of-thousands of people, including the slaughter of whole sub-camps at a time. These sub-camps held different ethnic, religious, national, and gender groups. For example, there was a Gypsy camp, several women’s camps, a Czech camp, and so on. Each sub-camp usually housed between 5,000–10,000 prisoners, and some had even higher populations. Nyiszli was often told which camps were to be exterminated next as it would signal that an increased workload was imminent.

 

When Nyiszli discovered that the women’s camp his wife and daughter lived in, Camp C, was to be liquidated, he bribed an SS officer to transfer his wife and daughter to a women’s work camp. Nyiszli remained in Auschwitz until shortly before its liberation by the Soviet army on January 27, 1945. On January 18 Nyiszli, along with an estimated 66,000 other prisoners, was forced on a death march that took the prisoners into various parts of the Third Reich’s territories including: Germany proper, Poland (which was part of Greater Germany) present-day Austria, Czechoslovakia, and further into various smaller concentration camps.

After Auschwitz

Nyiszli’s first major stop after the forced march out of Auschwitz was the Mauthausen concentration camp in northern Austria, near the city of Linz. After a three-day stay in a quarantine barracks at Mauthausen, he was sent to the Melk an der Donau concentration camp, about three hours away by train. After a total of 12 months of imprisonment, including two months in the Melk an der Donau camp, Nyiszli and his fellow prisoners were liberated on May 5, 1945, when U.S. troops reached the camp. Nyiszli’s wife and daughter also survived Auschwitz and were liberated from Bergen Belsen.

 

Nyiszli died of a heart attack on 5 May 1956. His daughter Susanna married in 1952 and had a daughter, Monica. She died on 8 January 1983. His wife Margareta died on 5 September 1985, aged 84.

 

_________________

 

 

Spuma zilelor, Boris Vian ♥♥♥♥

Despre cărţile lui Boris Vian se ştiu puţine, nu multora le este la îndemână să citească şi, mai mult, să aprecieze opere aparţinând suprarealismului. Oricum, probabil că una dintre cele mai cunoscute şi apreciate opere ale acestuia este Spuma zilelor, romanul care l-a consacrat şi prima carte a lui cu care am intrat în contact. Am început să o citesc în urma recomandării profesoarei de română din liceu, care ne-a propus o listă de lecturi care nu ar trebui să lipsească din bagajul literar al unui iubitor de lectură. După ce am terminat-o, am rămas în minte cu pasaje întregi timp de câteva luni şi am plecat spre bibliotecă să împrumut şi alte cărţi ale autorului. Dintre toate, tot Spuma zilelor mi-a rămas cel mai aproape de suflet, poate pentru că este şi cea mai atent gândită şi conţine cele mai remarcabile descrieri. La fel ca în Alice în Ţara Minunilor, universul lui Vian se constituie din imagini construite, parcă, pe un suport oniric, pasaje de-a dreptul psihedelice care creează liantul între lumea fictivă şi realitate.

Subiectul cărţii este constituit din povestea de dragoste dintre Colin si Chloe şi, în plan secund, de cea dintre Chick şi Alice. Colin este un tânăr bogat şi pedant care locuieşte într-o casă ai cărei pereţi se dilată sau se contractă în funcţie de stările spirituale ale celor ce locuiesc în ea. Primele fraze ale cărţii ne introduc subtil în atmosfera tipic vianescă, debutând cu imaginea protagonistului care îşi face toaleta de dimineţă, tăindu-şi colţurile pleoapelor cu forfecuţa, pentru a adăuga un plus de mister privirii sale. Această imagine este un preludiu pentru episoadele intense ce vor urma pe parcurs. În scenă mai apare şi Nicolas, bucătarul, care prinde peştii ieşiti prin chiuvetă, cu ajutorul pastei de dinţi cu aromă de ananas, urmând ca, mai apoi, să fie descris modul barbar în care acesta tranşează şi găteşte diversele preparate culinare.

După ce Colin şi Chloe se căsătoresc, se observă cum ritmul poveştii devine mai accelerat, firul epic parcă fiind grăbit într-o direcţie, care ne vom da seama că este cea a declinului personajelor. Astfel, Chloe se îmbolnăveşte din cauza unui ochi de geam care nu a mai apucat să crească la loc în urma spargerii lui de către Colin, atunci când aruncă cu un pantof după Nicolas. Aerul rece o face să dezvolte un nufăr la plămân, iar pentru a se vindeca are nevoie de multe flori şi de soare. Astfel, bogatul Colin ajunge încet-încet să nu mai aibă resurse şi este nevoit să se angajeze, lucru ce îi repugnă total, din perspectiva transformării omului într-o maşinărie. Nefăcând faţă cheltuielior, îşi vinde pianococteilul, invenţia sa care, pe măsură ce se cântă o melodie, produce o băutură aferentă fiecărei piese muzicale, însă toate din jurul său par să se darâme, să se micşoreze asemeni ferestrelor, pereţilor dar şi posibilităţii de izbândă.

În celălat plan, Chick îşi pierde toţi banii cumpărând cu fanatism tratatele, cărţile şi, chiar, hainele lui Jean Saul Partre (dublu ironic al filosofului), făcând-o pe Alice să recurgă la gestul extrem de a incendia toate librăriile şi de a ucide toţi librarii de la care cumpără iubitul ei. Sfârşitul celor doi este tragic, Chick este arestat pentru neplata datoriile faţă de stat, iar Alice moare în incendiu. Paralel cu destinul lor fatidic, Chloe este răpusă de cel de-al doilea nufăr care i se formează în plămân, iar cartea se încheie cu imaginea de o tristeţe surdă a şoricelului gri, locuitor al casei, care o roagă pe o pisică sa îl mănânce.

Atâtea imagini dure, atâta dragoste şi suferinţă, atâtea contradicţii împletindu-se cu metafore din cele mai diafane şi voalate, grotesc şi sublim laolaltă: asta exprimă cartea lui Boris Vian. O poveste de dragoste cum nu s-a mai scris şi probabil nu se va mai scrie, o existenţă măcinată de disoluţia sfârşitului încă înainte de a începe, dar care nu este marcată de tragismul elegiei ci, mai degrabă, îşi are rădăcini în neobişnuitul suprarealist. Problemele tratate cu destul de multă răceală, nu ne lasă să ne înmuiem în vreun sirop cu iz de romantism, ci ne lasă să înţelegem că suferinţa, la fel ca şi bucuria, se trăiesc la intensitate, nu pe durate interminabile de lâncezeală, se mizează pe forţa sentimentelor, nu pe statornicia lor. Spuma zilelor şochează, uimeşte, te face să nu o mai poţi lăsa din mână, să te revolţi, să o urăşti sau să o iubeşti, dar nu te poate lăsa indiferent sub nicio formă.

The Laundromat Cafe, Reykjavik, Iceland.

The Laundromat Cafe is the name of four cafés in Copenhagen, Denmark and Reykjavik, IcelandAs the name suggests there are laundromats in both cafés, earning them the title; “The world’s hippest launderette” in Wallpaper magazine and a place in the Wallpaper travel guide.

The Laundromat Cafe stocks thousands of books and the guests can also enjoy free wireless Internet connection. The Laundromat Cafe is a children friendly cafés with books and toys for the youngest guests.

The Laundromat Cafe was founded by four Icelandic friends in Copenhagen in 2004, today only Fridrik Weisshappel, of the original founders and owners, is still there.

Blue Lagoon (geothermal spa), Iceland

Blue Lagoon (geothermal spa) is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. The steamy waters are part of a lava formation. The spa is located in a lava field in Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula, southwestern Iceland.The warm waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulphur and bathing in the Blue Lagoon is reputed to help some people suffering from skin diseases such as psoriasis.[1] The water temperature in the bathing and swimming area of the lagoon averages 37–39 °C (98–102 °F).The lagoon holds six million liters of geothermal seawater, which is renewed every 40 hours. Regular sampling shows that “common” bacteria do not thrive in this ecosystem, thus additional cleansers such as chlorine are not needed.
White Silica mud settles at the bottom of the lagoon and doubles up as a perfect mineral-rich face pack.
 
The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is actually artificial and was created as an over-spill pool for the nearby Svartsengi geothermal power station. When heat and electricity has been generated from the water, it is pushed through to the lagoon.
That first sublime dip into the warm, cloudy blue waters feels like you’re taking the bath of your life. Watching the rising steam dance and swirl above the waters is a sight to behold, especially if you’re there when the sun sets.
 
 
 

Trei intr-o barca, Jerome K Jerome ♥♥

Trei domni din clasa de mijloc a Londrei victoriene pun la cale o excursie cu barca pe Tamisa. Trei domni grijulii, unul anxios cu anticipaţie, care văd în această excursie o expediţie pentru care care trebuie să se pregătească atît de minuţios, încît de pe urma pregătirilor se trezesc odată porniţi la drum că au uitat sau n-au prevăzut chestii banale, peste care orice pregătire cu adevărat minuţioasă n-are cum să nu sară. 

Asta ca să nu mai spunem că în materie de tras la vîsle şi de condus o ambarcaţiune, fie şi pe Tamisa, competenţa celor trei tinde către zero. Jerome K. Jerome face din aventurile în barcă şi pe uscat ale personajelor sale un soi de epopee comică pe cît de verosimilă pe atît de excentrică, ca şi cum londonezii lui ar fi niscai descoperitori ai unei lumi noi. De fapt, din punctul lor de vedere, cei trei chiar sînt nişte exploratori ai fluviului şi ai Angliei de pe cursul Tamisei, persecutaţi de intemperii şi loviţi de ghinioane, ceea ce-i face să se simtă, treptat, victimele soartei şi ale unei Anglii necunoscute şi mai degrabă ostile, în ciudata ei veselie. Din acest motiv, micile rîci dinainte de plecarea la drum se transformă în rupturi (aproape) teribile între doi dintre pasagerii bărcii, iar cel de-al treilea, povestitorul, cu imaginaţia în stare de alarmă, începe să fantazeze, încît de la un punct încolo ţi-e greu să deosebeşti între ceea ce el îşi închipuie că s-ar putea întîmpla şi relatarea călătoriei.

_________________________________

The story begins by introducing George, Harris, Jerome and Montmorency, a fox-terrier. The men are spending an evening in J.’s room, smoking and discussing illnesses they fancy they suffer from. They conclude they are all suffering from ‘overwork’ and need a holiday. A stay in the country and a sea trip are both considered, then rejected (J. describes the bad experiences had by his brother-in-law and a friend on sea trips). Eventually, the three decide on a boating holiday, up the River Thames, from Kingston upon Thames to Oxford, during which they’ll camp, notwithstanding Jerome’s anecdotes regarding previous experiences with tents and camping stoves.

They embark the following Saturday. George must go to work that morning (“George goes to sleep at a bank from ten to four each day, except Saturdays, when they wake him up and put him outside at two”) so J. and Harris make their way to Kingston by train. They are unable to find the correct train at Waterloo Station (the station’s confusing layout was a well-known theme of Victorian comedy) so they bribe a train driver to take his train to Kingston, where they collect their hired boat and start their journey. They meet George later, up-river at Weybridge.

The remainder of the story relates their river journey and the incidents that occur. The book’s original purpose as a guidebook is apparent as the narrator describes the passing landmarks and villages such as Hampton Court Palace, Hampton Church, Monkey Island, Magna Carta Island and Marlow, and muses upon historical associations of these places. However, he frequently digresses into funny anecdotes that range from the unreliability of barometers for weather forecasting to the difficulties that may be encountered when learning to play the Scottish bagpipe. The most frequent topics are river pastimes such as fishing and boating and the difficulties they present to the inexperienced and unwary.

Victorian fashion

Victorian man fashion 

Victorian fashion comprises the various fashions and trends in British culture that emerged and grew in province throughout the Victorian era and the reign of Queen Victoria, a period which would last from June 1837 to January 1901.

In the Victorian era, daily dress was much more formal than it is today. Unless they were a workman or laborer, every gentleman was expected to wear a coat, vest, and hat.

During the 1840s, men wore tight-fitting, calf length frock coats and a waistcoat or vest.Men wore trousers that had stripes and sometimes checks which they often paired with different patterns, stripes or checks.Belts weren’t used, nor did pants even have belt loops.  Rather, suspenders or braces of leather or canvas were common.

Beyond a man’s clothing, the most basic accessory for every Victorian gentleman was the cravat.Also nearly universal was the pocket watch and fob, which were prominently displayed hanging from the front vest pockets.Most men also carried walking sticks of various styles and often wore gloves when out for dress occasions.  Some etiquette books indicate that it was considered unseemly to allow a man’s skin to touch a woman, making gloves a necessity.

The proper Victorian gentleman was not seen outdoors without a hat. The top hat was required for formal day and evening wear.

Throughout much of the Victorian Era most men wore fairly short hair. This was often accompanied by various forms of facial hair including moustaches, side-burns, and full beards. A clean-shaven face did not come back into fashion until the end of the 1880s and early 1890s.

 

Victorian woman fashion

By the 1850s the number of petticoats was reduced and the crinoline was worn.In the 1890s, women’s fashion became simpler and less extravagant; both bustles and crinoline fell out of use and dresses were not as tight as before. Corsets were still used but became slightly longer, giving women a slight S-curve silhouette.

A petticoat or underskirt is an article of clothing for women; specifically an undergarment to be worn under a skirt or a dress.

Crinoline was originally a stiff fabric with a weft of horse-hair and a warp of cotton or linen thread. The fabric first appeared around 1830, but by 1850, the word had come to mean a stiffened petticoat or rigid skirt-shaped structure of steel designed to support the skirts of a woman’s dress into the required shape. In form and function it is very similar to the earlier farthingale.

The name crinoline was invented by one of the fabric’s manufacturers, who combined the Latin words crinis (meaning “hair”) and lin (meaning “flax”). An alternative origin for the word is sometimes given: the combination of the French words crin (specifically meaning “horse-hair”) and lin (again, meaning “flax”).

The crinoline was the subject of much ridicule and satire. Dress reformers did not like it either — they seized upon the cage aspect of the crinoline and claimed that it effectively imprisoned women.

Given that the crinoline did eventually have a maximum diameter of up to 180 centimetres (six feet) it is easy to imagine difficulties in getting through doors, in and out of carriages, and the general problems of moving in such a large structure. However, while the crinoline needed to have a degree of rigidity, it also had a degree of flexibility.

Hypocorism

 

A hypocorism is a shorter or diminutive form of a word or given name, for example, when used in more intimate situations as a nickname or term of endearment.

Hypocorisms are often generated as:

-a reduction (in English) of a longer word to a single syllable, then adding -y or -ie to the end, such as movie (“moving picture”), telly (“television”) or Aussie (“Australian”‘).

-a contracted form of a given name, such as Tony from Anthony, Rosy for Rosemarie or Vicky from Victoria.

-a given name with a diminutive suffix,such as Juanita from Juana.

-ulus/-ula in Latin, most famously in the case of the Roman emperor Caligula, whose moniker means “little boot”. He received the name from soldiers in reference to the small army sandals (caligae, singular caliga) he wore when he was young. Likewise the name Ursula is derived from ursa (bear) and means “little bear”.

Ploughman and Death, by Johannes von Tepl (c. 1350 – c. 1415) ♥♥♥♥♥

I am a Husbandman by name, my plough is of bird’s-clothing,1 and I live in the land of Bohemia.You have committed irretrievable robbery on me!

If you are a Husbandman, living in the land of Bohemia, then it seems to Us that you do Us a heavy injustice, for We have done no conclusive work in that land for a long time – recently, only in a solid, handsome town, securely situated on a mountain; four letters of the alphabet – the 18th, the 1st, the 3rd and the 23rd – weave its name. We performed our act of grace on a respectable, blessed young lady there; her letter was the twelfth. She was virtuous and free from blemish; for We were present at her birth.She was pure of conscience, assiduous, faithful, honest, and supremely gracious to one and all. –Verily, so gentle and constant a nature has seldom come into Our hands. Perhaps this is the one you mean.

Yes, sir, I was her loving spouse, and she my sweetheart. You took her away, the joy-filled feast for my eyes: she is gone.

We will prove that We weigh justly, judge justly, and act justly in the world: We spare none for the title, take no heed of great knowledge, pay no regard to any form of beauty, and do not blink at the sight of talent, love, sorrow, age, youth or other qualities. We do as the sun, who shines over good and evil: We take good and evil into Our power. All those masters who can compel spirits must commit and relinquish their spirit to Us; the necromancers and magicians cannot withstand Us, and their riding on sticks, their riding on goats, helps them nought. The doctors who lengthen the lives of men must come to our shared shore: roots, herbs, ointments, and manifold apothecatical powders cannot help them.

If you imagine, foolish man, if you consider, and chisel into your reason with a burin, then you will find: if We had not eradicated, since the time when the first man was worked from clay, the growth and increase of humans on Earth, of beasts and worms in the barren wastes and wild woods, of scale-bearing, slippery fishes in the waters – then no one would now exist for gnats, no one would venture out for wolves, each man would guzzle another, each beast another, each living creature another, for they would lack food, and the Earth would be too narrow for them.

Senseless people name evil good, call good evil. As you are doing. You accuse Us of passing false judgement: you do Us injustice. We shall prove this to you. You ask who We are: We are God’s handle.You ask what We are: We are nothing, and yet something. Nothing, because We have neither life, nor being, nor form, and We are no spirit, not visible, not tangible; something, because We are the end of life, the end of existence, the beginning of nullity, a cross between the two. We are a happening that fells all people. Huge giants must fall before Us; all living beings must be transformed by Us. You ask where We are: We are not ascertainable.You ask where We are: We are from the Earthly Paradise. God created Us there and gave Us Our true name, when he said: “The day that ye bite of this fruit, ye shall die the death.”You ask what good We do: you have already heard that We bring the world more advantage than harm. Now cease, rest content, and thank Us for the kindness we have done you!

Now listen, and make sure that this sinks in: life is created for the sake of Death. If life were not, We would not be, and Our business were nought; nor would the world order exist.

After joy sorrow, after love grief: such is the way of this Earth. Joy and grief must always be bound together. The end of one is where the other begins. Grief and joy are nothing other than a man grasping a thought and refusing to release it;

Drive the remembrance of love from your heart, from your senses, from your mind, and at once you will be relieved from sorrow! The moment you have lost something you cannot regain, make as if it had never been yours! And your sorrow will instantly leave.

She may be dead to me in body; she is ever living in my mind.

A human is conceived in sin, nourished with impure, unspeakable feculence in the maternal body, born naked and smeared like a beehive; a mass of refuse, a churn of filth, a dish for worms, a stinkhouse, a repulsive washtub, a rancid carcass, a mildewed crate, a bottomless sack, a perforated pocket, a bellows, a rapacious maw, a reeking flagon of urine, a malodorous pail, a deceptive marionette-show, a loamy robber’s den, an insatiably slaking trough, a painted delusion. Let recognise who will: every human created to completion has nine holes in his body; out of all these there flows such repellent filth that nothing could be more impure. You would never see human beauty, if you had the eyes of a lynx, and your gaze could penetrate to the innards; you would shudder at the sight. Strip the dressmaker’s colouring from the loveliest of ladies, and you will see a shameful puppet, a hastily withering flower, a sparkle of little durance and a soon decomposing clod of earth! Show me a handful of beauty of all the belles who lived a hundred years ago, excluding those painted on the wall, and you shall have the Kaiser’s crown!

Pah to you, you evil sack of shame! How you destroy, maltreat, and dishonour noble mankind, God’s dearest creation, thereby reviling divinity! Now, for the first time, I see that you are mendacious and not created in Paradise as you claimed.Now if man were as despicable, evil and impure as you say, then truly, God would have worked an unclean and futile act. Had God’s omnipotent Hand created so impure and ordurous a work of man as you say, He were a shameful Creator. And it would not be true that God had created all things, and man over them all, wonderfully well.Let go, Sir Death! you are the enemy of man: that is why you speak him ill.

She can deceive, outwit, flatter, concoct, caress, grouch, laugh and weep in the blink of an eye; she was born that way. Sick for work, but healthy for lust; and tame or wild, as suits her purpose. She needs no advisor to find an argument. All the time she strains not to do that which she is bidden, and to do what is forbidden. This is too sweet for her, and that is too sour; this is too much, and that is too little; now it is too early, now it is too late – everything is met with a reproach.

For you do not know that everything of this world is either desire of the flesh, or desire of the eyes, or pride in life. Desire of the flesh aims at lust; desire of the eyes at possessions or estate; and pride in life at honour. Possessions bring greed, lust causes lewdness and lechery, and honour brings arrogance and boastfulness. Possessions will lead to desire and fear, lust to malice and sin, and honour to vanity.

All humans are inclined more to evil than good. When someone does do good nowadays, he is acting from fear of Us. All people, and all their activity, are full of vanity. Your body, your wife, your children, your honour, your belongings, and all you possess, all flees away; it disappears in a moment; it drifts away in the wind, neither shine nor shadow can remain.

Oh, mortal man is always in fear, in affliction, in sorrow, in care, in dread, in terror, in days of pain, in days of sickness, in sadness, in mourning, in misery, in grief and in multeity of irritations; and the more worldly wealth a man has, the more annoyances he encounters. And this is the greatest of all, that a human cannot know when, where and how We shall suddenly overfall him and drive him the way of all flesh.