Outside I see the melting snow …

… and that makes me think of René Descartes and his „Discours de la méthode“, containing an autobiographic episode, where he describes how he, just passing through a small village near Ulm, prevented from continuing his journey by the unusually severe winter of 1619, found the leisure to contemplate his thoughts as he was enclosed all day alone in a small warm room.

Currently in the home office, browsing my home bookshelves, Descartes’ book fell into my hand and I got stuck on the little green volume, the bilingual edition of Felix Meiner Verlag.

Descartes contemplative time of leisure was the impetus for a text that, first published in 1637, has left its mark in the history of philosophy. Today, for me, in my profession as a counselor, it is an impulse to trust one’s own thinking, one’s own judgment, and to encourage the people I counsel to do the same.

Here are a few links as a suggestion to continue browsing and thinking about independent thinking and the impulses it can give one, for the diverse shaping of one’s own life path.
Text editions freely available on the net:

The French original: https://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/Discours_de_la_m%C3%A9thode/%C3%89dition_Adam_et_Tannery

A German translation: https://www.textlog.de/descartes-methode.html

And an English translation at gutenberg.org (only available if you don’t have a German IP): https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/59

And then tow interesting pages:
The transcript (in German) of a Deutschlandfunk radio broadcast: https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/descartes-und-der-schnee.700.de.html?dram:article_id=81434

And an article (in German) about a conference in Ulm: Artikel über eine Tagung in Ulm im Jahr 2019: https://www.uni-ulm.de/universitaet/hochschulkommunikation/presse-und-oeffentlichkeitsarbeit/unimagazin/online-ausgabe-uni-ulm-intern/uni-ulm-intern-nr-351-februar-2020/descartes/

Once again surprising and always an inspiration …

… is the book store of Walther König in colognes Ehrenstraße. The Result of my last visit is a warm orange yellow book on my table. Perhaps it was the subtitle that finally made me take it home: „Lebenswege in eine Welt für sich“ (Life paths to a world of its own).

Life-paths are diverse, and making your way in the world of art, especially as a profession, rarely follow classical patterns or traditional tracks. Franz Schultheis, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of St. Gallen, has published this volume entitled „Kunst als Passion“ (Art as Passion), ISBN 978-3-96098-429-0, in which he has compiled around 200 interviews with people who talk about their way into the world of art, both professionally and as a private passion.

The publisher of this book is Walther König, the owner of the legendary art-book-store in colognes Ehrenstraße. Walther König was a guest at the career:FORUM of Siegens University in 2014. He knows everybody of importance in art and his ambition as a book dealer is to have every book about art available in his shop or make it available. The screen:BOOK, documenting his visit, is still online. Here the link: https://www.uni-siegen.de/cs/medien/screenbooks/screenbook_waltherkoenig.pdf

Weekends reading recommendations

Goethe in Italy. In Europe a topos for generations, shaping the picture of traveling and finding one’s way in the world. A way of self discovery. Life-paths are diverse. For Goethe it was a very productive time. Still inspiring to read, especially today. The original German Text is found here.

As gutenberg.org is still not available with a German IP address, a quick research for a good, online available, English translation was not successful, but brought a link to a German classroom Edition with English introduction, published in 1909 in New York. It’s a scan of a copy form the University of California Libraries. You will find it here.

Until October 26, the Tiroler Landesmuseum was hosting an exhibition on Goethe’s journey and its impact. The title: „Goethe’s Italian Journey. A homage to a country that never existed“. Now the catalog is in the bookstores. It is on my table as a reading recommendation for the weekend. The Book is in German and Italian.