I had no particular views on the subject

“I had no particular views on the subject” – Hand on the Shoulder by Ian McEwan

8 thoughts on “I had no particular views on the subject

  1. Again, I’ve forgotten a lot of the German I studied years ago in high school and college. Was this found on a convent? Seems like a religious image to me. I wonder how long it has been around, and if anyone else but you has noticed it.

    1. This is one of the photos where I always hope someone will ask ;-) – so thank you for asking. The relief is at a hidden corner under a staircase at the city hall of Nördlingen. The city hall is dated 1307. There has been a sort of prison cell in the basement where inmates who had been charged with minor offences were shown to the public. The relief is right there, showing a fool (you can see him wearing cap and bells) who looks at you and says: “Nün sind ünser zweyn”. In modern German this is “Nun sind unser zwei” i.e. “Now it’s two of us”.

      1. What a great piece of work and history. I thought it looked a little like a court jester. If I had known about modern day version of the inscription, I would’ve understood it better. It’s fascinating to me that there are buildings still in use today that date from the 1300’s and perhaps much earlier in Europe. Thank you for posting and sharing some of your history.

        1. It’s fascinationg to me, too, since there have to be certain circumstances to let this happen.
          First of all there had to be wealth. Of course. People had to have enough money to build all these houses. But secondly, and this is astonishing, I think, there had to be some kind of downfall. Perhaps the markets moving elsewhere, war, of course. So that for many generations there was not enough money to do, what people normally seem to do: demolishing the old to build something new and fancy. That’s what happened in the area where I took these photos: the Thirty Years’ War and the relocation of the markets for fabric. So the old buildings and structures just stayed. People had no choice.
          Thirdly – and this is something specific for Germany: no air raids during WW2. Mainz, the city were I am living, for example, had been mostly destroyed, not much left of the old medieval city. Not that much left of the city at all.
          And fourthly, nowadays there has to be enough money to restore the houses and keep them in a shape that allows a usage according to modern standards. That does not apply to many cities in the eastern part of Germany. There are many very very old buildings and houses, but no means to make them liveable.

    1. Please see my reply to Ed’s comment for more information. And yes, it is what be might called a “court jester”. Hey, you don’t do German? ;-)

  2. Aha! I could have asked my son who does do German. He makes his living translating German-English English-German. But he’s such a nitpicker he’d probably go to his old German dictionary. Or to Swiss German.

    As to me doing German, I have forgotten how “do” has evolved…Ich bin alte:-))

    1. You should definitely ask your son to do (sic!) translate the old version with the many evil umlauts, ;-) Without the help of any dictionary, of course. I wonder if this is an easy nut to crack … really. For me, it’s easy, of course, but that doesn’t count.

      Ah, and in the end, you do do the German, I see … .

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