Egmont – Beethoven and Goethe


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Egmont.
Sämtliche Werke 3.1 Münchner Ausgabe. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A tragedy centered on the Dutch fight against Spain and a romance between Count of Egmont and Clärchen. A classic read, no doubt, a good read, certainly, and an interesting one since the moral lessons have some validity today. A recent translation into English has been published by Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen. The incidental music for the play has been written by Ludwig van Beethoven:

Liberty, sacrifice and charming madness

“The” Arabs do not exist



Albert Hourani: Die Geschichte der arabischen Völker.
ISBN 978-3-596-29670-5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Well researched book about the history of the Arab people, well written, a true pleasure to read. It covers a vast time span and casts away a couple of common misconceptions about the time when the Muslim creed came into being and started to define the course of Arab history until today. Anyone having an opinion about “the” Arabs should read this. “The” Arabs do not exist. The book was first published in English under the title “A History of the Arab People”.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has written a wonderful and amusing opera that casts a benevolent light upon a Muslim ruler: The Abduction from the Seraglio.

A Muslim lesson in generosity

Swiss heroes and alternative facts


Thomas Maissen: Schweizer Heldengeschichten und was dahintersteckt.
ISBN 978-3-039-19340-0 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Deconstructing the myths upon which Switzerland built its historical and political image. Alternative facts were not invented by Donald Trump.

The best known Swiss hero is of course Wilhelm Tell. Gioachino Rossini has written a beautiful overture about that subject:

Walking around with Rossini in the ear