instinct for truth [consists in the feeling that] every experience, every
action, every detail of behavior or a given individual will remain in his life
in one form or another; that a given moment in the past will always have an
indestructible meaning for a given individual. In other words, experiences and
moments are separated from one another by time are not isolated, but a part of
a certain active continuity existing in life, defining itself in one way or
another during every moment through which we live.
— Stanislaw Brzozowski, Young Poland.
To us in the Anglo-Saxonsphere, Falco (Johann Hölzel) is but a footnote. He created some catchy, original hits in the 1980s, but then seemed to fade away, like an Austrian 'Flock of Seagulls'.
But when you visit Austria, you're on the other side of the cultural telescope. Falco is still, twelve years after his death, a beloved icon. One reason is that he was one of the few German speakers capable of performing pop music that people in other countries voluntarily paid money to listen to in their private homes. Another reason is that he made the rest of the world notice Austria for benign reasons (unlike the controversial twentieth-century statesmen* or surgically-retouched crypto-homosexual neo-fascist).
So it will come as no surprise that Falco is buried in the 'Grove of Honor' (Ehrenhain) of Vienna's Central Cemetery, next to renowned composers, professors, and scientists. Here's what it looks like:
The grave is a place of pilgrimage — in fact, you see the shadows of two Falco admirers in the picture. Here are some of the offerings:
A bonus grave, György Ligeti:
* Yes, you should definitely click on this link. It's not what you're expecting.
If it is what you were expecting, your medications may need adjusting.
No, it's not the title of a cloyingly cute independent film, but a neutral description of this post.
I just returned from a second short visit to Vienna (Thanks, UM, for putting me up!). I will post much more on the weekend, but as a teaser, this is what I found at a flea market in Hietzing:
It's the "Complete Gypsy Woman's Dreambook — With Lotto Numbers and Many Illustrations." Published by Gustav Swoboda Brothers, Vienna, District XII, no date (1920s?).
The book contains 90 pages of explanations of what various images and ideas in dreams signify, drawn from "the oldest Babylonian, Assyrian, and Arabic-Egyptian manuscripts, and revised according to the experiences of old Gypsy women." I'll translate a few entries and post them later.
In the back of the book, there is a table of lucky numbers and days, and then 10 pages of eerie "picture tables" illustrating various types of dreams. Here's an example (click to enlarge):
The full set is here.
An interesting sidenote: the German edition of this book was banned (g) by the Nazis.
I'm not sure how these picture tables are supposed to be used. Do we have any experts on Central European folk culture here? If so, enlighten us please in comments.