"German has two words that we might translate as memorial in English. A Mahnmal is something meant both to remind and to warn, it pleads for remembrance not for the purpose of glory but for the purpose of heedful acknowledgment, even shame. A Mahnmal takes the idea of ‘never again’ and gives it shape.” On memorials-cum-warnings.
For Germany, the Wagners are what the Atreidai are in Greek mythology. One of them, Atreus, committed a grave sin, casting a curse over all subsequent generations, beginning with Agamemnon and Menelaus, followed by Iphigenia, Orestes and Electra. The family is marked by enmity, as is the Wagner family.
”[Paul] Scheerbart’s book bears the subtitle An Asteroid Novel, and all of its action takes place far from Earth. Not a single human character appears in the story; nor do its protagonists resemble the anthropomorphized aliens of so much science fiction. Rather, Scheerbart populates the asteroid Pallas with a race of newt-like creatures who are capable, when provoked, of expanding their bodies to several times their normal size. Moreover, the Pallasians have eyes that extend on stalks and function as telescopes or microscopes (the latter for reading micro-books: the Pallasians wear, as personal adornment, entire libraries around their necks).”
Here’s some Sunday nightmare fuel courtesy of the German children’s book, Der Struwwelpeter. (His parents warned him to stop sucking his thumbs, and this is what happened when he didn’t obey.)
"With language out of reach, it’s hard not to feel as if I’m in a dream, or that I’ve crossed over to another world."
- The Language of Another World: A New Yorker in Munich by Abigail Rasminsky