… Wilhelm Busch – carefully studied apprehension …

After my last post  I was reminded of another beetle from the scarab family – Maikäfer – in German. In my village we had a beech alley towering above a grove with a stream at the bottom, where Maikäfer swarmed in May. As kids we collected these hard-shelled creatures in match boxers and engaged them in races by fencing flat parallel rows with stones or twigs. That many beetles did not obey the boundary rules and had to be disqualified was a huge frustration.

img123A further memory popped up – a prank featured in Wilhelm Busch’s Max and Moritz– click on the link and check out the fifth trick (prank) with the poetry shown in German and English. img124 smaller

Heinrich Christian Wilhelm Busch (15 April 1832 – 9 January 1908) was a German humourist, poet, illustrator and painter. Some of his illustrated cautionary tales were banned by authorities. The seven pranks of Max und Moritz were called a frivolous and undesirable influence on the moral development of young people,

Busch described himself in autobiographical sketches and letters as sensitive and timid, as someone who “carefully studied apprehension” and who reacted with fascination, compassion and distress when animals were killed.

img127 - smallerI have a 1923 booklet of the Max and Moritz pranks. They may have put me on the path of my own ‘carefully studied apprehension.’

Later I was gifted ‘Das Grosse Wilhelm Busch Hausbuch’ by Ulla, a German friend, a huge book with over six hundred pages of wonderful illustrations of unforgettable characters and comic poetry by the master.

Busch drew on contemproray parochichal and and city life, satirizing Catholicism, Philistinism, strict religious morality and bigotry. His comic texts were colourful and entertaining, using onomatopoeia, neaogolism and other figures of speech, check out his life.  See  here   

His quote,’ Kein Ding sieht so aus wie es ist.’– roughly – nothing is as it seems … rings ever true.


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16 responses to “… Wilhelm Busch – carefully studied apprehension …

  1. I really enjoyed both this and your previous post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had never heard of him – yet again you have educated me – thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carefully studied apprehension would also be a good book title! Internal contradictions always appeal. I knew not of him either! Lovely book plates.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, ‘studied apprehension’ is a good term. It still fits everyone who thinks independently. There is a deep vein of humour in the German culture, which got smothered by people’s fear of an evil machinery and their failure to topple its despot.


  5. It makes me yearn to see that book. Also, I am always attracted by writers who satirize those who take themselves too seriously.


  6. Hi Rosalind. Busch’s work is worth hunting for. Satire makes for sanity. You can at least see the Max and Moritz pranks by clicking on the link in the second para of my post. The poetry is in German and English.


  7. Lovely Ashen thank you … I agree nothing is as it ever seems!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Archy and Mehitabel – another partnership you might enjoy:


  9. Thank you for your beutiful post, please notify me of future ones.


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