Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More Fraktur For Me, Suckers!

It seems that one of my local university libraries is disgorging itself of Fraktur-fonted texts. For a mere $1.50 I now own the complete works of Ludwigs Tieck and Uhland. Except in Fraktur.

It's odd, but I think that people still somehow associate Fraktur with National Socialism, even though from what I know, the Nazis didn't like Fraktur. Nonetheless, the stain of its germaness remains and so there appears to be a push to "modernize" by eliminating Fraktur texts from today's libraries (google books excepted!)

The editions are part of the Meyer Klassiker-Ausgaben, a 19th Century "Great Books" Series that reprinted the critical editions of major German authors. As Library copies, they bear the markings of administration, if not of use. Most of my colleagues in the German department tend to shy away from texts in this font, however, I've come to realise that where there's disinterest, there's cheap books to be had!

I wonder how difficult it would be to collect an entire set of this series? Perhaps even more interesting, thanks to the power of the Internet, if turns out that Arnold Schoenberg had the Meyer editions! So by buying these old books, I'm allowed to remain on the cutting edge of musical innovation, unless you read Greg Sandow, which I'm sure none of my audience does, right? Yes, his blog bothers me mightily, and I do intend to write more Adorno-inspired thoughts on what he and his ilk are doing to "classical music". Suffice to say that I'm on Schoenberg's side.

Let the collecting begin!

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