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The sorrows of young Catfish

Goethe in Italy (note the ruins!)

It’s said that Goethe had a 6th sense, especially for earthquakes. One anecdote says that he once called his butler in the middle of the night to ask him if he senses something in the air. The butler denied, but young Goethe told him that there must be an earthquake. A few weeks later the butler read in the newspapers that there was actually an earthquake that night, but far, far away. Just a legend? One of the most important moments in his life was the 1st November 1755, over 5o years later he wrote about this historic performance of Namazu in his autobiography, using the term „demon of terror“.  From 1786 – 1788 Goethe was „on location“, he travelled Italy down and up. A sample from his letters:

„One can’t feel the earthquake now in the lower parts of Italy, in the upper, Rimini and nearby places were recently damaged. It has strange whims, one speaks here like of wind and weather and wildfires in Thuringia.“

Catfish in disguise or not, Goethe was always extremely scared and fascinated by earthquakes, even the big one of Lisbon made a cultural impact to others, too, of course. Listen how composer Teleman did imagine the sound of Namazu:

The lyrics are about God showing his muscles to sinners, just like the Japanese catfish does in his myth. And if you think it over, it’s about time for a new age of enlightement, science and economy became myths itself…

Über twixraider

Raider heißt jetzt Twix… sonst ändert sich nix, ich suche immer noch einen Job als Scherzkeks.

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