Robert Walser, “Speech to a Button” (1915)

One day, when I was occupied with sewing together a shirt button that I had burst apart with a heavy sneeze, it suddenly occurred to me, while I was busy sewing, as if I had become an accomplished seamstress, to address the faithful shirt button, this innocent and modest little fellow, with the following words of tribute, which were murmured to …

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Artur Fürst, “The Masters of the Universe” (1911)

The other day a ship arrived in the port of New York, its passage from Europe to America constituting an important event in the history of technology. The steamship Bosnia carried on board a station for wireless telegraphy, and, with its help, it was possible for the first time to create a wireless telegraph connection from the …

Kurd Lasswitz, “Bottled Lightning” (1902)

I am born. "Born? What sort of nonsense is it this time? One of the human stupidities that people still pride themselves in. I'm not born, was never born. Or, are you perhaps born, old mechanical timer?" "Tick-tock, tick-tock," said the clock in the counter of the electric current. "Speak more clearly, I don't understand you," called the …

Lost & Found: New Translations

In the coming days, I'll be sharing the following translations. Most are relatively unknown, short-form texts related to my current research on media, science, and technology around 1900: Kurd Lasswitz, "Bottled Lightning" (1902) Christian Morgenstern, Selected Diary Entries (1907) Alexander Roda Roda, "Inventors" (1908) Artur Fürst, "The Masters of the Universe" (1911) Franz Blei, "Travel" (1911) Paul Scheerbart, "Self-Advertisement" (1913) …

Research Activity

Busy reading and writing for the past couple of months, I've neglected to update this blog.... Here's what I've been up to: I gave a public lecture (ca. 45 minutes, and in German!) at the IFK called "Entkabelung. Zur Mediengeschichte der Drahtlosigkeit." My lecture was structured around my current research on the popular wireless icon and the history of …