Friday, 15 June 2012


....."The time has come," the Walrus said
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes..and ships..and sealing wax..
Of cabbages and kings..
And why the sea is boiling hot..
And whether pigs have wings."

-The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll-

Look at those long thin hands.  You can just imagine shaking hands with this weird creepy little man can't you?  His real name was Richard Engländer, he was writer born in Vienna in 1859, Peter Altenberg was his pseudonym.  Apparently he was described as being a true Bohemian and was know for his eccentric wild way of dressing and his outrageous opinions.  He was inspired by the prose poems of Baudelaire and also by postcards because they necessitated a condensed style of writing.  Speaking of his prose-pearls he said,  "They're extracts!  Extracts from life!"  His own life was fractured by more than one internment in the local asylum and his writing was an amalgam of fiction and fact.  He had his letters delivered to Cafe Central his favourite coffee-house in Vienna where he used to like to write, and where there is now a statue of him permanently seated at a table near the entrance.  Apparently he wrote the phrase,  "Are we not all only Karikatures from the truly and ideal wishes, which God and nature made with our souls and our bodies." (with the spellings and punctuation as original) in English beneath Jagerspacher's portrait of him.

He would most definitely have been delighted with the invention of blogs.  I feel a certain sympathy with him, if only for the fact that sometimes he wrote his short prose-pearls whilst propped up in bed and like me his writings were liberally peppered with wild fireworks of exclamation marks!!


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Jane:
We are so pleased to have been introduced by you to Peter Englander since we know that he would have been exactly our kind of person!!!!

How wonderful to be able to capture the essence of Life in 'prose-pearls', we have absolute admiration for anyone who can convey a message with just a few well chosen words. Oh how we wish that we could do the same.

But, we are sad to think of your having to be propped up in bed to write and hope that your life is not circumscribed in such a way as clearly his was.

We wish you a happy weekend and hope that, as here in Budapest, the sun will be shining and brightening your days!!!![We too, of course, LOVE the exclamation mark fireworks!!!!!]AND the occasional capital letter!!!!

Susan McShannon-Monteith said...

So glad you popped by for a visit!
What would we do without the wonderful exclamation mark!
Sorry to hear about all the rain, hopefully as we pass into Summer it will subside.
Have a great weekend my dear.
Susan x

WOL said...

I'm easy to please -- propped up in bead or propped up on the couch, or in my recliner -- any will do!

Re the Sherlock series, you can watch the three second season episodes on line for free here:
but they are time sensitive -- you have to watch them before 06/19. Prop yourself up in bed, with beverage and nosh of choice, fire up the laptop and enjoy!

Also amazon has DVDs for both seasons, and you can buy on a per episode basis and download. See here:

and here:

Both seasons are also available on Netflix.

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Dear Jane,
As you have probably noticed, I use exclamation marks to the extreme !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I read once that it is the sign of a bad writer if they use exclamation marks, as a good writer should convey their feelings with words alone but, I disagree. Without exclamation marks, words can be misconstrued. I shall continue to over use them !! haha
Sorry for my absence lately .... my computer finally gave up and I am now getting my head around my new MacBook Pro !!!!
Happy weekend to you dear Jane. XXXX

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Jane and Lance... You always capture me with your words!!

Susan...Still raining today but it's Happy Saturday!

WOL...Oh! Thanks so much for those links, I had to smile at your words,'Prop yourself up in bed, with beverage and nosh of your choice...' Magic WOL!!

Jaqueline... Oh!! Hang what the so called experts say, I agree with you exclamation marks convey an energy and verve for living!!!

Hope you all have a terrific weekend my friends!

x Hugs to you all,

Cait O'Connor said...

Prose pearls, what a lovely phrase.
I found your blog via an American one - the title drew me in. I shall call again.

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Hello Cait, what a lovely way to spell your name! Thank you for calling by, hope you have a good weekend.


Nan said...

Such a wonderful post. I had never heard of him. Though I find the hands kinda creepy, I do love his face, and the expression on it. How many brilliant people seem to have the mental hospital as part of their lives. Maybe they go hand in hand. I love the idea of the statue in Vienna. Isn't that just wonderful.