Ten (steps) #DailyPrompt #WritersWednesday

The prompt

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“Ten steps, you said, and, well, I’d like to know…”

“It is simple, also we are in 2017 remember,” she replied with her irresistible smile, “The hundredth anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution – remember Petrograd? But also 1517, five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation: Wittenberg, brother Martin, the revolt of the peasants, Münster, Q! So, here you are, the ten steps:

  1. Remember always which year you are in
  2. Look at the cages, have this picture above your desk, remember them!
  3. Every year take a trip to Wittenberg, or Münster, or wherever an event of importance took place that has inspired great works…
  4. Reread “The Ten Days That Shook the World”, “Q” and other classics: food for thoughts.
  5. Bert from the Well be your model: the calm hero.
  6. Never rush on mere enthusiasm: there has to be a reason!
  7. Reread the “Tractatus”, Wittgenstein is good for the soul.
  8. Walk.
  9. Respect her, I mean, me!
  10. Gym, three times a week!

There you are, I told you: simple!”

Photo: the church of Saint Lamberti in Münster, with the original cages where the tortured corpses of the Täufer were exhibited (1536)

Joseph Nasi @ Altaj, Wu Ming

Altai, by Wu Ming, the story of A Venetian spy in Constantinople… Altai can also be read as another encounter with Gert from the Well…

leesmagazijn

.Guiseppe Nasi

#deconspiratie Voor wie het nog niet wist of zich herinneren kan. De Turken (Ottomanen ) werkten met Nederland samen tegen Spanje.

Maintaining contacts with William the Silent,[10] Nasi encouraged the Netherlands to revolt against Spain, a major adversary of the Ottoman Empire (the rebellion was ultimately carried out by the Union of Utrecht, as the start of the Eighty Years’ War).[11]

Meer over Nasi in Altja van Wu Ming

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Q #AtoZAprilChallenge

Thomas Muentzer.jpg

Q“, authored by the Italian writers’ collective Luther Blissett, now morphed to “Wu Ming“, tells the story of Gert-from-the-Well, a young student from Saxony, in the aftermath of the monk Martin Luther’s ninety five theses, pinned on the door of the Wittenberg cathedral church in 1517.

I am on my second reading of Q, and have read the “sequel” (a misnomer) “Altai” by the same Wu Ming. Q is, in part, straightforward adventure through the troubled times of the various revolts that then momentarily challenged the power of the princes, the massacres of insurgents, the Anabaptists’ heresy and the horrors of the Counter-Reformation/Inquisition. The other face of the novel is a reflection on politics and the meaning of truth, perhaps reflecting the authors’ own questions on the state of post-war Italy.

The book starts in Wittenberg, where Gert meets his mentor, Thomas Müntzer, and finishes in Venice, with Gert now an ally of the rich and at time powerful Miquez family, and lover of Beatriz de Luna. On the way Gert is countered by the one who becomes his arch-enemy, the spy Qoelet, working to the service of Gianpietro Carafa, the future  pope Paul IV. Q infiltrates the insurgency, and tracks Gert to Venice where they finally come face to face. The narrative is fascinating and often puzzling. What was to become Europe was then in the midst of continuous horrendous wars, fought through mercenaries and bands of thugs that terrorised the peasants and extracted what they could from the towns. In the background, violence is fuelled by the rivalries between the Emperor, Charles V, the German princes, the pope, Italian principalities, Venice, the King of France, and, the Ottoman Empire. The Jews have been expelled from Spain, and resettled in Venice, and soon Constantinople. Worse was to come, when the Tirty Year war ravaged most of what is now Germany, and concluded only in 1648.

A good read for those interested in European history, or simply a great adventure novel.

Image: Thomas Münzer By Christoph van Sichem – Das Wissen des 20. Jahrhunderts, Verlag für Wissenschaft und Bildung, 1961, Rheda, Bd.1 S.395, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26253b

Doña Gracia Nasi’s entry in the Jewish Womens’ Archive

Pick your gadget #DailyPost #WritersWednesday

Your local electronics store has just started selling time machines, anywhere doors, and invisibility helmets. You can only afford one. Which of these do you buy, and why?

Anywhere door

 

“Really, I don’t know what you would do with a time machine!” she said, laughing, “even without one, you creep back on the past all the time… As for the future… On the other hand, an anywhere door offers some interesting possibilities, just imagine getting back into that old house, you know the one, where we met the ghost, and uncovered that precious manuscript from Gert from the Well: a treasure! As for the invisibility thing, I find it creepy, don’t you?”

I reflected for a little while. I did not need an invisibility thing. I’m an ace stealthy person , when I need to. And she’s right about the time machine (also, so dangerous, imagine being stuck in the time of George W. Bush’s presidency!) Yes, definitely the door gadget. Almost the ideal tool for us, thieves and occasional assassins…