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Author Topic: "An den Feuern der Leyermark" by Carl Amery  (Read 2049 times)
elShoggotho
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« on: November 25, 2007, 10:27:15 pm »

I just wanted to tell you about a little gem that you should read if you know enough German to read dialogues in dialect. In this book, the German Bundeskrieg of 1866 is won by American soldiers - leftovers from the civil war - in the name of Bavaria. They use a new kind of repeating rifle that was invented by an emigrated Bavarian gunsmith - Gottfried Schmitzke - who died on the barricades in Berlin in 1848 on our side of the reality divergence. It also goes into some detail about the establishment of the Central European Confederations (Centraleuropäische Eidgenossenschaften) in the aftermath of the war and explores the similarities between Bavarian and Irish mindset in one chapter. Very fun to read.

Sadly, that book was never translated. Your German-fu should be strong before you try this one.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 02:25:18 am by elShoggotho » Logged
elShoggotho
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2007, 08:21:23 am »

A quick translation of the German Wikipedia entry on the book:

An den Feuern der Leyermark (1979): It's about historical necessity, coincidence or fate - to put it short: a "what-if" scenario. In this case: what would have happened if in 1866, a Bavarian civil servant had recruited an American partisan troop equipped with repeating rifles (the American civil war had just ended) for the war against Prussia lining up at that time? Clear case: Prussia would have lost, and the anarchist-democratic lot of partisans would have turned the European mentality inside out. From the ruins of the war, the Central-European Confederation (an alternative European union) develops, that is developed anarcho-syndicalistic with large municipality liberty and France and Germany getting rid of their alleged "arch-emnity".

An den Feuern der Leyermark (1979): Auch hier geht es um geschichtliche Notwendigkeit, Zufall oder Schicksal – kurz: "Was wäre gewesen, wenn …?" In diesem Fall: was wäre gewesen, wenn 1866 ein bayrischer Beamter eine mit Repetiergewehren ausgerüstete amerikanische Freischärlertruppe (der Sezessionskrieg in den USA war eben zuende) für den damals anstehenden Krieg gegen Preußen rekrutiert hätte. Klarer Fall: die Preußen hätten verloren, und der anarchistisch-demokratische Freischärlerhaufen krempelt die europäische Mentalität um: Aus den Auseinandersetzungen entsteht die Centraleuropäische Eidgenossenschaft (eine alternative Europäische Union), die anarchistisch-syndikalistisch mit weitgehender Gemeindefreiheit aufgebaut ist und Frankreich und Deutschland ihrer angeblichen "Erzfeindschaft" entledigt.

Babelfished, clarified and roughly hewn into a barely bearable translation by yours truly. Too bad the book itself eludes translation to this day.
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Rosel
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2007, 07:59:24 pm »

Hmm, sounds interesting. Was there a Bundeskrieg in 1866? and if so how did I not know this?
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elShoggotho
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2007, 08:07:42 pm »

It refers to the Austro-Prussian war, when almost every medium German state declared war on Prussia. In our world, Prussia came out on top, Austria became Austria-Hungary, Italy annexed Venetia and the German map had to be redrawn due to extensive border changes. In the world described in the book, 564 straight-bolt repeaters changed everything.
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Rosel
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2007, 09:20:36 pm »

ahh OK.
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2007, 07:11:19 pm »

I`m going to break my brain now.This requires high-speed German learning just so I can read it.
Danke,Herr shoggoth.
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2007, 10:12:35 pm »

I may have seen Monty Python's Holy Grail a few too many times, because I could hardly get through that translated wikipedia entry for all the "we don't have a lord, we're an anarcho-syndicalist collective. We take in turns to be a sort of executive..." scenes playing in my head.  Unless, of course, it is impossible to have seen said movie too many times, as I believe.

Back on topic, I may have to bookmark this and come back to read this book later on. I'm finally getting around to learning German, in preparation for a trip to Zurich next spring. It sounds quite interesting.
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elShoggotho
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2007, 09:07:06 am »

For all aspiring German apprentices: This book is certainly a worthy candidate to learn the language for, but it's by no means an easy read. It's peppered with period dialogue and written Bavarian dialect, which is quite phonetic. You should listen to some Bavarians before trying it. It really helps.

I just remember that little scene where "Pegleg" Hallahan wonders upon the old Bavarian custom to put out a saucer of milk for the snake, given the fact that, thanks to St. Patrick, there are no snakes in Ireland. The book is peppered with little pieces like that.

Just watering your mouth to keep the effort going. Wink
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elShoggotho
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2007, 03:22:10 pm »

For your convenience, I provide you with an ISBN so you can order that book. It's officially out of print for a while now. It's ISBN 3485003697 for the hardback of 1994 or ISBN 3453072499 for the softcover from the same year, which is the newest edition.

Carl Amery is one of my favourite comparatively contemporary German authors. He died in 2005 after writing some nice little alternative world and post-apocalyptic pieces. "Das Königsprojekt" is about the Vatican manipulating history with the help of Leonardo da Vinci's time machine, "Der Untergang der Stadt Passau" is about the survivors of the great pestilence of 1981.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 03:31:43 pm by elShoggotho » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2007, 11:07:40 pm »

Thanks for the tip. While I don't have any money for it right now I'll definitely keep it in mind in case that should ever change. (I saw the book's available on ZVAB for 13 €).
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