Monday, March 1, 2010

Taormina, August 1904 and 1905

Quelle est l'histoire de cette série de cartes postales envoyées depuis Taormina à Fraülein Hermine W., vivant à Braunschweig, en Basse-Saxe ?

Je n'arrive pas à déchiffrer cette écriture minuscule, qui se glisse dans les rares espaces libres laissés par la photographie: le ciel, les marges, un chemin.

Je n'arrive pas même à déchiffrer le nom de l'expéditeur...

What is the story of this series of postcards sent from Taormina to Fraülein Hermine W., who lived in Braunschweig, in Germany ?

I am unable to read this microscopic handwriting, filling the few free spaces left on the photograph: the sky, white margins, a path.

I cannot even read the name of the sender...


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the contents of those postcards is quite trivial.
As far as I can decipher the text on the first postcard, it reads:

Beim Durchwandern der Hauptstraße Taorminas sieht man namentlich Frauen damit beschäftigt, die Mandeln aus ihren Schalen zu klopfen, die Mandelernte ist nämlich beendigt. Mit Gruß dein Bruder August.

While wandering through Taormina's main street, one can see mainly women at their work, beating the almonds out of their shells, for the almond harvest has ended. With greetings, your brother August.

In case of the second card I'm able to read the follwoing:

Als ich gestern mittag mein Hotel in Sirakus verließ, kehrten dort gerade 2 Deutsche ein, die - - nach hier weiterfahren wollen. Es reisen also noch mehr Deutsche zur Zeit hier. Mit Gruß dein Bruder August.

When I was leaving my hotel in Siracus yesterday in the afternoon, two Germans were just arriving, who - - plan to travel on to (Taormina). So there are more Germans travelling here at the moment. With greetings, your brother August.

Butterfly said...

Thank you so much for taking the time of translating the text of these postcards... Indeed, it is trivial... At the same time, this is the starting point of a novel... Was August just a tourist, in his "grand tour" travel, visiting Taormina ? Or did he have a special interest in spending some time in Taormina, at the time Wilhem von Gloeden was active in this place ? Who knows ? Nobody knows... I am however fascinated by these postcards, because they are testimonies about the lives of unknown people: they were in this place at his time... Why, how, what was their project, their background... it is left to our imagination... Taormina's history should be written with the input of such private letters. In the early years of the XXth century, there were many reasons for visiting Taormina. Its Greek Theatrer and the gorgeous view on the Aetna mountain were good reasons; visiting Von Gloeden's studio was a good reason too...