Adrienne Landry’s Epic Bummer

Under the link given at the bottom you can find an example of a copied-from-a-copier-from-a-copier article. This time under the guise of „academic expertise“.

We contacted the author, Adrienne Landry, twice. Once by e-mail and once by registered letter to the university. To no avail.

See our „slight“ hints for correction above. We are sure we could have found more if we had considered our time not as too precious to be spent on this type of text.

I know the picture shown above looks as if a chicken ran over it. If you want to see my corrections (as incomplete as they may be) in normal size, go to the contact page and drop me a line. I shall be happy to send you a PDF.



„The Agony of Essad Bey“ DVD

Berlin film maker Mr. Ralf Marschalleck, foremost Essad Bey researcher and expert, has released his almost two-hour-long documentary „Die Schmerzen des Essad Bey“ – or, in English, „The Agony of Essad Bey“.

Go here for watching the trailer:

In German:

In English:

(You can order the DVD from those links as well!)

This is a compassionate approach to Essad Bey’s last years he spent in physical suffering and mental torment, isolated from his friends, dependent on the welfare of other people.

Rare interviews with eye-witnesses like 100 year old Maria Paone, Essad Bey’s first cousin Nahoum Hermont or Azerbaijani translator Cherkez Gurbanly – and many more!

Wonderful imagery of Positano, of Baku and the Azerbaijani countryside. Other featured locations are Paris, Berlin, Vienna and Lichtenau in Austria. Atmospheric music and lots of text from the yet-unpublished last manuscript „The Man Who Knew Nothing About Love“.

Poignant, meditative and moving. A truly individual artistic approach to a fascinating life!

Highly recommended!

110 minutes.

Keeping Records Straight

This web site was designed not only to try and keep up with the wealth of misinformation about Essad Bey’s (Kurban Said’s) life and work, but also to point out valuable material.

When it comes to Essad Bey we find a flabbergasting amount of errors and poor quotation moral – not to mention slander and hatred – most of which is based upon the indiscriminate perpetuation of old and insufficient research.

This site will grow over time – as time permits and occasion is provided (we least worry about the latter).

The language of a post is determined by the language of the reviewed text. Only German and English texts can be presented.

If you find errors in grammar, orthography, punctuation and style, kindly bear with the author. Neither is he a native English speaker, nor has he ever lived in an English speaking environment. A friendly yell by e-mail will be greatly appreciated. So will be questions and ideas for further postings.

Thank you!

P.S. Comments will remain disabled for the time being: we are dealing here with facts which are non-negotiable. Just drop us a line if you want to say something.

Hervorgehobener Beitrag

Lev Nussimbaum’s Birth Place

No matter if you read one thousand times about Baku as Lev’s birth place – NO, Lev Nussimbaum’s birth was registered in the synagogue of Kiev and is indicated as 20 October 1905. Back then, Kiev was part of the Russian Empire. Today, of course, it is the capital of Ukraine.

It is astonishing how in all German official documents of the 1920s and 1930s „Kiev“ is given correctly as Lev’s birth place – bureaucracy obviously can be trusthworthy.

The origin of the Baku-birthplace-blooper is not very difficult to imagine – Essad Bey himself. One could go into this at great length but let’s just resort to the Kiev-fact.

By the way, have you noticed, we are stating here only that his birth was registered in Kiev, that we are NOT saying that he was born there? Where he was born, we do not know. Perhaps in Kiev. Perhaps even during a train ride, as Essad Bey claimed himself.

Just remember, he was NOT born in Baku.

The Russian language document reads:

“ … The same time we will inform you that in the above mentioned register [the birth register of the Synagogue of the city of Kiev] we discovered an entry for Nusimbaum, Lev Abramovitch with the following content:

Nr. 684 Lev. Born 20 October (4. Heshvana), the ritual of circumcision was performed on 27 October (11. Heshvara) of the year 1905.

Parents: The Tiflis citizen Abram Lejbusowitsch Nusimbaum, mother Basja Davidowna.

Etc… „

Hervorgehobener Beitrag

„Alias Kurban Said“ DVD (click on image)

Have you heard of the documentary „Alias Kurban Said“ by Dutch filmmaker Jos de Putter?

If you don’t know it, you might want to consider getting a copy from:

You will love this documentary particularly when you’re a fan of Tom Reiss‘ book „The Orientalist“. Why? Because you can see here a number of people Tom writes about – or at least their relatives.

As much as I LOVE this film, allow me to make some additional remarks:

This film bears the release date of 2004, which means that the research it presents is from that time and earlier. I suppose the interviews were done in 2003. Back then we didn’t know about Essad Bey’s / Kurban Said’s life as much as we know today.  And this is understandable.

Bear in mind that this beautiful film cannot (and does not) answer the question, who the author of „Ali and Nino“ is. Therefore, if you are looking for that answer, you’ll run the risk of being more confused after watching this documentation, because all options are presented equally.

BUT: By now this film is a historical document because many of the interviewed people are no longer with us. And Bruno Ganz‘ voice is a special treat!

A detailed commentary for expanded information and knowledge – as well as for rectification of some statements which are more of the adventurous kind (particularly by the Baroness) is in the making and will be published in this Blog.

A recommended DVD!!!

P.S. In case you wonder why the initiative for this documentary came from the Netherlands – of all countries -, the answer is quite simple.

The population of the Netherlands in 2016 was barely 17 million.

Then we see that four (!) different translations of „Ali and Nino“ into Dutch exist – to date the world-record!

  • 1938, W. A. Fick-Lugten;
  • 1974, Else Hoog;
  • 1991, Willem Oorthuizen;
  • 2001, Gerda Meijerink.

These four translation have been published in about 9 different editions which saw about 18 print runs. And not to forget an audio book!

By this we easily can assume that this ranks the Netherlands into the top three countries world wide, as far as the popularity of „Ali and Nino“ is concerned.

More about this subject in my forthcoming „Ali and Nino“ monography. Info about this publication will be published as it becomes available (the info).

Birgit Menzel und der GAU

Im oben abgebildeten Aufsatzband „Nationenbildung und Übersetzung“* findet sich ab Seite 147 Birgit Menzels Beitrag „Eurasien als Translationsraum“ – ein Artikel der einem „Super-GAU“ sehr nahe kommt, zumindest, was die Aussagen zu Essad Bey betrifft.

Das, was Frau Menzel ansonsten über ihr Fachgebiet schreibt, kann ich nicht beurteilen. Hier geht es nur um die Falschaussagen Essad Bey betreffend.

Keine Ahnung, wo anfangen … versuchen wir es so:

  • Auf Seiten 148 und 150 ist Essad Bey 1905 geboren (richtig), allerdings auf Seite 148 in Baku (falsch) und auf Seite 150 in Kiev (korrekt);
  • Als er 1922 zum Islam übertrat, sei er 15 gewesen … hmmm … wenn er 1905 geboren wurde … rechnen wir einmal nach … – Seite 151;
  • Zitat: „… bis vor kurzem galt er als Autor von Ali und Nino“ – HICKS! No comment! – Seite 149;
  • Zitat: „… er schrieb seine Bücher auch in italienischer und polnischer Sprache“  – NEIN, hat er nicht! – Seite 149;
  • Angeblich ging er mit Pasternaks Schwestern zur Schule. NEIN!  Pasternaks Schwestern Lydia and Josefine waren etwas älter; sie waren aber Teil von Essad Beys Freundeskreises;
  • Nurida Ateshis Buch „Yüz Ilin Sirlari“ wird hier mirakulöserweise zur Dissertation – trauriger kann man Trauriges nicht machen! – Fußnote 15 auf Seite 151;
  • Essad Beys Buch „Öl und Blut im Orient“ – eines seiner bekanntesten, heißt bei Frau Menzel: „Blut und Öl im Kaukaus“ – Seite 153 und 163; ABER: in Fußnote 32 auf Seite 154 ist der Buchtitel richtig zitiert – was das Ganze nur schlimmer macht;
  • Leela Ehrenfels wird hier plötzlich zu Elfriede Ehrenfels‘ Tochter – oh mein Gott! – und behaupte angeblich nun ihrerseits, die Autorin von „Ali und Nino“ zu sein – TUT SIE NICHT! – Fußnote 40 auf Seite 157;
  • Essad Bey schrieb „begeistert“ über Stalin. Sicherlich nicht, er war aber der erste, der Stalin realistisch sah, als alle Welt ihn noch als Heilsbringer sehen wollte;
  • 1969 sei die deutsche Ausgabe von A&N erschienen – NEIN, es war 1973, und zwar die Neuausgabe – Seite 160;
  • Seite 160 ist weiterhin voller krauser „Informationen“;
  • Seite 161, erster Absatz (der auf der vorigen Seite beginnt) ist total wirr;
  • Leider geht Birgit Menzel auch Betty Blair auf den Leim, wie man an Fußnote 33 auf Seite 154 sehen kann. (Betty Blairs Machwerk „The Business of Literature“ werden wir uns auch noch ausführlich widmen.)

Diese Punkte bilden nur die Spitze des Eisbergs. Bei vielen anderen Sätzen muss man feststellen: „Jaaa … neeein … kann man so nicht sagen … na ja, nicht wirklich … nein, so geht das nicht! “

Aber mehr Zeit zu investieren, war nicht drin. Schade, dass eine Akademikerin sich zu dermaßen schlampigem Arbeiten hinreißen ließ. Viele Fehler hätten durch eine einfache Internet-Recherche vermieden werden können.

Ich bringe es einfach nicht über mich, mir diesen Band anzuschaffen, noch nichtmal für mein Regal, Abteilung „Kuriosa“.
Fotokopien genügen völlig.

*Berlin 2015 (Frank & Timme GmbH), ISBN 978-3-86596-421-2, 24,80 Euro

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