EQ.1959.192dpi                 EJQ.2 


A Texan, by way of California, born in Arkansas, I am, as my personal website asserts, “an over-educated American of Northern European origin.”

During my time in graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, I worked with Dr. Ralph R. Read III on several projects, translating German literature into English. Foremost among these was Horst Bienek’s Die Erste Polka [The First Polka], a novel situated in Nazi-Era Upper Silesia. In Herr Bienek’s honor, one of the characters in David, My David (Josef Piontek) shares the name [but, except for the hometown, not the history] of a character from that volume. This family-name was also Herr Bienek’s mother’s maiden name.

Other texts that I helped Dr Read with translation were by modern German writers, such as Peter Weiss. (Modern German literature was Dr. Read’s field of specialty.)

I had spent part of my undergraduate college years studying the relationship between Beethoven and Goethe, to the point of having to learn to read their handwriting (although, in Beethoven’s case, it was more of a Kurrent-based scrawl), and so was exposed to much of the intricate niceties of German society of the late 18th and 19th centuries.

Beyond Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and those aforementioned, more modern writers, I have been most influenced in literature by Heinrich Heine and Thomas Mann. Homage to these three is paid throughout David, My David, indirectly, if not overtly.

In the music that suffuses this saga, one sees a devotion to Robert Schumann, Gustav Mahler, Beethoven, Bach, Brahms and Rachmaninoff, among others. There is also the extensive influence of Edi’s “my Clara” (Robert Schumann’s wife, and friend of Brahms), as teacher and now unfairly-neglected composer.

 


I speak and write in General North-American English, to my own, high standard, as documented within my reference book, The Qualls Concise English Grammar.

The German phrases embedded within David, My David are all written in the good, long-used orthography, not in the pseudo-etymological Ssscheißorthographie imposed, in grievous error, in the late 1990’s. Several of those phrases are also formatted in Fraktur, the traditional “black letter” font, used for most German texts printed in Germany or Austria until Hitler banned it, declaring it (in blatant stupidity) to be a dissolute, anti-German, “Jewish” invention.
[Created by me from traditional print, each of the variants of the font used within the book is available gratis, here.]


One compelling reason I have for pushing this book, and its teachings, to the fore is that I learned only recently, through newly published, old newspaper clippings, that my first lover, Donald Schluterman, was murdered in his Houston apartment in May of 1987, in a hate crime that occurred some 10 years after I had last seen him.

This senseless act, the brutal attack on this gentle soul, should remind all of what is at stake, of what the world has to lose, to encourage us to redouble our forceful cry that “Hatred is laziest form of cowardice.