Dein Freund und Helfer

Karl-Heinz Neumann ist tot. Kalle, wie ihn seine Kumpels nannten, die mit ihm Platte machten, ist nicht mehr. Er lehnt noch wie jeden Tag, Beine ausgestreckt, in seinem schmutzigen roten Parka an dem Mäuerchen beim …-Platz. Zwei Münzen im Körbchen.

Kalle wusste, dass er sterben würde. Nicht so, wie alle Menschen ja irgendwann sterben werden. Vermutlich in einem kalten Winter erfrieren. Oder an seiner Zuckerkrankheit zu Grunde gehen, die ihm schon zwei Zehen gekostet hatte. Aber damit hatte er nicht gerechnet.

Sein Kopf mit den strähnigen Haaren ist zur Seite geneigt, ruht auf seiner Schulter. Das Blut, das träge aus seinem Schädel rinnt, lässt die klebrige Pfütze unter Kalle größer und größer werden.

Vor Kalle stehen Schutzmann Schwed und Schutzmann Dobrialska. Kalles Füße stecken in ausgetretenen Schuhen, lugen an dürren Beinchen aus der verschlissenen Cord-Hose, zeigen zehn vor zwei an.

Insgeheim war Kalle seines Lebens überdrüssig gewesen. Aber er hatte nicht mehr die Kraft, ihm ein Ende zu setzen.

Schutzmann Schwed spricht ins Funkgerät.

– Zentrale?
– Schutzmänner Schwed und Dobrialska hier.
– Wir haben hier einen 107 am …-Platz.
– Ja.
– Ja, der Asi-Killer hat wieder zugeschlagen. Selbes Muster wie vergangenen Dienstag im Stadtpark.
– Nein, keine Zeugen. Menschenleer hier.
– Gut, wir warten.
– Ende.

Schutzmann Schwed grinst Schutzmann Dobrialska an. Schutzmann Dobrialska lässt den blutverschmierten Baseball-Schläger aus seiner Hand in seinen Rucksack wandern. Mit einem Papiertaschentuch wischt er die Spritzer von seiner Hand. Die Beiden warten auf das Einsatzkommando.

Bücher 2016

Pflichtlektüren

C. Ransmayr Die Letzte Welt
H. Hesse Der Steppenwolf
S. Zhadan Depeche Mode
M. Duras Moderato Cantabile
H. Kang Die Vegetarierin
C. Brontë Jane Eyre
I. Nemerovsky Die Familie Hardelot 

Dazwischen

Robert Harris Dictator (Cicero Trilogy)
A. Bennett
– Cosi fan tutte
– The Uncommon Reader 
C. McCullough (Masters of Rome series)
The first man in Rome
 
The Grass Crown
Tracy Chevalier Reader, I Married Him: Stories Inspired by Jane Eyre
Heather Glen The Cambridge Companion to the Brontës

E.M. Forster Howard’s End (zum 3. Mal)

 

…auf dem Nachttisch

E. Hemingway Men without Women
Siri Hustvedt Summer w/o Men
Adam Tooze The Deluge: The Great War and the Remaking of Global Order 1916-1931 (…immer noch)
Steven Weinberg To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science
M. Stewart The Crystal Cave (zum 3. Mal)

H.G. Wells The Time Machine

…unter dem Weihnachtsbaum

H.P. Lovecraft The Complete Fiction

Arthur I. Miller »Deciphering the Cosmic Number«

320px-cgjung pauli

There are some books you do not find, they find you. As the one I will review here. The book was a gift I received for my birthday from someone who knows my interests: physics, as this is what I studied, and the workings of the mind, or psychology, a faculty that I have been interested in since long.

The book is a dual biography of two outstanding scientists of the 20th century: Carl Jung and Wolfgang Pauli, and how they met and worked together. The hardcover edition has roughly 350 pages, quite a lot of illustrations and eight pages with reproductions of photographs in the middle.

I would divide the book roughly in three parts.

The first part is an entertaining description of the lives of Carl Jung and Wolfgang Pauli from the beginning of the century until the 30s, embedded in the development of quantum physics and psychology, with lots of references to other famous scientists from the epoch as well as from three thousand years of science that preceded. In that era fell two of Pauli’s most important achievements: the exclusion principle (Pauli principle) and the prediction of a new particle, the neutrino, discovered shortly thereafter.

What was particularly striking to me was that Pauli, apart from being a pointed critic, led two lives: the day-life of a genius of his time, and a night-life spent drinking, whoring, fighting. It was the latter that brought Pauli to ask Jung for help, when he saw that his life started falling apart. Given that Arthur I. Miller, PhD in physics, is Emeritus Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at University College London, the first part is, sadly, also the best part.

The second part is basically an enumerative description of the psychoanalysis of Pauli’s dreams by Jung. I mostly lacked the understanding of the references to alchemy, mandalas and symbolism, and did not find a proof for Jung’s interpretation of Pauli’s dreams being more than a best-guess ex-post explanation. I found the second part rather boring and I admit that I even skipped some sections. Nonetheless, Miller had spent quite some effort on working through the rich correspondence between Pauli, Jung and other psychologists, as well as what was left in terms of documentation. Certainly of value is the critical acclaim of what role Jung played for nazism.

The third part mostly deals with the post-war era of quantum physics, cumulating in Pauli’s third achievement: the formulation of CPT invariance. Apart from that, it shows Pauli’s and others‘ fruitless efforts to derive the fine structure constant from first principles. The third part again is embedded in the history of post-war physics, making references to other great scientists of that time.

Is the book worth a read? Yes, I would definitely recommend it. It can be understood by laymen both of physics and psychology, who do not allow themselves be let betrayed by the somewhat lurid title. The book is quite entertaining which helped me to get over the deficiencies in understanding Jung’s theories.