January 6th, 2005

South Park Me

(no subject)

The school quarter began this week, and, even with the addition of an extra undergrad course, it looks like it's still going to be surprisingly easier than the last quarter.  The department seem to be capping reading in grad courses to 200-250 pages per week, which means a book like this is now split into two weeks while this was previously to be read in a single week.  I'm ambivalent as I can see the importance of getting as much reading as possible into a course, but I don't really care as I am uninterested in the course's subject matter.

My German is progressing nicely, though I still can't communicate without reference to a dictionary.  It'll be fine if that's still the case when I end the course, because I'm really learning the language for translation rather than oral communication.  And I am already able to translate more quickly, though I'm going to wait till I finish the last course in June before I begin translating Michael Kater's Das Ahnenerbe der SS, which waits patiently on my bookshelf.

Himmler's Crusade continues to be a fascinating read, and I continue to shape my amorphous "Tibet campaign" as I read it (the campaign will probably involve Amne Machin, or a giant hidden mountain that might have been confused for Amne Machin in the 1930's, and, like the Miskatonic Mountains in Antarctica, is mysteriously missing in the modern day).  There's not really a lot of info on the Ahnenerbe (though the organization figures prominently in the story), except that the book pretty much fixes their offices in the Dahlem suburb of Berlin (why Detwiller then locates the Karotechia headquarters in Offenburg is a mystery).  There is also a creepy vignette where, after a long day's work of research at Dahlem, one of the expedition members is sleeping in an office, and awakens to find the "disgraced and probably mentally ill" Karl Maria Wiligut hovering over him. Wiligut immediately asks the expedition member to study Tibetan marriage customs while in the East, and also to investigate the legend that Tibetan women carry magical stones lodged inside their vaginas.

If I've said it before, I'll say it again.  Nazis... them were some strange folks.