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XXXIII. Die Gebrüder Grimm

by | Feb 4, 2014 | Opus Magnum

In the first pages of the chapter numbered after the Romans, that is the MMCI/II of our beloved Master Book, we read the following:

“I am sure, dear reader, dear female reader, dear probable reader, dear probable female reader, dear bored reader, dear bored female reader, dear female-probably-concerned-with-household-matters-and-chores reader, dear…(1)…that you will remember the intricate personal history of the Grimm brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm; a couple of ill-fated siblings that would eventually find their very destiny concealed within their own family name.

“So does the very same biographer and personal sculptor of both genial and sinister Gebrüder, Graf -count- (2) von Westphalia, baptised as Edmund von der Wald aus der Rhin, who during his time was already quite famous for his eccentricities (3) and impudence shown towards remarkable and commendable people (4), as well as for his outstanding skills in Fussball (**), synchronized swimming and the typical rioplatense card game of truco (trick), taught to him by the very same British explorer and famous Sufi, Sir Richard Francis Burton.

“Our admired Count Edmund decided to turn his own version of the biography he had previously written about the Gebrüder Grimm (which at that time had not yet been published) into a novel; decision he took and a change that he vowed to undertake during a warm summer spent in the coast of Amalfi.

“In those very days, Graf Edmund was recovering from a serious acute bronchitis and a gout attack when, all of a sudden, the strike of genius occurred: he knew, once and for all, precisely what to do with that boring amount of objective cumulus of names, locations, significant moments in history and dead information that anyone could have recompiled. He sensibly thought that if all the pianists in history merely played what was not indicated in the score, all music would sound alike, perhaps identical; but if they were courageous (courage being one of the many faces of sincerity) enough and if they intended to surrender to the Muse of Beauty and Harmony by following the instructions of the music written on the sheet, they would not only find the one truth, but also their own; as a result, that very same piece of music could never sound alike ever again, despite how many times it might be interpreted, both by the same musician (always different every time that is played) or any other; whereas those adventurous and courageous real artists would eventually become that which they should have always been: a unity. A perfect recreation through the recreated; the only way to enter the realm of Divine creativity.

“Unable to wait a single breath longer, Edmund started to prefigure how to fulfil such a creative, thus colossal task. How to create something worthy of the sweat and the lack of masturbatory hours? How to mix all that dead and meaningless data previously fixed in the form of a biography about a certain couple of brothers, in this case surnamed Grimm? How to turn the Grimm into the Joyful?

“The Count understood, once and for all, that if he were to only condemn himself to retell what had already happened in the lives of the immortal Gebrüder, it would ultimately be impossible for him to reach the transcendent truth that was waiting to be discovered and then loved. He had to follow his intuitive heart. The sheet or score was the life span of both siblings, their fate was the music, the performer was the Count, the feather and quill the instrument, and the composer was and is the Mystery Beneath the Veil; the Unnameable; the One Hundredth Name.

“Once the epiphany invaded him, he could not leave the Royal Suite until the revolutionary opus was finished. As a sort of hommage to his beloved Mozart, he wrote the entire piece using music sheets and ink; detail that allowed him to make no corrections, thus breaking free from the fear of failing. The title of his magnanimous opus came in last; it was: A Marvellous Account of the Exploits of the Beloved, Joyful and Happy Grimm Brothers, a Fableously Biographical Novel (*). Among many interesting passages and remarks between passionate fortissimi and subtle pianissimi we can find, according to the presto of the reading, certain pearls worthy of the literary Parnassus, such as:

“’…I allow myself to quote a cite, or to cite a quote of the famous duet of writers, musicians, chemists, experimenters in colours, excellent dancers and acute observers of reality, named Frederick Scalllibur and his long life companion Hèléne Coqcuet, who boldly affirm in their Brief History of Literature and Neurosis, Volume 587326, page 981756, column 3874, line 8379287, that all writing is but neurosis.’

“We then jump some pages forward, to read:

“’Making a remarkably good use of this previous example, I serve myself a portion from this massive yet tasty and juicy psychological feast (the recently quoted book) in the first place, because it really looks quite appetising; in second place because I’m really hungry; and in the third place, because it’s a perfect and accurate description of the mental state in which the Grimm brothers were when they wrote some of their most celebrated stories (4 bis).

“’This behavioural pathos most likely finds its origin at a certain point in time; precisely just five days after one of the Grimm Gebrüder came into this dark and sombre world (5), when their infamous Mutter abandoned them at the very gates of the Philippsruhe Palace of Hanau. Dorothea Zimmer was her name. It is still widely believed in their home town of Hanau that the wicked woman intended to leave them at those very gates five days before giving birth to the youngest of the two future storytellers; something she tried several times, but that lastly proved impossible. Despite the useless effort she, the abandoner, invested in sweaty, noisy and smelly pushes, the only thing that came out of her body was a deficiently digested Kassler Rippchen and other UFF (Unidentified Falling Faeces).

“’I do predict that in some unforeseeable future some useless translator will create an unnecessary footnote in this above written paragraph in order to confuse and puzzle the good faithed reader; it is easy to understand that both brothers were abandoned only once the youngest was born. In the same fashion, contrary to all rules about good writing and logically structured literature, I simply state that the reason for the abandonment of the Grimm siblings was not a matter of grave psychological depth, but just that she was insane or OOHFM (Out of her fucking mind).

“’Nonetheless, it is easy to understand and to recognize why such an occurrence had been carved in their emotional memory ever since, thus provoking in the little brothers’ conscious, subconscious, sub-sub-subconscious and subterranean conscious minds a huge impact. Nevertheless they both survived the maternal abandonment.

“’They managed to do so by mimicking pigeons (7), those undesirable flying creatures which they always manage to find some food, pecking out the scarce bread crumbs that the old retired fellows slowly and kindly placed on the ground, in the belief that the estranged brothers were some kind of Colombian oviparous creature that had been imported by the Führer (6). We can easily see and understand how this traumatic solitary upbringing (and probably any other chapter of their lives as well) fuelled their creativity, which is reflected upon, probably at its best, in their most famous and immortal tale: Hänsel und Gretel. I am forced to assume that due to the lack of a strong masculine figure, a father-godly presence in his life, Jacob was to be immortalized as Gretel.

“’Despite the horrendous abandonment they suffered, this same happening inspired them (both being ignorant of the origin of such a vocation) to investigate, collect and write stories mainly for little children, with the laudable intention of creating impacts and nourishment for those little (yet) uncorrupted minds that would inevitably be exposed to adult brutality and conditioning disdain. A remarkable tale in its own that shows how opposites can, on occasion, work towards the same useful goal.

“’Once they struggled into adulthood after passing the hell of their infancy and primal teenage years, and though they were terribly busy with their frantic researches, compilations and writing (an attitude that probably reveals more about what they did not want to dwell on, rather than a positive appetite), revenge was the daily mantra that kept pecking both their conscious, subconscious and sub-sub-subconscious minds, despite the fact that neither of them had any crumbs left on their heads. It is fair to say that, deep inside, both Gebrüder felt that the word revenge – Rache in German – was not as strong and expressive enough to accurately describe the task to come.

“’In order to solve these linguistic problems, they resorted to the Italian blood present on their mother’s side: the bisnonno Giancarlo Manfredi, an exquisite pizzaiolo from Ascoli.

“’After days of turbulent travelling, they finally found the word they were looking for, almost with a tribal fervour: vendetta.

“’Also, by chance (if there is such a thing, and if indeed it is a thing) they finally tasted Giancarlo’s doughy delicacy; the result was amazing for their taste buds yet horrendous for both their ejective orifices: their way back home was not signalled with crumbs nor shining stones, but through the force and stench of the remains of the barely digested pizzas.

“’But despite the trials and tribulations of the digestive ordeal, which was probably caused by eating something that somehow, due to carrying within it a single cell, probably a couple of hairs (pubic or axillary) or some alchemical drops of Giancarlo’s sweat in the dough, could have triggered the bitter and almost liquid eruptive intestinal reaction in the Gebrüder, as if something had yet to be digested not only on a physical and obvious level, but on an emotional one as well; yet, despite all those shortcomings, the aim, the daily mantra remained the same: Rache! Vendetta!

“’A debt was finally paid during the course of a dark spring-like morning of the twenty seventh day of the forth month of the year 1937, in a suburb of Dresden called Aufkassental; though it is fair to affirm that the benefactor still remains in the shadows, probably because of what you are about to read. And how much would I have preferred to write The debt and not simply A debt; and surely, dear reader, you shall understand the heavy shadow that overwhelms my heart whilst I write the following explanation: within the realms of a humble abode located at 65 Haupstrasse, and locked inside a ferocious iron oven, Frau Hannelore Herzfritz died from asphyxiation.

“’Regrettably, the innocent woman never knew the reason why she was ultimately shut away in her own beloved cooking device; in the same lamentable way that the Gebrüder Grimm never knew that the finished off lady was not their Mutter. Perhaps the storyteller brothers never found out about the occurrence, and hence never went out to celebrate the assassination; though, is it possible that, by discovering news about the happening, they did not celebrate, perhaps due to shame? Is it plausible that probably the Gebrüder were no longer alive during the year 1937? What if, oblivious of the heated killing, they did celebrate due to a mistake that has nothing to do with what has arisen as a matter of true fictional discussion?

“’Of course, given the bits and pieces of information that we are lacking, we cannot assert that they ever found out, not only about the overcooked body of the supposed to be guilty-mother, but also about the horrendous mistake, yet it is nevertheless fair to guess that the shadowy benefactor wanted to share his supposed act of generosity, perhaps as an offering for his (or her) most favourite authors. The whereabouts of the abandonmental Dorothea were, are and will be an inscrutable mystery.

“’At least we know that a robust and imbecile woodcutter called Manfred Grimminzschaffenthal once was the absent and ignorant Vater; a merciful falling fir tree ended his miserable and obscure life whilst the obliviated Gebrüder were barely beginning to place their tiny feet on this impeccable earth, thus taking their first and solitary steps into their cruel motherless existence, begging the elderly for some miser bread crumbs whilst mimicking the experienced pigeons.

“’So, what about the tragic ending of the bonded siblings Grimm?

“’Jacob died of indigestion after enjoying (and suffering) an orgiastic engorgement of colossal amounts of chocolate, which was inspired by the myth of the Principe Azzurro, yet on this occasion the spell was supposed to occur through the arts and tastes of the dark delicacy rather than the blueish Gorgonzola. Apparently, the secret intention behind this chocolaty feast was to obtain a faster set of muscles rather than those which had been given by nature to the insecure Jacob, who always lost in the brotherly races; he reasoned that if the Principe Azzurro were in effect blue given the insane amounts of the blue dairy delicacy, the answer to the insecurity of his running speed would obviously be to resort to a certain food that might blacken him a little, with the firm intention of becoming, luckily, a fast and resistant and athletic dark skinned chap. His first tests were made with a solid (though sometimes more than others) that, through Jacob’s bitter experience, tasted as bad as it smelled: like shit.

“’The Swiss milky chocolaty exquisiteness had been a gift from his dear friend Heidi, who at the time used to live with her lovely Grandfather, known in the village as Alm-Onji, in the Swiss Alps. According to Wilhelm’s rough and grieving estimations, that very same night Jacob had tasted circa 9.846.365 chocolate bars, each of them weighting 786 ounces. Many years later, whilst lying on her deathbed and using the last breaths available, Heidi contradicted the grieving and calculating Brüder, asserting that Jacob had only eaten 9.846.364 chocolate bars (8).

“’Tragedy had still one card to play: Wilhelm died of food poisoning after eating a bad cheese (9) that der kleine Peter, a humble goatherd who also was a dear friend of Heidi, had offered the late Wilhelm as a gift for his seventy third birthday.

“’Apparently and according to Peter’s statement, which was pronounced during the hefty hours he had to endure at the Gestapo headquarters, the insistent heat to which the dairy cheesy product was exposed during the crossing that the shaveling had to undertake from Mainz, his maternal home town, up to the soon-to-be-intoxicated writer’s home in Berlin, could have provoked a deadly chemical reaction within the cheese itself. This precise theory hinted by the naive Peter proved to be his death sentence.

“’For the guardians of the law, it was clear that he knew beforehand the effect that the sun would unleash in his dairy birthday gift. As the avenging bullet was just about to leave its container, a phone call extended the doomed goatherd’s life; at least for a few anguished days filled with fasting and urine smell. He was illiterate but not a fool; he knew at once that his inevitable death had only been postponed; he also prefigured that only a man of immense power could stop an impending execution.

“’Some days after, which for him seemed like a tiresome eternity, his famished body was baptised by the caresses of nine Nazi bullets spat by Göbbels’s Luger P08, who, it is worthy of remarking, was himself a particularly truthful admirer of the extinguished Gebrüder Grimm. Joseph Göbbels had had, from the very moment his eyes first set on a Grimm’s page, a certain weakness for Jacob, perhaps inspired and fuelled by a coincidence in their flamboyant garmental predilections and unprejudiced behaviour. Perhaps they also shared some anatomical insecurities related to their lack of speed and also some chocolaty passions.

“’Thence, lured by Jacob’s liberal choices, the Reich Minister used to surprise people far and wide, be that for his wardrobe choices, or his ultra-provocateur way of walking; he would even delight the very same Führer during the famous Nazi’s Samstag soirées.

“’In those festive and somehow naughty Saturdays, our propagandistic and executioner Paul Joseph Göbbels would dress up as a woman, preferably wearing a pink satin gown without any panties, yet covering the whole combo with the furs of some Russian exotic winter animal; and mounted on ten inch heels, dancing and shouting at the rhythm of what later shall become known as Hier an Rhein und Ruhr und in Westfalen, Dr Paul Joseph’s home-region anthem.

“’During these erotic meetings, he insisted to be called by his nom de guerre, Gretel.

“’Such was the impact that this little cabaretesque number had produced in the Nazi guts, that even during the most dramatic moments of the Germanic history experienced in Hitler’s bunker, there was always some kind of musical presence. Before condemning himself to an eternity of suffering, the Führer himself asked for his right hand and friend to arrange a little musical amusement for him. The faithful Göbbels gathered what was left of Hitler’s personal choir, and intoned whilst conducting the hymn Heil, meine Gretel, meine liebere Gretel und Schokolade Gretel.

“’Still today some pirated copies of the original phonographic registration can be bought at the Sonntag Markt, at the gates of Philippsruhe Palace of Hanau.

“’In an indefinite time, but in a definite place called Hamburg, Heidi was doomed to be found lifeless, buried in a half excavated common grave, with an axe stuck in her hollowed chest, and an inscription written in blood across her forehead that once read Grimm für immer!

“’Manfred is the supposed name of the axe executioner; an avenging woodcutter or Vater who actually did not really die but was only gravely wounded in that previously mentioned fir tree accident. He is thought to be still alive and inhabiting a little but well decorated cabin, sharing his last dying days with Heidi’s Opa in an uncharted region of the Rhein. The childless couple solely survive on a chocolate based diet and, whenever scarcity shows its anguished face, they alternately try to commit suicide by locking themselves up inside the oven; needless to say that there is no gas, nor wood that could feed the harmless cooking device.

“’With the intention of bettering their situation, both are said to be planning the grand opening of a breeding ground for swans, which will be sold at retail price to children’s storytellers.

“’Nonetheless, I, the Count Edmund alongside my many alter-egos, declare that the Grimm brothers were, in reality, the illegitimate sons that Heidi created with kleine Peter. In order to really understand the literary challenge which has been presented to your eyes, dear reader, please do try to interchange Dorothea for Rigoberto, and where lies a comma, please replace it with the word delirium; do not forget to sing the entire Ring Cycle composed by Richard Wagner, yet half a tone lower, and from memory. Therein lies the answer to the riddle.’”

Radamés Washington “π” Funes Da Silva lightly mentions that he came across a Count Edmund von der Golz, at a trattoria in Montevideo, but because he has nothing to do with the previous story, he calls himself to writer’s silence.

(**) Sport practised by him until a cruel lesion left him out of the first squad of the SG Wattenscheid 09 team, when he was barely seventeen years old.

(*) It is worth remembering the writer’s eagerness to invent new terms.

(1) Due to questions of practicality and space, we interrupt the commencement of the chapter. Given the writer’s desire of justice and eagerness put into his work in order not to despise a single soul, the noble and humble “π” used 8.456.412 possible combinations of words with the aim of embracing what he believed to be the complete spectrum of probable and potential readers of the Opus Magnum, at the precise moment in which he was creating this piece (Ed.).

(2) I am certain that the noble surname of the German former tennis champion Steffi is worthy of further studies and investigations. The flagrant contradiction between her feminine nature and the clearly masculine surname forces one to think (though I know I’m not yet One and though I seldom think, yet I am, therefore I chocolate) about the probable effect that anabolic steroids might have had in the athlete’s surname; could it be possible that by resorting to performing enhancing drugs the very nature of one’s family name is changed to that of the opposite gender? Is it fair to suspect that before entering the professional tennis circuit, she was known as Steffi Gräffin, which means Countess?

(3) The Count always tasted his favourite sweets, such as the delicious Ritter Sport Praliné, using silverware and a De Lamerie dish.

(4) Among his usual ravings, we find a middle finger directed at Richard Wagner, a flagrant error during a concert improvised by the Count himself on the very same piano that used to belong to Franz Liszt’s hands and heart, and a half eaten croissant that had been left in a bad reputed Café in Calais.

(4 bis) The fourth and successive places are ignored because they do not qualify for a medal. (Ed.)

(5) It is not quite clear yet whether they were abandoned during the fifth day after Jacob Ludwig Karl’s birth (4th of January 1785) or during the fifth day after Wilhelm Karl’s birth (24th February 1786). It is worth noting that Jacob Ludwig Karl could have been abandoned during the fifth day after Wilhelm Karl’s birth, or, around way other the. It well could have been after the fifth day of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth, but in order to make this possible, the abandoner, that is the Mutter, must have been able to travel through space and time, or perhaps Beethoven could have been born a year later. Maybe they were left abandoned during the fifth day of some unknown poor wretch’s birth, whose existence we might have overlooked. The explanations are probably infinite. So are the possibilities. But so is neither the ink nor the paper. (TN.)

(6) It is not explicit to which Führer the writer is referring to. Given that Führer means a lot of different words in English, the scope being so wide, that we could consider a bus driver, or Hitler himself. If that were indeed the case, time-travel and precognition cannot be discarded: was Count Edmund a super-human?

(7) Fact that probably inspired the late appearance of the white Swan at the ending of Hänsel und Gretel’s tale. Lohengrin’s Schwan should be also included; something that speaks very highly of Richard Wagner, who suffered an indolent gesture from the Count himself yet never held the incident against the brothers Grimm.

(8) This matter kept Wilhelm and Heidi bitterly (with almonds) at odds. This distance lasted no more than three minutes; the exact amount of instants that took the unavoidable Death to catch the surrendered Heidi, after having pronounced the offensive rebuttal.

(9) The English language is one that offers endless chances to create jokes based on common expressions. When we read bad cheese it’s not a description of the cheese’s character or reprehensible behaviour; such as: bullying smaller cheeses, or refusing to dance with a slice of prosciutto embraced by two slices of bread; it’s simply a depiction of its mouldy and probably deadly state.

 

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