16 April 1907

  • The alto Iduna Walter-Choinanus is so well-known there is hardly anything left to say about her, a critic writes (and I can’t find anything about her!). She is singing the Brahms lieder with viola obligato (played by Fridolin Klingler of the Klingler Quartet). The pianist is Cornelia Rider-Possart, who will be playing “Carnaval Mignon” by Schütt.
  • The alto Helene Martini is also giving a Liederabend with some unfamiliar names on the program: Strattner, Johann Wolfgang Frank, Lange-Müller, Schubert, Brahms, and Wolf. With pianist Eduard Behm and violinist Laura Helbing-Lafont, who will play the Fauré Sonata, op. 13 and Vivaldi, Concerto in G. These are also unusual choices.
  • The Philharmonic’s popular concert features the “Leonore” Symphony by Joachim Raff and solos by Witek, Gesterkamp, and Malkin.
  • In the theaters:
  • Auber’s Fra Diavolo is at the Königliche Oper.
  • Komische Oper: Neugierige Frauen. (I wrote yesterday that they had departed for London, but that was premature.)
  • Lortzing: Fledermaus
  • Theater des Westens: Die Lustige Witwe
  • Central: Wiener Blut
  • Deutsch-Amerikanisches: Mamselle Nitouche

Advertisement for Lysol in 1892

Lysol and the dialectic of Enlightenment. I have been wondering about the article in the papers yesterday about the young robber who was inspired by detective stories–why was that news story evidently found so hugely entertaining? My only hypothesis is that it provided comic relief from the daily misery in the other criminal reports. Today I read about an unmarried woman who had been living with a man who had promised to marry her. He was late coming home, and in a fit of jealousy she shot him. She then tried to shoot herself, drank Lysol, then threw herself out of a fifth story window. Another story was about a male suicide by Lysol who had gambling debts. And another some days ago was a man who had an incurable illness. I looked up Lysol on Wikipedia and found that “drinking Lysol was the leading means of suicide in Australia and New York in 1911.”
As everyone knows, Lysol is a disinfectant. It was first used in 1889 during a cholera epidemic in Germany, and was also effective combatting the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. It is currently on the EPA’s list of approved disinfectants for the human corona virus, and is almost as hard to find as toilet paper. There is no doubt that Lysol has helped save countless lives and prevent the spread of disease. But to use it as a means of suicide –what a decadent symptom of modernity!

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2 comments

  1. Just goes to show that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… or maybe what kills you can also make you stronger?

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