Reading Stories 2

Svend Vorlesen (1)

Another drawing by Rolf Keller, showing a book being read to my father as a boy. This time, it’s his mother, sitting in a wing chair, reading to him. The ladder, perhaps brought into the room to take the curtains down for washing or to change a bulb, had been turned into a chair (or a throne, a raised hide, a crow’s nest?).

The captions read “Mutti liest aus Marie Hamsuns die Langerudkinder” (“Mom is reading from Marie Hamsun’s The Langerud Children” and “Svend, siebenjährig (oder acht?) in Grüna Villa Rauschenbach” (“Svend, seven years old (or eight?) in Grüna Villa Rauschenbach”).

Since Svend Keller was born in 1928, this might have been in 1935 or 1936. Grüna is the name of the village (near Chemnitz and nowadays a part of Chemnitz) where the Keller family was living before moving into central Chemnitz.


Mathilde Pajeken: River Landscape


A sketch by the painter Mathilde Pajeken, one of my a great-grandaunts. She was born in Bremen on January 20th 1842 as a daughter of the ship captain Eduard Pajeken and his first wife Wilhelmine Pajeken, née Holler. Later in her life she lived in Munich. She died on March 20th, 1913.

This sketch, unfortunately on bad and decaying paper, possibly shows a view at the Weser river, i.e. the river flowing through her home city of Bremen.

Occasionally, paintings by Mathilde Pajeken show up in auctions on the internet, see, for example this one, showing motives similar to this sketch.

After his first wife’s death, Mathilde Pajeken’s father Eduard Pajeken married again. My great-grandfather, the author Friedrich Joachim Pajeken, is a son from this second marriage, so Mathilde Pajeken was his half-sister.