In Conversation: David Penny
“I think part of the current love affair with history is down to the world we live in now. Our lives are fast, instant, and you are never out of touch. Transport flies us around the globe in hours, communication is constant, and news stories all come at us faster than we can consume them. Speed and instant gratification have become our holy grail.” David Penny speaks with J.J. Marsh.
Adolf Feller: Über-Connector, Postcard Collector
“Sometimes we humans are compelled to create a context for ourselves so our passions can thrive, and one wonders if Feller’s business endeavours—exploring the relatively new world of lighting and electrical solutions—were his way of doing just that.” Adolf Feller: a man whose propensity for connectivity led him to build one of the world’s largest collection of postcards.
Tales from the Pit #4
“Thirty-four years after the letter, I find myself in the back of an SUV on the way to a Who concert. While my parents discuss dinner options from the front seat, I try in vain to forge a link between the teenage fan and the adult.” D.B. Miller’s latest installment.
Happy Birthday, Helvetica!
“Miedinger got to work. Following his brief, he designed a sans serif font entitled ‘Neue Haas Grotesk’. It worked. Understated, functional, compact and neutral, it was the essence of Swiss modernity.” Sixty years on, J.J. Marsh celebrates Helvetica font.
Love Letter to Switzerland
“The novel flowed out of me like the current of the Limmat, and it was just as refreshing. I pushed against you, Switzerland, and because you refused to yield, I was forced into motion. Energy has to go somewhere.” Jo Furniss pens a letter to her ex: Switzerland.
Letters Live: The Heartbeat of Humanity
“Something extraordinary happens when the performer takes the stage. For a brief moment, they become one with the words and the sentiment infused into the letters, bringing their spirits out of the past and into the present.”
‘C’ is for Cookie
“I am supposed to be the custodian of my child’s development, yet linguistically, she will soon surpass me. With regards to understanding, fluency, and ability to assimilate, the student will become the teacher.” Lindsey Grant wrangles a toddler who’s learning about her world in several languages.
Short Story: The Photo Shop
“Sometimes he wondered how it all worked, how one day flowed into the next, how the money kept coming in, why the train station was always so clean, but resolved that it was best not to ask …” A short story from local Swiss writer, Alex Hintermann.
Take a stroll through the annals of Switzerland’s history: a selection of Adolf Feller’s postcards from the 54,000-strong collection that is now housed in the ETH online archive.
Liam Klenk compiles a calendar of literary goings-on in Zürich and beyond this Autumn.