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Henning Koch Archive

Henning Koch

Greetings from Finland

August 22nd, 2009
by Henning Koch

TAMPERE, FINLAND-

Wednesday 5th August, 2009.

It is not every day one finds oneself on a train, heading north out of Helsinki. Just such a day is this. Nor is it every day one walks into the restaurant car to find elegant brass railings separating upholstered chairs and tables with tablecloths, and an ice-blond woman smiling coolly behind the counter. I order some meat soup.

“What sort of meat is it?”

“It’s… hmm? I don’t know.”

“Just say it in Finnish.”

She says something strange. Then makes a mooing sound.

“Ah, beef!”

“Yes. Biff.”

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Henning Koch

Berlin. Lost (and Maybe Found) in Cool

June 19th, 2009
by Henning Koch

BERLIN, GERMANY -

Admiralstrasse, Kreuzberg, Berlin… What’s conjured up by these words? Lou Reed… Nico… naked people with strapped-on plastic dildos dancing in underground nightclubs in the name of Brecht and Art? Yes, all these things. Oh, and something else. In this capital city of Germany they have now also evolved a hamburger known as the Suck-u-burger. Unintentional but weird…

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Henning Koch

The Day the Top Apes Came to Town

April 24th, 2009
by Henning Koch

LONDON-

Within a day of arriving in London after eighteen months in the somnolent calm of Sardinia, I woke to the sound of police sirens, rotor blades from circling helicopters, the smell of fried rice from the Chinese restaurant below, the pitter-patter of cockroaches in the bathroom and breaking crockery downstairs as our Bangladeshi neighbour got on with the usual routine of beating up his wife. (more…)


Henning Koch

Toilet Notes from Sardinia

February 28th, 2009
by Henning Koch

SARDINIA, ITALY-

This month’s instalment from me has been drafted whilst on the toilet. There’s a reason for this, and the reason is the self-centredness of certain artistic types I know. Most people, when afflicted with the vomiting virus, particularly once it has struck down most of their family and friends, will tend to stay in until the storm wanes. Not artists, though. Artists cheerfully turn up at your front door, kiss you full on the lips, offer you a swig of their bottle of rum and then spend the whole night insisting on games of poker, only occasionally interrupted by hurried forays into the bathroom – emerging pale and trembling. Only then do they tell you:

“Wow, it’s amazing, I’ve been vomiting and crapping myself silly for the last twenty-four hours, and so has my brother, mother, second cousin and nephew. I wonder, could there be something going round?”

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Henning Koch

The Romantic Agony

January 12th, 2009
by Henning Koch

SARDINIA, ITALY-

There will be many of you who have not read a book by M.H Abrams called The Mirror and the Lamp. Lucky old you. If I turn my head just slightly, I can see its monochrome binding staring fiercely at me from the bookshelf. This, of course, is a seminal text for university students looking to deepen their understanding of the Romantic poets of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Being a Romantic back in those days was not about picking flowers and falling in love. The whole movement started as a spiritual awakening. Nature played a big part in it, as did mystical experience. M.H. Abrams reckoned that the Romantic agony was all about the circuitous journey of life: how in our lives we make epic journeys and then find ourselves back where we started. (more…)


Henning Koch

The Sardinian Post Office: a Giant Pinocchio?

December 19th, 2008
by Henning Koch

SARDINIA, ITALY-

Some of you may sense something satirical about the headline above, and I have to say that you are on the right track here. Daily life, for all of us, is often filled with tediousness and official incompetence. How can there be so many forms to be signed? Mother’s maiden name? Favourite pet? Many times we struggle with base instincts such as mindless fury or a need for cannibalism and pyromania. But bringing out the beast won’t solve anything…
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Henning Koch

The Irreplaceable Lightbulb and Other Tales of Old Sardinia

November 9th, 2008
by Henning Koch

SARDINIA, ITALY -

Some three or four months ago I’d invited an elderly friend of mine over for “dinner” – a very upmarket word to use for a slice of fried cow bulked out with spaghetti and fried garlic. He, with characteristic English stoicism, battled his way up the broken lane leading to my house, handling his walking stick brilliantly as he dodged the usual pile-ups of dog feces, smears of pigeon droppings and pot-holes…

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