So I was looking in a notebook of mine, right at the point where Luca Antara ends and the next book begins (don't know what this next book is/was) when it suddenly occurred to me that I'd left something out. The whole episode of Hitler in Adelaide. I made a few notes and then remembered there was a book about it. I'd have to get hold of a copy of that book. I'd left the relevant papers in a low cold flat under a hill. More tunnel than flat. I didn't live there any more but thought I could probably still get in. I knew my things would still be there. It's a dream place, I've visited more than a few times over the years. First I dropped in on a couple of friends who live nearby. They are real people who used to like to pretend they're re-incarnations of Robert Graves and Laura Riding. I mentioned the book and he shrugged in that louche way he has and said Of course. He meant there was a copy on their shelves. There at the back of the room. So I didn't have to go to my old flat after all, that was a relief. I'd never been happy there. However I did have to search the shelves ... took a while but I found it. 600 pages long. A kind of straw yellow hard back, large format, crudely made. Co-authored by two sisters, their name, along with Adolf's, was on the spine but I've forgotten it: Droescher maybe? Anyway the focus of my inquiry was on where exactly in Adelaide Hitler had lived and what he did there. There was a fold out map in the front of the book that turned out to be 3D and interactive. I saw the City of Adelaide morph into being, it was a view both top down and from the street. Beautiful. It was Adelaide, I remember how the City is disposed from my only visit there, many years ago now. But this was the business district, he didn't live here but somewhere in the suburbs. Ah, said the voiceless voice that comes to us in dreams, he had a hat shop. Or perhaps he sold caged birds. Something like that. And worked as a jockey. Then I saw Hitler himself, dressed in silks, getting ready to ride in a race. Except his body would not do, it was one of those limbless bloody screaming trunks out of a Francis Bacon painting. We would have to substitute him if we wanted our horse to win. I remember dressing the other jockey, I remember translating Hitler into another realm or dimension so our girl could ride in his place. His post-war refuge in Adelaide did not last long of course. He and the Droescher sisters were soon found out and had to flee further afield. Their book ... who was the publisher? What a rarity it must have been. Unreadable as Mein Kampf no doubt but there are people who have read Mein Kampf. To think I have held it in my hand. As I woke from the dream there was one further image that I carried over into consciousness: in hard, chunky, geometric capitals the legend: HITLER IN ADELAIDE.

Note(s): There’s a crypto-fascist news agency based in Adelaide called Nuca Antara—it is mentioned in passing in my book Luca Antara. Werner Droescher was the name of an anarchist professor of German I knew when I was a student. He had fought with the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War and was married to the writer, Greville Texidor. He had tried to encourage us to form a cell on campus at Auckland University in 1970. The whole question of places that exist in dreams and may be visited again and again over the years is one that perhaps needs further investigation.


Farrell said...

Hi Martin,
You may remember meeting me a couple of years ago in Auckland. I asked you about Blackspot whose inspiration Paul G. I had known well.

I gave a talk about Werner D. and Greville Teixidor two years ago at a conference in Wellington about NZ participation in the Spanish Civil War. A typed English manuscript of his memoir "Towards an Alternative Society" is in the Auckland library.
Some episodes are on a webpage hosted by some ChCh anarchists. Werner and Greville's daughter, Rosamunda gave a talk about her mother and her mother's civil war memoirs which she is preparing for publication.

Martin Edmond said...

Hi Farrell, Yes, of course I remember. Any friend of Blackspot's ... I wish I'd known more about who Werner was way back in 1970 - we tended to think he was just some old German guy with strange obsessions, whereas he perhaps saw us as the future. I have the Greville Texidor book that Smithyman edited, his son Gerard gave it to me. The Civil War memoirs sound interesting ...