7 thoughts on “Cultural Trivia: Name that Thing

  1. Not quite as famous as Proust’s madeleine.

    Appears in the works of E.T.A. Hoffmann and Fontane, among others.

    “Ei! gönnen wir doch nur ein geneigtes Ohr der tollen Musik, die hundert abscheuliche Stimmen hier im Kamin aborgeln, oder horchen wir doch nur was weniges auf das gespenstische Liedlein, das eben jetzt die Teemaschine zu singen beginnt!”


  2. Interesting references, Anonymous.

    However, (and this is sort of a clue), the reference I’m looking for is not to a “tea machine” in general, but to exactly the one in that photograph.


  3. Hats off to you, Anonymous. That’s indeed the reference I was looking for. Sebald calls it a “teasmaid”, one of a surprisingly large number of English-language typos in the first German edition of Die Ausgewanderten (he also misspells upstate New York place names).

    Not that this takes away from his tremendous achievement in Die Ausgewanderten. Plus, his description of the “teasmaid” is delightful.


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