Die Zeichen an der Wand -> Belsazar und Babylon: eine Chronik

Als der Bibel-König Belsazar mit seinem Hofstaat an prachtvoll gedeckten Tischen saß, erschienen sie zum ersten Mal: Menetekel – rätselhafte Zeichen an der Wand. Keiner der Schriftgelehrten war in der Lage, die wie von Geisterhand geschriebenen Buchstaben an der Wand des Palastes zu entziffern. Der Prophet Daniel aber erkannte darin die Ankündigung vom Untergang des Reiches Babylon. „Gewogen und für zu leicht befunden“ – so übersetzte er die Zeichen der Zeit.

1720: The Run upon the Bankers

A baited banker thus desponds
From his own hand foresees his fall
They have his soul, who have his bonds
´tis like the writing on the wall

aus dem Gedicht "The Run upon the Bankers von Jonathan Swift , 1720

Der vollständige Text lautet:

The bold encroachers on the deep Gain by degrees huge tracts of land
Till Neptune, with one general sweep, Turns all again to barren strand.

The multitude's capricious pranks Are said to represent the seas
Breaking the bankers and the banks, Resume their own whene'er they please.

Money, the life-blood of the nation, Corrupts and stagnates in the veins
Unless a proper circulation Its motion and its heat maintains.

Because 'tis lordly not to pay, Quakers and aldermen in state
Like peers, have levees every day Of duns attending at their gate.

We want our money on the nail; The banker's ruin'd if he pays:
They seem to act an ancient tale; The birds are met to strip the jays.

"Riches," the wisest monarch sings, "Make pinions for themselves to fly;"
They fly like bats on parchment wings, And geese their silver plumes supply.

No money left for squandering heirs! Bills turn the lenders into debtors:
The wish of Nero now is theirs, "That they had never known their letters."

Conceive the works of midnight hags, Tormenting fools behind their backs:
Thus bankers, o'er their bills and bags, Sit squeezing images of wax.

Conceive the whole enchantment broke; The witches left in open air,
With power no more than other folk, Exposed with all their magic ware.

So powerful are a banker's bills, Where creditors demand their due;
They break up counters, doors, and tills, And leave the empty chests in view.

Thus when an earthquake lets in light Upon the god of gold and hell,
Unable to endure the sight, He hides within his darkest cell.

As when a conjurer takes a lease From Satan for a term of years,
The tenant's in a dismal case, Whene'er the bloody bond appears.

A baited banker thus desponds, From his own hand foresees his fall,
They have his soul, who have his bonds; 'Tis like the writing on the wall.

How will the caitiff wretch be scared, When first he finds himself awake
At the last trumpet, unprepared, And all his grand account to make!

For in that universal call, Few bankers will to heaven be mounters;
They'll cry, "Ye shops, upon us fall! Conceal and cover us, ye counters!"

When other hands the scales shall hold, And they, in men's and angels' sight
Produced with all their bills and gold, "Weigh'd in the balance and found light!"

Mehr in Belsazar und Babylon: eine Chronik:

  550 v.Chr.: An den Wassern zu Babel saßen wir und weineten
  500 v. Chr.: Belsazars Gastmahl
 1600: Belsazars Fest von Hans Vredeman de Vries
 1635: Rembrandt malt Belsazars Gastmahl
 1720: The Run upon the Bankers
 1723: Telemann-Oper Belsazar
 1745: Händel: Oratorium Belshazzar
 1745: Über die Uraufführung von Händels Belshazzar
 1803: Gillray: Napoleon als Belsazar
 1810 (ca.): Belshazzar´s Feast in den USA
 1815: Belsazar´s Gesicht
 1815: The King was on his throne (Lord Byron)
 1821: John Martin malt Belshazzar´s Fest
 1824: Heinrich Heine: Belsazar
 1826: Belsazar´s Gesicht wird vertont
 1842: Verdi: Das Reich des Unterdrückers wird vernichtet
 1851: Belshazzar´s awful writing
 1885: Oratorium Belsazar von Reinecke uraufgeführt
 1906: Werner Wehrli beginnt mit Belsazar-Oper
 1907 Belsazars Gästabud von Sibelius uraufgeführt
 1931: William Walton: Belshazzar´s Feast
 1935: Und das mehrmals zerstörte Babylon
 1954: He had concubines and wives (Johnny Cash)
 1965: He never sees the writing on the wall
 1969: The Melodians haben einen Reggae-Hit mit Rivers of Babylon
 1978: Boney M. mit Rivers of Babylon
 1979: Babylon system is the vampire
 2001: Leonard Cohen: By the Rivers dark
 2004: Babylon System (Söhne Mannheims)
 Die Trophäen einiger weniger Millionäre

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Die zugehörige Ausstellung war vom 6. März bis zum 14. April 2009 in der Stadtbibliothek Bremen zu sehen.
Gesamtkonzeption: Michael Zachcial - mit Unterstützung der Arbeitnehmerkammer Bremen,
der Stadtbibliothek Bremen und Racaille Verte

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