Max Blaeulich

Kilimanjaro 9 feet 2 inches

Max Blaeulich
Salzburg: Residenz Verlag, 2005
255 S.
ISBN 978-3-701-71424-7

At the beginning of the previous century a comical four-man team from Austria set out on an Africa expedition: the architect Krumpke, the doctor Stackler, the photographer and cameraman Weiss and the taxidermist Kranich penetrated a part of the supposedly dark continent along with about 200 bearers. They wanted to establish an "Austrian Uganda" in East Africa for the crumbling Austrian-Hungarian Danube monarchy. To this end they measured the lie of the land, not limiting themselves to cartography but also measuring the human inhabitants – not without physiological race-related motives since Stackler developed a particular interest in the measuring of sexual organs (his favourite instrument being the erectometer).

His travel companions are equally eccentric in their own fields. Kranich is obsessed with the idea of stuffing human beings, Krumpke would love to transport an entire African tribe to the zoo in Schönbrunn and establish them in a real-life human zoo. Weiss constantly imagines new film scenarios. When they come to a place where elephant bones lie piled up, Weiss creates a bloodthirsty horror scene: the savages were to have eaten the flesh of a fallen elephant and he imagines: "They must have eaten it raw, their faces smeared with blood (...) that would get the Budapest nobility to sit up straight."

People are collected, amongst others the eponymous "hero" Kilimanjaro who is Stackler's servant. Because of his height, he is seen as a curiosity and is bundled off to Vienna where Stackler can carry out pseudo-medical experiments on him in a specially equipped laboratory – fully convinced that he has found proof of the white race's superiority. Sarcastically and satirically, Blaeulich portrays the expedition, its consequences and participants from varying perspectives.

Max Blaeulich: Kilimandscharo zweimeteracht
(Kilimanjaro 9 feet 2 inches)

In his novel "Kilimandscharo zweimeteracht" ("Kilimanjaro, 9 feet 2 inches") Blaeulich has created a satire on a voyage of discovery that truly took place at the beginning of the twentieth century.More ...