I have finally finished the XIX-century printed German textbook:
Heinrich J. Jos. Heinrich's Schreib-Lese-Fibel. – Prag, Satow, 1886.
It was a very interesting experience due to a few factors that the study of the older varieties of the German language entails:
- The Kurrent as the main writing style (basically, the old gothic cursive which managed to survive till the 1941, and was removed from the school curriculum by Nazis).
- The Fraktur as the main type: since I am going to read a lot of the old German and Austrian and Swiss journals on Economics, History and Philosophy, mastering reading it without hiccups was not only a nice adventure, but also a great investment of time and effort.
- As for the technically useless, yet curious things, I was rather amazed by the amount of the religious reference in an elementary school book. Almost every description of nature is linked with a theological reference.
- In the same vein is the composition of the textbook, which was much more instrumental for my remembering the German language than a lot of the modern literature. The book – despite its author's tendency to paint the everyday topics in a mystical light – is really illustrative, oriented on the everyday topics and actually methodical in presenting the vocabulary in a consistent fashion that reminds me of the space repetition techniques.
- By the way, one of the verses in this book deserves to be put on the elementary school curriculum nowadays:
To my mind, this book is a great intro into the older German publishing and writing style that allows for getting accustomed to the different ways to represent the written word which are so characteristic for the XVIII-XX centuries pax Germanica. From this point, one can continue the dive into the historical topics that require bringing up some really old books.