DON´T JUDGE BERLIN BY ITS COVER ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
The visual arts, the performing arts, music - they were all subjects to our tours through Berlin.
But we´ve only scratched the surface of the city´s literary sides.
If we strive to display Berlin´s literature, we mustn´t forget Alfred Döblin´s magnum opus
“Berlin Alexanderplatz“.
The novel carrying the subtitle “The story of Franz Biberkopf“ is considered one of the main contributions to German modernism and one of the masterpieces in the category urban novels.
It was first published in 1929 by S. Fischer Verlag.

Döblin accompanies working class member Franz Biberkopf after his release from jail.
He soon gets lost in Berlin´s 1920s and a world of crime and treason. Even nowadays the text is popular for his innovative language and structure and is often named among James Joyce´s “Ulysses“ and John Dos Passos´ “Manhattan Transfer“.

There are countless theatre- and audio book adaptions as well as three cinematic interpretations.
1931 Heinrich George, father of German´s famous actor Götz George, played the leading role in the movie, whereas the second adaption was carried out as a television series in 13 episodes in 1979/80, directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. It was just last year that the latest version was released, created by director Burhan Qurbani, who transferred the plot to 2020.
Why don´t you let the trailer give you a first impression?
One who deals with the new twenties, thus today´s Berlin, is Joab Nist.
For more than ten years he has been collecting “Notes Of Berlin“ with his camera, i.e. all kinds of messages, post-its and papers he can find on Berlin´s streets.
There is hardly a way to catch the city´s vibes better than throughout these funny, emotional, touching reports of our social structure.

Thanks to social media this young man, who´s originally from Munich, doesn´t have to do his work alone anymore and receives help from many visiting the city or living in Berlin.

There´s even “Notes Of Germany“ and “Notes International“ now.
The website and its various photo galleries are really worth a visit.
If you prefer reading from paper though, and understand a little German, you can also get
Notes Of Berlin as a book, „Notizen aus dem Großstadtdschungel“.
The sayings and jokes on the orange rubbish bins of Berlin´s public cleansing service (BSR) are already part of the image of the city.
Eventhough we are talking about everyday´s poetry here, we didn´t want to withhold these pictures from you as they might remind you of your last trip to Berlin.
And we suppose it is rather unusual for bins to do so.
You might enjoy their current motto (knowing that „kehren“ in German means to sweep):
“We kehr for you“. And they sometimes even drive a “Kehrrari“.
„Reimkommando“ - an order to rhyme. It´s not that military with publisher Trabantenverlag.
As independent publishing house fostering new and creative movements they also engage in social matters. This is why all of the profit coming from the new book
Lockdown Lyrik. 100 Gedichte von 100 Autor:innen“ (Lockdown poetry. 100 poems by 100 authors) goes to Berlin´s homeless services.
The first edition is already sold out.
Let´s now get back to the city´s literary roots.
We´ve already told you a bit about Erich Kästner on our walk through Schöneberg and Wilmersdorf.
We´ve also seen Bertolt Brecht´s theatre, the Berliner Ensemble.
His masterpiece “The Threepenny Opera“ was created on Spichernstraße, not far from worldknown Kurfürstendamm.

But did you know that Anna Seghers, author of the novels “Transit Visa“ and
“The Seventh Cross“ and former president of the GDR´s association of authors also lived in Berlin? Her works were, among many more, victim of the Nazis´ book burnings in 1933.

Robert Musil wrote his “Man Without Qualities“ in a house on Kurfürstendamm.

The poems of doctor and lyricist Gottfried Benn might be hard to bear for those with a sensitive stomach. But fans of dark symbols and deep meanings will surely find what they´re looking for.
He might have written some of them in his appartment on Bozener Straße, in the heart of the Bavarian quarter you already know.
Since 1986 Literaturhaus Berlin acts as agent of the world´s literature.
As first of its kind in Germany this state financed institution for culture and education offers a wide range of public readings, discussions and exhibitions for the young and the old.

By the way, a tip for after-lockdown-times: the tables of the café in the stunningly beautiful garden are usually completely taken. Maybe because of the fantastic french tartes?
Find out for yourself, if you like.

Besides, the digital media platform is highly interesting. There are multilingual courses for young readers as well as free video streamings. We recommend the next streaming on 23. April, 7pm. “Anonymous Is a Woman: A Global Chronicle of Gender Inequality“ deals with the question why women still remain invisible in literature on too many occasions.
The debate is in English, carried out by author Nina Ansary and Daniel Schreiber.
We would like to get back to our own neighbourhood now.
The “Aufbauhaus“ at square Moritzplatz plays host to the publisher Aufbau Verlag,
which has given the building its name.

Founded in 1945 to give the country psychological and cultural orientation after the fall of the
Third Reich (the German word „Aufbau“ stands for rebuilding), the institution published no less than Hans Fallada, Lion Feuchtwanger or Anna Seghers we mentioned earlier. From the beginning the publishing house engaged for Jewish authors and those writing from their exile.
It soon became the most important publisher for works of fiction in the GDR. It is today one of the few GDR publishers having survived the German reunification. It is still a significant source of international and national novels and non-fiction books, that aren´t only printed, but also published as audio books.

As we are only 500m away from our own hall of literature now, we are saying goodbye for today and let us be drawn between the pages.

Just one last thing, quoting another great Berlin author, Kurt Tucholsky:
“Let´s enjoy life as long as we don´t understand it.“
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Philipp Vogel, Dietmar Mueller-Elmau