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Articles tagged "Gdr"

from Everyone Dies, Even the Paddlefish

The new boy with the big ears stood in the cold neon light of the cloakroom, right in the middle of the room, and his school slippers seemed to be stuck to the green linoleum. Take off your pants, Aunt Edeltraut said, and the new boy pressed his hands against the seams of his cords. All the children take off their pants here, said Aunt Edeltraut. Her voice still sounded friendly, but it had that slight quaver that signaled danger. The boy wasn't familiar with the danger, it was his...

Three Times Germany

Three Times Germany is an audio production of twenty-three monologues performed by eight actors. The monologues are based on interviews of East Germans, West Germans, and Germans living in New York. Retracing his own life journey from East Germany to West Germany in 1974 and on to New York in 1980, Uwe Mengel interviewed Germans who crossed his path along the way. The resulting monologues offer an unusual and often disconcerting view into the prejudices and reservations with which Germans...

from “I Can’t Stand Still”: An Interview with Jáchym Topol

Weiss: What was your first time out of the country? Topol: My first time was in East Germany with my mom. She took my brother and me to the seaside there. That change—all of a sudden by the sea in the GDR instead of in Poříčí1 as usual—happened thanks to my mother's coworkers. Apparently they explained that you're supposed to go away on vacation with your kids. That ended the era of staying at home or with our grandma. Vacations at home...

German Dolls

"German Dolls" takes Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) to Berlin. It is a text about memories--false and inaccurate, as memories always are--and how they interfere with the places we inhabit, the places we best know by getting lost in them (in the sense of choosing to vanish into them). Pessoa grew up in Durban and wrote his first poems in English. Apart from two trips from Portugal to South Africa, he rarely traveled, and so far as I know was never in Berlin. But his invention...

An Interview with Wladimir Kaminer

Boris Fishman interviewed Wladimir Kaminer September 3, 2003. Boris Fishman: Did you start writing before emigrating to Germany? What did you do in the Soviet Union? Wladimir Kaminer: In the Soviet Union, I graduated from music school, with a concentration in music for theatre and television. I worked for a year, then went into the army, got out in 1989. By then, perestroika was in full swing, and many of my colleagues were rushing to take advantage of the increased freedom of...
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