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Articles tagged "Stasi"

The Rudolf Family Does Good Works

"Herr Rudolf! Wait a minute." The caretaker's old wife straightened up, dropped her rag into her bucket, and limped over to the stairs. Herr Rudolf stopped and removed his tasseled hat. The snow on his shoes was melting. As a man with both a social conscience and a vague and confused attitude to professional cleaning ladies, the puddle forming around his feet made him feel very ill at ease. "Good day, Frau Simmes." Herr Rudolf tried to smile. "Good day." The caretaker's wife...

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...

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