Thursday, May 22, 2008
I'm surely biased by my own experience living out at the end of the former Stalin-Allee on Jessnerstrasse in the former East Berlin in 1991-92, but I enjoyed this poem by John Koethe about his sense of the former East Berlin, "Karl-Marx-Allee."
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I love this fragment from Koethe's poem:
People memorize themselves, and try to live that way / Forever, seeking refuge from the great, surrounding storms / In lives inscrutable and self-contained as jars.
... especially the last line!
"People memorize themselves, and try to live that way" reminds me of my comments on Jonathan Lethem's "The Fortress of Solitude," posted a few months ago, and what he calls "social mimicry":
"I dedicated myself to acting as though I'd fit in this atmosphere all along."
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