05 January 2010

rheinsberg - kurt tucholsky

i finished tucholsky´s rheinsberg - ein bilderbuch für verliebte ("rheinsberg - a picture book for lovers") on the tube this morning - a quick and inexpensive read: only 2,-€ at reclam. tucholsky's language is very bloomy, and if it weren't for clärchen, one of the main characters, and her funky usage of speech (not a defect!), rheinsberg could easily be mistaken for a shallow and rather unoriginal description of a romantic weekend in the country. there is no arc of tension or straight-forward dramaturgy, and it remains unclear what tucholsky was really trying to tell us. a vague attempt of teaching the reader a lesson by contrasting the irrationality of love with a more rational world view was only made on the last four or so pages. in fact, i found rheinsberg to be more of a writing exercise in style and the study of characters and their feelings, settings and interaction between all of the above. the only suprise, if you would like to call it that, was the sudden end - one gets the impression kurt himself had had enough of his own enamored cheers and sniggering. overall, however, rheinsberg is an amusing, upbeat read that is certainly worth a look if you are a) a writer, b) from berlin, c) in love, or d) headed to rheinsberg anytime soon.

fun fact taken from wikipedia: "In order to support the sales of the book [Rheinsberg], Tucholsky and Szafranski, who had illustrated the tale, opened a "Book Bar" on Kurfürstendamm in Berlin: anyone who bought a copy of his book also received a free glass of schnapps. This student prank however came to an end after only a few weeks."

No comments: