Berlin Tales, Trans. Lyn Marven

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Racy and restless, Berlin is again the city it was before the Nazis imposed conformity and the Allies created division. This haul of 19 vignettes from the 1920s to the present reveals an intriguing continuity .

The pre-war insights of Kurt Tucholsky ("If Berliners didn't exist, the telephone would have invented them") are even truer in the age of the mobile. "The Heart of the Republic", by Fridolin Schley, evinces the kaleidoscopic changes of the city.

Though a story called "Gina Regina" by Ulrike Draesner is Ballardesque in style, her heroine displays the generosity of a modern Sally Bowles: "She kissed the tube and decided to keep it."

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