Arcade Fire, tomorrow at Astra Kulturhaus.
A Canadian colleague is friends with the drummer, so we’re dressing up (there’s a formal dress code) in suits and dresses. I’m hoping my friend Jelena will wear her fur vest, one her father received as payment for a gig he played in Sarajevo.
Vancouver’s Dan Bejar in Berlin December 5th with 5 new songs. Spanish songs. His performances are always the oddest and most wonderful evenings.
And a very pretty German Man version, Berthold Rothas.
Remembrance Day passed this week with only friends’ Facebook posts to remind me. People posted photos of grandfathers who fought in the war and images of remembrance ceremonies in various places in Canada.
This is from the visit mom and I took to the Sachsenhausen camp. War reminders are part of the fabric of Berlin. I rarely think of the decorated or uniformed war “heroes” here—the ones for whom we play Taps or the pipes, in North America—though I’ve been moved by those ceremonies many times. Here it’s the women and children held hostage in Berlin and the people held in camps that I think of, the nuns and new mothers and babies housed in my school when it was women’s hospital and the Soviets arrived.
WIlfred Owen puts it best: “The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori”. (It’s sweet and right to die for your country).
Frei Universität, Berlin. We took our students for a nature walk to get inspired to write poems.
Berlin Marathon today—gorgeous, autumn weather.
Go Dr. M!
Berlin U Bahn in the ’80s by photographer Diane kaye.
After Johanna’s reading we went for a beer at the Literature Cafe—three of us from the old days in Montreal. And one new friend. Johanna gave my new friend the book she’d read from and then gave me the rose from the festival hosts. When we parted, she wandered off toward Tiergarten hoping to lose herself on the way to the Alex Tower, and I came home to do work. She’s staying at the Berlin apartment of another well-known Canadian writer, who I didn’t even know was in Berlin.
Maybe that’s all you ever needed, really. To find, and hold on to, some extraordinary thing.
Johnna Skibsrud, This Will Be Difficult to Explain and Other Stories (via wwnorton)
Tomorrow Johanna Skibsrud will be reading as part of the Berlin International Literary Festival at 2:00 at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele.
She is such a lovely person and a brilliant writer. I’ll be there! (via regardingberlin)
Skating in Chile.
Parque Nacional Huascarán, Peru
Google is celebrating the 151st anniversary of the birth of French composer Achille-Claude Debussy with an animated doodle set to one of his best-known pieces, Clair de lune (Moonlight).
The doodle features a moonlit riverside scene which progresses to the sound of the piece, the third movement of his most famous piano suites, Suite bergamasque (1890–1905). Lights in the streets and houses flicker on and off in time to the music as the silhouettes of cars, boats and cyclists pass by, smoke rises from chimneys and rain begins to fall.
The animation ends with two people in different boats crossing paths on the river and sharing a red umbrella.
It’s beautiful …
52 years ago they began building the Berlin Wall. Here’s an “In a Berlin Minute” video of the remains today.
Toronto-based Canadian literary journal Descant has a call out for submissions on anything Berlin.
“In 2014, Berlin will commemorate its 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall and the reunification of the city. Descant aims to take part in this celebration by welcoming submissions of unpublished fiction, poetry, essays and art pieces that speak to the mythology, memory and identity of Berlin — in all its various incarnations.”
Deadline: August 16th
We spoke with local brewmeister, Christoph Flessa about beer brewing, the Mexican drug war, and the DDR. He makes great beer.beer