WEBEXCLUSIVE

Extracts from Ivan Goll, SODOM AND BERLIN (1929)

Fiction

One evening in November 1918, Odemar Muller lurked near an advertising column in Potsdamer Platz, darting back and forth behind it as if he was playing hide-and-seek with someone, or looking in agitation for a particular theater announcement. In fact he was simply trying to dodge the hail of bullets directed by a detachment of machine-gunners at the railway station, where some Spartakists were holed up.

The Omorashi Girls

Fiction

Takiguchi was delighted. The director lit a cigarette. It was his symbol of delight. Otherwise he was expressionless. He exhaled languidly, crossing his legs, seemingly absorbed in a spot on his boot. Takiguchi, it must be said, dressed like a director but only while editing. “Film is editing,” he would say with a solemnity immune to contradiction, and the fact he worked in video. “On the street would be conspicuous.”

THE MERIT SYSTEM

Fiction

He assumed he was doing her a favor by telling her what he was feeling. He assumed that honesty in any form was a virtue and that there was no point in keeping secrets from the person you lived with, pretending you felt one way when the opposite was true.

Old Europe

Fiction

For some time I’ve been in love with Old Europe, though she treats me like a stupid, underage concubine. My American friends wonder what I can see in such a worn-out tart, her silly Cupid’s bow drawn with lipstick over a slack mouth, her hackneyed prejudices and skin cast in the pallor of a bad liver.

The Orgy

Fiction

For a moment he was still inside her, turgid there and quivering. Then as he began to move, in the sudden helpless orgasm, there awoke in her new strange thrills rippling inside her. Rippling . . . like a flapping overlapping of soft flames, soft as feathers, running to points of brilliance, exquisite …and melting her all molten inside…

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FEB 2006

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