A young man arrived on the Zoologischer Garten in Berlin on an October day with the express train of A., without a suitcase or bag, well-dressed, in a black autumn coat and a little gray hat, went down the stairs and walked like a loafer on the Joachimsthalerstrasse but he was looking for an apartment. He turned into Kantstrasse and went down to the Savignyplatz, while he said eight times, “Furnished room!” called, disappeared in a house, but to …
Georg crossed out the last two words and instead wrote:
… but came out again, each time a little more exhausted, again, and soon on the left, now on the right side of the broad street. Finally he was stranded in front of a ladies’ hat shop on the left, in whose window the ‘Furnished room!’ again on a cardboard board was to see. While he was still hesitating, a frosted glass window was opened inside the shop window, a woman’s arm came out with a hat on the hand, then a face, dark-eyed, dark-haired, elderly, caring and kindhearted. Immediately he went into the shop, the woman was just retreating inside out of the window, was quite tall and looked really very friendly, without a particularly friendly Face. He said, “Here is a room for rent?” The woman answered in a dialect unknown to him (instead of having to “miss” her), reserved, but only small, then asked him to come along, and he followed with a big one Room in which two young girls sat in front of a wide window to the right, busy with garnishing hats. The woman climbed a few steps over to a door over there-she went slipping in felt-shoe, heavy; just as lumbering, an old black poodle, leaping from a faded green-and-yellow velvet sofa, crept toward the young man and gently touched it with his muzzle – opened it and moved on – following him into a narrow, dim corridor Doors on the right, scanty light trickled in through the frosted glass panes in the upper half, and of which the second – the first was in the hallway door after the letter slot in it – half-leaned into the kitchen. Before the third the woman stopped, pushed her open, and let the tenant into the room.
It should be said that this room was rented. It was less than four meters long and barely two wide; At the door to the right stood a common, reddish-brown wardrobe, at the foot of the bed, and behind it stood the furniture to which the room owed its new occupant, an old bookcase – as his new owner called it – brown-brown birch, below Chest of drawers, above it six-pane cupboard, covered with green taffeta inside, covered with flat pediment triangle; good Biedermeier. Just behind him – he was half ahead – was the window with a very wide bench, the heating was under. Opposite the bookcase was a small brown door leading into a tiny box; in it stood an old, wooden vanity with a tinny basin, a blue decanter, and a white soap dish; a bort of two boards hung from reddish-brown cords hovered crookedly above a staple. Opposite the bed on the other wall – not a meter wide was the gap that a small table filled under a long, brownish-yellow patterned, multi-stuffed blanket – stood an old, common sofa, which, however, aroused confidence. Between his headboard and the door to the hilt hung a small, old mirror with ungrounded, glass divided in the middle, also of yellow cherry and also with a gable triangle. Over the bed hung a dirty dark red quilt, and on the cupboard stood a lamp of white glass, in the basin of which the petroleum shimmered yellow. In front of the window were old but very clean yellow-white and shirred curtains. All this together cost the young man twenty-eight marks a month, for which he should also have the heating, the lamp, and another cup of morning coffee along with a painted rasp. but very clean yellow-white and shirred curtains. All this together cost the young man twenty-eight marks a month, for which he should also have the heating, the lamp, and another cup of morning coffee along with a painted rasp. but very clean yellow-white and shirred curtains. All this together cost the young man twenty-eight marks a month, for which he should also have the heating, the lamp, and another cup of morning coffee along with a painted rasp.
Georg, who had been smoking cigarettes incessantly while writing, looked up, muttering: It’s going to be too long, but the description is enough, and he looked around to see if nothing had been forgotten. Right, the wallpaper! When he felt that he was sitting too low in the sofa, he got up, grabbed the table on both sides of the table, and carried it to the bookcase. It was scorching hot in the room, he felt for the crank in the radiator, found it and turned it around. Then he looked out through the curtains at the yard, and just came slowly stepping out of the portal to the right of the postman and went past. Georg cursed softly: not again! Calming down, she withdrew, picked up a new cigarette from the box, pushed the leaves on the blotter and wrote:
The young man was called Topf, and that’s what he was called. He had given that name to the landlady, and she had no doubt about him; the police took him in good faith. So Mr. Topf attended the university in various lecture halls in the mornings, exactly until the seventeenth of December of the year. Filled with a general reluctance against the closeness of many – and so disjointed – human faces, the exhalation of the student proletariat, which visited the publics, became unbearable, but only for the first time, mixed with the almost more insufferable female student composed of sweat odor and perfume On the same day he realized that he spent hours and hours in order not to receive more than a hint for his own ways, that he was better at dealing with the scriptures himself.
Mr. Topf – this was the only true and real reason we are able to unveil today – began to ailing himself in winter at the city of Berlin. He got up quite late in the morning, dressed in the same one-of-a-kind suit, except that he put leather shoes on his feet, and went forward into the great room, where the two were already at their long table by the wide window Girls sat, tall, skinny, pale, blonde, and the little, fat, red, brown, with colorful ribbons, witnesses, hat models of wire and gauze, whole and finished hats and other things busy. There he sank into a deep old armchair, was immediately given his crib, his butter and his big cup of hot, but thin coffee, looked in the newspaper, allowed the old, half-blind and very gruff Pudel Valentin, to scrub at his shins, spoke a few words with the girls or with the landlady, Mrs. Wisch, who in her fed voice and in Magdeburg dialect, as had become obvious, told of her daughter, as who was married to a gardener in Stolberg am Harz and was expecting a child. Later, Mr. Pot was sitting in his room, reading a book, or writing a letter, or sitting in the corner of the sofa, smoking, or lying on the sofa, staring at the white glass lamp on the corner of the cupboard, or if he was changing his mind. through the curtains, over the yard against the firewall of a shed, or a sculptor’s studio … who, in a fed voice and in the Magdeburg dialect, as it had become in the meantime, told of her daughter, who was married to a gardener in Stolberg am Harz and was expecting a child. Later, Mr. Pot was sitting in his room, reading a book, or writing a letter, or sitting in the corner of the sofa, smoking, or lying on the sofa, staring at the white glass lamp on the corner of the cupboard, or if he was changing his mind. through the curtains, over the yard against the firewall of a shed, or a sculptor’s studio … who, in a fed voice and in the Magdeburg dialect, as it had become in the meantime, told of her daughter, who was married to a gardener in Stolberg am Harz and was expecting a child. Later, Mr. Pot was sitting in his room, reading a book, or writing a letter, or sitting in the corner of the sofa, smoking, or lying on the sofa, staring at the white glass lamp on the corner of the cupboard, or if he was changing his mind. through the curtains, over the yard against the firewall of a shed, or a sculptor’s studio …
Georg looked up, murmured: I do not know – and wrote further:
… through the bare, mostly wet tops of a tree after the mostly cloudy gray sky. At noon he went to a small restaurant near the food, laid, returned, sat on the sofa and slept for an hour or did not sleep. But most of the time he lay there until it grew dark and longer, for as winter went on it became darker sooner and earlier, to say nothing of the days when it did not even get light. He felt little in those hours, except for the warmth of the heater, but he thought a great deal, and not infrequently he thought of a poem, which he then wrote down in the good light of the brought-down white lamp. Anyway, at the time of going dark, today, tomorrow, tomorrow, he put on boots and coat and went out into the street. Now he could do different things.
He was able to venture out into the Grunewald – of which he incidentally never got to know more than the part from Grunewald station to the Hubertus restaurant with the two lakes, the hunting lodge and countable, evenly bald pines – and that was where the bleak baldness was of the wintry woods, the manifold silence and the invisible eye of loneliness among the thousand naked trunks, the gray surfaces of the poorly frozen lakes, the strangely oppressive breath of the dark gray winter sky, and later, in the darkness, the reflections of the lantern lights in the ice and her shining through of the black fence of tree trunks on the opposite bank – all this could unite into a ghastly swelling and ringing within him.
On ordinary evenings, however, his path was almost always the same, at least in the beginning, the long, gray line of Kantstrasse, beneath the floating string of flesh-red arc lamps, between the walls of mirrored shops full of fiery lighted and sparkling objects –
Recalling Georg, George swept his eyes down the street and saw: margarine barrels, peaches, melons in fanned boxes, tomato mounds, shop windows full of standing walking sticks and umbrellas, bookstores full of yellow, red, green, blue spines of unbound brochures, red blooded, cut Animal pieces on marble slabs, between them green foliage plants, men’s fashion displays, collars, shirts, ties, all beautifully lit, precious and enjoyable, but he did not write it down –
… down (he continued) to the Gedächtniskirche. Shortly before her, he was able to take off to the zoological garden and down through the Tiergarten, the Charlottenburg Chaussee, the Linden, down the Friedrichstrasse to the train station, have dinner in the blue and white checked Aschinger and drive home with the tram. Sometimes he liked to disappear at the zoological garden in the shaft of the subway, a smile, the glare of a veiled cheek, even a very clear eye following, because the relentless lurking desire of his sex made him hope again and again, the female creature one day to meet whom he could join, but he never ventured it, for fear of illness of that kind of clearly waving creatures, out of awe of the attachment there, and sometimes even at the last moment for fear of boredom, which each of these beings would prepare for him on prolonged gathering. Most of all, he was delighted by the charm, the sense of not being completely aimless, of a flattering, sweet, oh, always precious, rare, seductive thing that sat near him, in her never-to-understand feminine security, exposed on all sides feeling obsessed with looks in every movement, stretching the foot, turning the heel and looking at it, stretching the veil with the chin, back at the edge of the hat, suddenly opening the big leather bag, out of which a pocket of silver mesh, a mirror , Pencil, several tram tickets and finally a letter comes out, The car with her, in the noise of the car incomprehensible talk and never got out before he himself stirred. It was nice and satisfying – when he drove to the Warsaw Gate – to be able to see through the wrecked cars to the last, where on the liberated, benevolent wooden benches or red leather couches only here and there a lonely newspaper reader sat behind his paper sign or a store clerk (who then suddenly opened his purse to rummage in it, as if this had become inevitable right now) …
Georg thought: I repeated myself here, but I still had to apply this last phrase.
… Moistened by a quiet and melancholy kind of romance, he felt comfortable in this abandonment, listening to her slightest shuddering and vanishing, especially when, in spite of the abundance of people in the carriage, everything became completely quiet in the carriage, the one with tentative caution Slower and slower, the height of the black railroad tower climbed, almost to a halt, where only the industrious tinkling of the engine was audible, and the small lamps glided slowly in and out, while the train waited before the adventurous curve or with the most careful slowness crept over, and the gaze darted down deep into the yards of coal stores or stacking yards, where abandoned-looking lanterns lit up parts of sheds, silent business cars, posters, and mural inscriptions, a lot of thingswhich was just enough leisure to look at, even if it was not clear what the old, brown and white horses were missing, around which a few people stood, and that one forefoot raised and twitched.
Georg paused, realizing that it was dark in the room; the pale square of the paper shone bluish white; now he could no longer decipher what he had just written, hurriedly picked up the lamp and lit it. For a moment, in the excitement of writing on, he was mistakenly intent on grabbing a cigarette, matches, the ashtray, the pen, and grasping the crank of the heater, as it was cold again; finally he succeeded in doing everything he wanted in turn, he wrote:
And how strangely did George (searching for moments and not quite contentedly, hastily wrote, getting on the road) -and then the lurid silence of the large rear fronts, with gigantic windows of ribbed glass, behind which, in bright, gigantic rooms, the shadows of incomprehensible beings approached or acted away; or even the windows were clear, showing mighty halls, filled with hurried but silent moving staff, packers, scribes. And now the secrecy of the small stations of the elevated railway, where he waited with other waiting, coat-shrouded in the cold, holding his back in the wind, head tilted and the faces pinched, or stood in front of billboards, shouting, without seeming to pay attention, of painted grotesques; rather, they often yawned and spit out contemptuously. Waiting on such a station, with the gruesome view to the left and right on the dead straight into the night, dully glowing tracks, between which, as if in the void, from afar, a man in the coat with a swinging lantern below, sometimes bending over, moving slowly, as if he had years; or with the view into the depths, where over the sad, black, wet, reflecting places and side streets a dull bus comes full of silent, sedentary people and with loud rattling, jerking and shaking on tracks, disappears under the overpass, – and how It can be deadly quiet then! – Oh, and the emergence from the subterranean gull suddenly to powerfully radiant lamps, in great freedom and prospect, to mirror discs,
The most desolate but it was in the windiest of the December nights on one of the small suburban train stations, Wilmersdorf, Zehlendorf, Friedenau. There the time seemed to stand still for the waiting man and no one to worry about it going on, but suddenly a mantle carrier stepped out of a door to an iron scaffold, and up there on a white shield the word ‘South Ring’ was fixed in large letters but at the same moment it was bent in the middle of its significance, and instead, large and meaningful, “background” appeared on all sides, “Potsdam” in the night. There the endless, incessant rolling over of a rolling, in an iron stream-bed of din, which changed the beat every minute, until the last of the convicts carried off unexpectedly turned the dark face of a silent spirit to the sunken observer, who, without right conceptions of his existence, was silent, nocturnal, obedient to the dark Away backwards, waving a green lantern. And how he sank into the gray pillows of his compartment, which was a nice, comfortable room, full of people’s air! And to enjoy from the railway embankment in the slipping away was the brightly-lit distance of the railway body, where light house fronts, balconies and high shaded gables and roofs in a round about a reddish smoked until the last of the convicts carried on unexpectedly suddenly turned to the sunken observer the dark face of a silent spirit, who, without any true conception of his existence, silently, nocturnally, obediently strode backwards to the dark night, waving a green lantern. And how he sank into the gray pillows of his compartment, which was a nice, comfortable room, full of people’s air! And to enjoy from the railway embankment in the slipping away was the brightly-lit distance of the railway body, where light house fronts, balconies and high shaded gables and roofs in a round about a reddish smoked until the last of the convicts carried on unexpectedly suddenly turned to the sunken observer the dark face of a silent spirit, who, without any true conception of his existence, silently, nocturnally, obediently strode backwards to the dark night, waving a green lantern. And how he sank into the gray pillows of his compartment, which was a nice, comfortable room, full of people’s air! And to enjoy from the railway embankment in the slipping away was the brightly-lit distance of the railway body, where light house fronts, balconies and high shaded gables and roofs in a round about a reddish smoked obediently floating backward on the dark night-distance, waving a green lantern. And how he sank into the gray pillows of his compartment, which was a nice, comfortable room, full of people’s air! And to enjoy from the railway embankment in the slipping away was the brightly-lit distance of the railway body, where light house fronts, balconies and high shaded gables and roofs in a round about a reddish smoked obediently floating backward on the dark night-distance, waving a green lantern. And how he sank into the gray pillows of his compartment, which was a nice, comfortable room, full of people’s air! And to enjoy from the railway embankment in the slipping away was the brightly-lit distance of the railway body, where light house fronts, balconies and high shaded gables and roofs in a round about a reddish smoked A small shunting machine worked under it, as if stuck, continually emitting the white, reddened, passing smoke, back and forth.
O Anschaun, O thoughtless feeling, O forgetfulness! o small waiting room of third class, with the glowing cannon stove, the poster of Freienwalde, which prizes its spruce forests, or of a hygiene exhibition, or of a trade exhibition; with the board: Do not spit on the floor! with the tender loving couple in the corner, eternal as train station and waiting room … And now again the roar, the great waterfall, the thousandfold surging noise of the wide gaping streets, the tortuous tangle, and the glitter, and the lights, the hundred thousand signs, who are all screaming, wanting something, the shouts, the trumpet blasts, the polyphonic ringing, the sounds of the soles, horse hooves, screaming tracks, engines, axles, the radiant shop windows again, the auspicious corset shops, the pious-looking, Gigant, the blind man, trembling all over his body, his electric charge on the towers, the food, the chimneys, the roofs, the gables, the balconies, the windows and wires of the roaring, racing, staggering, circling, whining city …
George, glowing in the face, though inwardly cold and hardened with tension, laid down the pen, slowly grasping with his left hand the joint of his right hand, and spreading her cramped fingers several times, leaning his face against the writing. He read a few lines, then resisted the writing, he thought: This is again such a lyrical start! But he ought to succeed, he told himself, to change this whole city to impressions in a hundred printed pages … He got up, went to the sofa and stretched out, but the performing work had cramped itself, he continued writing in his thoughts :
If he did not go to one of the four hundred cinematographic theaters, for which he had received a cordial and childlike affection, he would spend a few more hours of the night … interrupting himself, Georg remembered: Potter! and Aunt Henriette, but he continued the sentence: – to spend as much as most of the day, reading, smoking, or dreaming, pondering, and melancholy on the sofa, usually until the accumulated spiritual atmosphere is reflected any memory of an observation; an experience, as he called it, of the day, the description of which, in addition to the fact that it was conjoined or derived therefrom, over certain, repetitive, and murky ones Mental states found a melodic expression of fourteen verse lines. – That’s right, it’s amazing, Georg thought, how accurate is the sonnet’s degree of emotional discharge. Now he was compelled to write again, he jumped up, took a cigarette, lit it over the lamp, picked up the quill and wrote:
So every day had to become an experience for him; it tortured him automatically, remained without a poem; a poem was fruit, was tangible, enduring, kept its food, and would last for years … Georg hurried on forming the rest of the sentence and continued: And what could not be an experience? You had to go only half-awake, swinging yourself loose, swinging constantly, to take up momentum. Then, lost in the darkness of the most desolate streets of the north, then, frightened by a harlot, he might, with a sudden awakening kinship, startle at a lantern arm, his arm stretched out of the wall deep in the dead-end street to keep this sad, pale green light that is invisible to him, that is afraid alone for a hundred years with the walled-in and with his reflection in the puddle on the pavement. And – so concluded the sonnet: Below is the woman who beckons to you. – Another thing: what a strange feeling, from the railway bridge on the black swamp, to search and to follow the swarming of lights, ruby slopes, in between pale turquoise, yellow lights like torches and round, green, refreshing, motionless, all: in between, however, from a fast-opened door of the night away, chains and sparkling ribbons and luminous serpents crawl, and all at once a feebler light is to be seen near Moon, who knows nothing to say, but that probably also the top lighting deserve. The encounter with that birch tree, which suddenly appeared as a pale miststreak in the dead garden in front of the house, as if waving to it, and then, as if it were so far now, dropped its last leaf, touched it more tenderly, wistfully, and more closely.
Georg hesitated; he saw himself walking around in twilight and gloom of unknown street tunnels, with no view, in the impenetrable fog; where he suspected the church there was nothing, only mists of smoke rolled like – so out of a barrel, and lights floated in it, colored, pale, opalescent, heavy and swollen, high-up larger lamps, bragging, tightly under the firm seal of brown smoke, but then the wall burst, he breathed open, stared abruptly and blinded into the broad dazzling of a huge street of shops and shining signs. Moreover, he remembered the fallen colossus of cement fragments, glued together with colored paper, which sent him the bleak aphorism: Here I lie, the pillar of your culture, the advertising pillar! – And he remembered bitterly,
The culture, Georg thought, leaning back in the chair, is coming soon, and the feeling, I believe, will soon come to an end. One sees it in the art, that comes from already, their features have already changed frightening as that of one who lies in the last moves, just burlesque. From the drama became the theater and finally the Kientopf, from the poem the couplet, the painter the futurist, the music the gramophone. And what about the arts and crafts? Everything should be tasteful at once, and how much does that cost for effort! The Greek, if he did something that pleased him, lo and behold, it became beautiful; But we always want to do something beautiful, and then nobody likes it. But if I even see an individual door knocker, then I am afraid of my God resemblance. Georg picked himself up,
Sometimes Herr Topf spent the evenings in a comfortable room of lumbering wealth; On the coffee table burned an adjustable brass lamp with a green shade, and next to it sat Herr Pot’s aunt, whom he called Aunt Henriette, and knitted or crocheted while reading a modern book to her nephew, Strindberg or Sternheim she was angry, but she liked that. The small iron goggles with thick glasses sat on the tip of her nose, sometimes she looked over it into the dark corner of the room, where a little white-haired man in light gray trousers, very soigned, with a rose-colored parrot sat in her lap or even at the Kanarienbogelbauer herumundelt and quietly tormented his green-yellow inhabitants with the handkerchief. Or else he went to the end of his corridor, knocked on the door and was a very bright: Come in! into the big, bare room, dimly lit by the kerosene lamp on the desk by the window, where (under the gigantic pictures of Kaiser Wilhelm and his wife on the red wallpaper) sat the comparativus of Herr Topf, or rather sprang up in a hurry, very small and dainty, but with a handsome, thick beard around the reddish face, very pleased and smiling: Mr. Töpfer, writer and radical socialist … Georg woke up; a door went away, soft steps came slowly up, sipping in the corridor. Was the postman come? No, the footsteps ended in the kitchen, a pot on the hearth was audibly moved.
Why am I writing this? he thought sullenly.
For over and over again, the chain of words and thought-images continued stubbornly in his brain, he returned from all this to the eternally same gloomy depth of his own existence. There he sought at the bottom, but what he had found made him helpless, he held his tongue and could not understand it, he had no memory, no memory, the past no longer touched, the consciousness that it had once been, meaning, Vitality, splendor, colors, or that in the end he was too feeble, his life was but a riveted chain of moments – their individual nonsensical and monstrous in their exaggerated distortion of stasis They looked like detached, seconds-long images of a film, and of which in connection there were always only three or four links visible, the last melted away, while the newest barely germinated – that there was only a connection, no growth, no gliding, no structure, that he should, in such a small space of the present and compressed, should be preserved, millennia, tremendous and threatening, behind him, a dark future, threatening and monstrous before him: that filled him with a great annoyance, which, he knew well enough that there was no suffering, no suffering from pain, but at times it grew into lively states of anxiety, and sometimes into a limitless amount of anxiety.
Georg shook off the convulsions of the writing phrases bitterly, sat up, put his elbows on his knees, stared into the lamp and thought he had probably quoted the devil, for now the fear descended like spiders from all the walls. I thought he was pinched and saved myself from the paper in front of me. Here is my copy, nothing but a disgusting, absurd, self-indulgent one: I! I! I! Why am I sitting here? Why have I been wearing one and the same suit for the last three months and calling myself pot? What did I fill in this pot? The black rain-gutter from the roofs has run in, but not a drop from any human soul. Does not it matter to the people? I do not know you. I know potter, he’s a little world for himself, Mrs. Wisch, well. All others are disgusting to me. sitting, crammed together, silent for a quarter of an hour, looking at each other into his own disguised self from their bundles of facial features, which are so scrawny from one side to the other and knotted there that one can scarcely comprehend it, then disgust shakes me. Everyone is every enemy. My enemy is the waiter who is not flying at the moment when I enter, my enemy the conductor who diligently overlooks my hand with the dime and goes to other passengers, my enemy the clerk at the post office counter who counts his money, sorts and parcels rather than giving me my five-pfennig mark, my enemy is the shop assistant, who lets me wait, and the five or three women and men in the shop who force me to throw away minutes of my life, which are not worth as much as the wrapping paper around the butter, but which I do not want to be snatched away at any price. Everyone hates everyone, what should become of it? And only for the sake of impatience. Impatience cries out of every movement, out of the eyes of the chauffeur, whom I do not dodge in time, out of every eye! But I, only I, hang above the chaotic abyss of a soul, my soul, and know that I am lonely, and that all are like me. That’s my fear, that’s the fear, that’s the fear of the city. I am hanging over the chaotic abyss of a soul, of my soul, knowing that I am lonely, and that all are like me. That’s my fear, that’s the fear, that’s the fear of the city. I am hanging over the chaotic abyss of a soul, of my soul, knowing that I am lonely, and that all are like me. That’s my fear, that’s the fear, that’s the fear of the city.
No, you’re lying, said something in him. He listened, put his face in his hands and admitted it. But no matter where the fear! It is there, and fear is fear. I am afraid of the future. I undertake things that – whose course is unknown to me, I complain a contract that is to bring me to a throne, and I do not know what that means, what is all connected with it, and how I should obtain the necessary security in myself, since I, because I – do not belong to this throne , And beyond all this, the infinite Huns squadron of my thoughts, which I can only fly, do not balk.
Georg felt that he was hungry; Looking at the clock, he found it was just before half past eight. He hastily cleared the sheets on the bed, then opened the door of the shutter and fetched from the window-sill a glass jar of butter and a plate of Dutch cheese, from the bort above the wash-stand a quarter-loaf of bread, a plate, a knife, two eggs from a box, a bag of sugar and his blue glass of water, set everything on the small table, beat the eggs into the glass, added sugar, stirred and drank, then sat down and stroked two strong slices of paper she with cheese, she cut into cubes and began to eat. He chewed and swallowed his appetite, following thoughts that renewed themselves restlessly.
It is probably a nuisance of the times that we acquire knowledge – not knowledge – with such monstrous, witch-like speed; and with this lightness developed by centuries, self-evidentness of experience, we know what we never experienced. What we scarcely saw, we already remember it as a hundred times experienced; born with the accumulated experience of our ancestors, without having acquired them, we are merely heirs, – yes, we, I say quite literary, but would I really be alone like that? I do not know anyone, but I do not believe it. Nothing is unique. We live too fast, madly fast, and then it is said – he smiled sickly -: In the ocean with a thousand masts the young man ships. Soon he drives to the harbor as an old man on a saved boat.
But to me, no, I had no other choice, not at this time. I have been a child so far, a product of my father; he surprised me; and I was a child, a product of my time. I alone in Altenrepen might have decided otherwise if I had not – like all of us – become so overgrown with the everyday things of street life and life that I could not escape their influence. How should I get along, back then? Between electric trains, on the telephone, between shops, waiters, the faces, suits, hats of today, which are not only outside around me, but organic in me, forms of my thinking, feeling, of my being – yes, between all What should I do with this untimely experience? It’s colportage, I was not set on back stairs. Two or three hundred years ago, it would have been right there, between slugs and old sayings on the house beams, ornate gables, silk sashes and nocturnal street battles, serenades and kidnappings. Fate pushed into my hand, – I dropped it.
Helene, he thought. The bite spilled in his mouth, he swallowed hard, got up, reached behind him Carafe on the washstand, she put it to her mouth, took a long sip and put it away. – She was so strange to me, always so strange, I did not know why, – from which mother am I now born? Maybe she lived centuries ago.
Regardless and tired, he ate the last pieces and thought: What now?
Suddenly it disgusted him in front of the sofa. I want to go to Potter, he told himself gloomily, maybe – -. So he put out the lamp, stepped into the corridor, but heard, as he walked toward the illuminated frosted glass at the end of the hall, voices inside, and now he remembered that in the afternoon someone had heard him go to Potter. Immediately, he thought negligently, I have not heard anything, knocked on the door, heard the light: Come in! and entered.
The gas lamp on the bent arm under the ceiling radiated cold light. Yes, then the dainty little person jumped up from the chair by the coffee table – he and another man sat eating it – stood with his feet closed behind his chair, grasping the back and singing in his brightest tones, with his head lowered: ” Ah, Mr. Positive enters! how exceedingly agreeable! “and so on, while George, looking at the stranger, who rose from the couch behind the table, walked toward him. Plate of sausage, butter, cheese, milk glasses stood on the uncovered plate. The stranger looked Georg out of a pale brown and rosy face, with a soft, black goatee made up of heart-winning lovable, big eyes, and offered Georg his hand while Herr Töpfer continued to sing, this was Herr Topf, who wrote the Berlin novel, and that was Mr. Levite from Warsaw.
A nihilist, Georg thought, apologizing for disturbing the food, but Mr. Levite assured with a pleasantly soft and deep voice that they were already finished, placed an open wooden box of Russian cigarettes across the table in front of Georg and, as George one of them took a match and handed it to him. George sat down, extremely dressed, assuring himself that the novel was nothing. Mr. Töpfer, who had taken his seat again, shook his head regretfully, and said, with the same kindness, that he also makes such beautiful poems … The voice screwed up loud and loud. The dark and soft asked very calmly, “Do you believe in benefiting humanity?”
George, startled by the straight address, hastily fended off: “No, no, God forbid, I find myself – I’m glad if I do no harm to myself!”
“Our old quarrel,” complained Mr. Töpfer regretfully and cordially. “Are the poor poets really out of the state? Do not you love your Dostoevsky over everything? And – as we good Germans – “he jubilated high -” when we talk about ourselves, always Goethe as an example, so Goethe said – ”
But the Pole struck him softly while he still collected the quote: “Goe-the says everything.”
This voice and the pronunciation of the German was enticing! The syllables came singly, pure and soft enveloped, the S and Z sounds hummed softly, the vowels were stretched by a breath, the consonants were pushed by a breath, it sounded delightful, no German could handle the language as gracefully as this Pole.
“I love him,” said the calm, thoughtful voice, “and I know how to read it; for others it is – the poison. I must go on, “he went on slowly, opening his eyes to George – while he stirred his cigarette in the ashtray – so that Georg’s heart trembled with allure and affectionate closeness to those good eyes.” I must surrender that the Germans Poets have something ahead. Because they are never pure poets. Like others, as the great representatives of England and France, as Dickens and Flaubert or Balzac, they are theirs. They want to portray life, they want nothing more than that: they love – man, there stands – man, you see him, you feel him, he is so warm, you understand – his suffering, and he is like that, you lift at him, and you lift up all the threads of the roots, he is firmly in his contexts, that is so great art. When people read this, they forget each other, it’s – Su-ro-gat, but it does not make them happy at their part, they disdain it, they do not like it that much, they do not like their stairs, they gray ones House scares her, her wife is bad and ugly, the landlord is very angry, all this is not in Dickens, there everything is beautiful, the dirt is beautiful, the people are beautiful and evil; they have power, they seem to live differently, and this is what I say: poison. the landlord is very angry, all this is not in Dickens, there everything is beautiful, the dirt is beautiful, the people are beautiful and evil; they have power, they seem to live differently, and this is what I say: poison. the landlord is very angry, all this is not in Dickens, there everything is beautiful, the dirt is beautiful, the people are beautiful and evil; they have power, they seem to live differently, and this is what I say: poison. I do not know many German typeface-makers, but I know Goethe, I also know a little cellar and with the French name – – he is very heavy! – Jean Paul, and she is very thoughtful. They do not want to represent: man, they always want to say: the live, the world, the god. Their people, they always ask: why? They care so much about themselves and about the world … ”
As he paused, searching for words, George said: “Yes, of course, but is not that more the case with the Russians? I mean -”
The beautiful, red mouth in black beard took the speech from friendly smiling:
“You say what I want. Also the Rus-se, he thinks; he thinks of Russia. Everything is Rusland, only Rusland, and is Rusenwesen, Rusenleben. But not the German! The German, he justifies that he is. He sees the world: how did he come in? What is he doing? What does he start with? And he asks: am I good? He has a lot of love for himself, the German man. He is always thinking of recovery. And he always has to think a lot before anything can happen. Look, “he continued more zealously and kindly,” I believe in the German Land, “- he smiled,” which does not mean, I believe in the German state. You name your story. It gave birth to an empire, Roman Empire of the German nation, that did – the emperors, did it: the person. Nunn there is again a German Reich for four years, that’s what the thought did, it did it: the land. Five hundred years of thought has thought: Germany, and it had to come Napoleon and tell him: Finally begin! and so it began, a little, and it thought again, the country, sixteen years, there was a small German Reich. I very much hope, “he smiled first to Georg, then to Herr Töpfer,” it will always continue to think slowly into a German empire of a European nation, if there are not any more Sar, un Gaiser, un Gönig. ”
George, his arms crossed, sat quietly, so much immersed in the warm, flattering, dark wavering of that voice, and the loveliness with which the thoughts came to light, that a long time had elapsed before he noticed the silence in the room. He did not know anything. A faint feeling – like shame – pierced his heart’s pit. Potter had twisted sideways in the chair, his legs tightly wound around his shoulders, and, with the back of his chair under his armpit, was holding his face near it in the shadows. Georg heard the Levite again and saw him sitting on the sofa, his face lowered, his arms under the table, smiling gracefully:
“It occurs to me: a friend of mine made this parable: Lay down before an Englishman, a German, a Russian, a Frenchman, write the word Me, and he should write behind it – what’s the name of it? – a verb, what will these write? The Englishman, – he will write, simply: I am. The Frenchman, the same – writes: I love! The Russian, he writes, – he remembers himself, he writes: I sin-di-ge … The German, – well, you know exactly what he writes, if he does not say: I will go and think what I will write … ”
They laughed and rejoiced. In the laughter a faint throb at the door, George turned in the chair and saw Mrs. Wisch with a letter in her hand, which she held out to him: “You must sign, Mr. pot, – a letter for you!”
George’s heart beat wildly, he took the paper and an ink pen, which she handed him, signed on the table, then asked the gentlemen to excuse him, and went after Mrs. Wisch, in his room. For a long time he had to grope for the matches until he found them on the bookcase. Finally the lamp burned, he opened the letter, a letter fell out, he unfolded the large file, saw beautifully curved lettering, signature – the Hofmarschallamt, an illegible name, he hastily picked out words:
“… gracious letter … Respectfully answer … taken note … Searches in the archives delayed so long … but found … but seems to be of a kind that the realization is not without breaking the As a result, it would be advisable for your highness to go to the relevant office … ”
What was that nonsense? – Was that scorn? What did that mean?
He folded the sheet, unfolded it again, read, found no advice. Should the contract be invalid? But his father …! Now I do not understand the world more, he murmured and saw himself standing there like Master Anton at Hebbel …
Not without breaking the Reich Constitution …? He thought of Potter. But how do I tell him? His heart pounded harder. Let’s tell them who we are, he mused and went to the door. He suddenly had to rest his forehead. He searched for thoughts, remembering that it would be better to show him the contract himself, went back to the bookcase, opened and shut, Cordelia’s ruby glass glittering at him – threateningly. Pulling himself together, he reached into the depths behind the still-closed door, opened the trunk lid and pulled out the contract, closed the door – with the feeling that he was closing a door in front of a human – seeing the glass still behind it – straightened up, went out and knocked at Potter.
Inside, he gave him the contract and asked him to look at it. He sat down shivering and cold, took a cigarette and lit it. Potter tacitly read, it took forever. But he looked up, smiled delightedly to George, then to the Levite and sang:
“A very interesting document that you have there! Is it real? But fabulously interesting! So – or must I remain silent? ”
When Georg nodded, he went on to the Pole: “Herr Topf, you think, here gives me a contract between the former Duchy of Trassenberg and the present Grand Duchy of Beuglenburg, from the beginning of the last century. At that time Trassenberg was like mediated as many other small states and came to Beuglenburg. But in a secret treaty, this one you saw here, it was decided that this would only be the case for a hundred years, after which Trassenberg would be independent again … ”
He broke off, the same smile on his features as on the Polish’s face. He extended his hand with a small bow to George, took the contract, and said, always smiling, and nodding his head: “Very interesting!” Read here and there, and returned the paper to Georg.
“I have heard,” said he, “of this Duke Traßberg. He is called: the comrade, it is a joke, but he is a clever man, a good man. If all the princes were equal to him, we would have long since – the social state. ”
“Yes, and now,” said George impatiently, “what do you mean by such a contract?” Confused, as he was reluctant to speak of his father as of a stranger, he continued: “I mean: applies he nowadays or …? ”
The two smiled again, and Potter sang on:
“Since you, dear Mr. Pot, have this paper in your hands, you see what it may be worth!” Georg, angry, as if he could prove the opposite to him, took the letter from the Hofmarschallamt from his pocket and gave it to him out. Potter unfolded it carefully, read the headline, stopped, read on, looked up, and asked with his eyes. Georg, smiling reluctantly: “Well, I’m the one there!”
Potter jumped up, clasped his hands, but soon noticed the disorder of his radical feelings, turned crimson, and crowed:
“Yes, there is nothing more to say! Mr. Levite, the Herr Pot here is Prince Trassenberg! ”
The Pole smiled delightedly and held out his hand to George, reassuring him of his pleasure in meeting him.
“So you have called this contract?” Wondered Mr. Töpfer highly. “But I am very surprised that your father did not advise you! Yes, now look at it! A new state in Germany – does not that mean a new member of the Bundesrat? O dear Mr. Top- just forgive! – Sir – do you believe that Prussia would consent to any other state that a dissenting vote gets into the Bundesrat? There would have to be very serious reasons, very serious ones, that is, in the sense of the princely gathering, there would be serious reasons, if something like that would happen … “The voice rolled over and forced him to remain silent.
Georg said, “So!” He jumped up and ran back and forth in the room.
“Yes, but now just say,” sang Mr. Töpfer behind him, “why do you want to become Duke? Well, well, you’re still young and think so. ”
Since George did not find an answer, hesitated long explanations, Töpfer soothed himself, saying that After all, there were many good things to do in life… He seemed embarrassed. The Levite was silent altogether, so George gathered his papers together and begged, more affable than he wanted to be, to embitter himself, gentlemen. to excuse him, shook hands with everyone and wanted to leave. The Pole, however, held his hand and laid his left hand on it, and said, enveloping George in the deep warmth and good-heartedness of his eyes:
“I see, you are an Aris-tograt, I like aristograms of the heart, but that wants to be learned a lot. Look at your father, young prince, do you spit on him, he is well aware of my name, he is not so proud of my greeting, tell him that he ought to learn to be you goose aristocrat, so you will live well, and It will give happiness and blessing to a lot of people. Farewell! “He shook his hand fiercely and Georg left. –
A broad, dark red band smoldered out of the lamp cylinder; The air was full of black, soft flake falling, so that George beat it with his hand. He unscrewed the lamp lower and tore open the window, breathed the incoming cold with violence, but the soot-blast rain was unbearable, he put out the lamp, went out, took the overcoat, the hat from the hook and went out into the street.
, … as non-existent in stubbornness – bourgeois convention – in and out … ‘What was that? From morning star. ‘To the district office in …’ He had been thinking about it for a long time. He slipped while walking, saw the sidewalk covered with a furry layer of rain, decomposed by footprints. Raindrops blew cold against his heated face. Above, the arc lamps rocked on the wires. ‘Undermined person – – as non-existent in obstinacy …’ Georg saw the Poles and the radicals sitting under the gas lamp, the speech of the aristocrat in his ear, the soft-hummed S-loud, the pure vowels and consonants, the slow ones Speech and again the word aristocrat, in which the nihilist in his foreign language probably felt something quite different than …, as non-existent in stubbornness … ‘Georg could not get rid of the nonsense …’ bourgeois convention ‘, talked it in him away. ‘Dismembered person, deeply regretting the subject …’ He wanted to find the parts, but he did not succeed again and again only came: as non-existent in stubbornness, obstinacy, stubbornness! Finally he made a dash, struggling to see the contract to see the gentlemen in the room, and heard Potters say: – That your father did not advise you. -, Untig made … ‘A riddle, a pure riddle. The opposite had been done by his father! Georg slipped out again, found himself in front of a crossroads, found himself unable to cross, shivered, turned in the wind and turned around. Fighting hard with the wind, he went back. Georg slipped out again, found himself in front of a crossroads, found himself unable to cross, shivered, turned in the wind and turned around. Fighting hard with the wind, he went back. Georg slipped out again, found himself in front of a crossroads, found himself unable to cross, shivered, turned in the wind and turned around. Fighting hard with the wind, he went back.
The dark corridor was warm and still; at its end the screen in the door was not shining uneasily. They were good people, their hearts were the softest, and they were radicals and Nihilists. Yes, why not? Georg thought wearily as he entered his room. It was cold, but the air still glowed in the area around the heater. He closed the window, turned on the light, found that the table, bed, paper, everything was covered with soot, and stretched out on the sofa.
So it was nothing to the stars …
‘Korff received from the police office’ – drove it brightly through him. He gave in and went on: – a hard-on form – who he was, and how, and where. ‘ – It tore it off again; he fumbled … ‘Whether he even allowed to live here …’
How much money he has and what he believes. –
Back to the end.
Below it was: Borwosky, Heck.
Korff returns simple and round …
… reports according to personal findings
As non-existent in stubbornness
Civil Convention …
… on and off and draws, though
Deeply regretful Subject … ‘
No, now came:
, … on and off. To the district authority in -.
Astonished, the boss started.
Georg snorted a laugh through his nose that he did not feel. ‘Not exist-‘ Well, that’s enough! Suddenly he got up and rubbed his hands Eyes. He had been falling asleep. – I do not understand father, he thought, shaking his head. What did he think? He gave it to me himself? – Oh, no matter, no matter, it was over, and well, good, good!
Georg thought he was too emaciated at being overly grumpy. He bitterly wept for Renates. First I neglected her about Esther. (Oh, I think I should have married Esther!) Then I fancied, I do not remember why, I would not dare to put Renate in my circle until everything is secure. I wanted to lay the duchy at her feet. That’s how it was. Ah, that’s what my economic studies have done! No idea that a contract is still one after a hundred years. Oh, I’m tired and want to sleep, he thought, surrendering, unbuttoned the waistcoat and went to the table to put the contents of his pockets on it, watch and chain, lighter, wallet, keychain, handkerchief. There the leaves lay over the conditions of Mr. pot on the bed. He took her, stuffed her into the drawer. He had to look around the room. Yes, here he had been living for a few months and had found himself in it, even though he was deeply down. Against earlier nothing was changed. He yawned, thinking of Helenenruh, of green meadows, of cackling hens. Oh, the first holidays of childhood, the strange awakening in Helenenruh, sun in the room, outside the very sunny cackling of the hens, the crowing cock, far away the young roosters in the village, and then the first view from the window, then, when I was still living in the north wing, out into the fields, which were quietly swaying, and in the middle of it were the roofs of the village, the church tower, and down below the window the speckled hens were walking, shuffling their feet, watching left and right, and walking on. ,
And that all this does not really belong to me …
He held the pulled-out trousers in his hand and went to the cupboard and hung them in. He removed his coat and vest from the sofa and hung them up, sat down, and began taking off his boots. Sitting down first, he reminded himself Magdas, very eager. Maybe I loved her the most, he worried. He pulled the second boot from his foot, put them both under the bed, pulled back the quilt and pulled out the nightgown. So now I can go back to my raw silk pajamas, he thought lost. I think tomorrow I’m going to Altenrepen. Maybe tomorrow comes a letter from the father. Then the word interspersed with the thought that his father was not his father, the bile rose up to him, he threw off his day-shirt, put on his nightshirt, hastily blew out the lamp, realized