The chronicle of a fall and spring in Berlin during the peak influx of refugees into Europe in 2015-16, Joshua Weiner's Berlin Notebook opens a new view on German society's attempt to cope with an impossible situation: millions of people displaced by the Syrian civil war, fleeing violence, and seeking safety and the possibilities of a new life in the west. As some Germans, feeling the burden of the nation's dark past, try to aid and shelter desperate asylum seekers, others are skeptical of the government's ability to contain the growing numbers; they feel the danger of hostile strangers, and the threat to the nation's culture and identity. Unlike other contemporary reports on the situation in Europe, Weiner's sui generis writing includes interviews not only with refugees from the east, but also everyday Berliners, natives and ex-pats musicians, poets, shopkeepers, students, activists, rabbis, museum guides, artists, intellectuals, and those, too, who have joined the rising far-right Alternative for Germany party, and the Pegida movement against immigration. Intermixed with interviews, reportage, and meditations on life in Europe's fastest growing capital city, Weiner thinks about the language and literature of the country, weaving together strands of its ancient and more recent history with meditations on Goethe, Brecht, Arendt, Heidegger, Joseph Roth and others that inflect our thinking about refugees, nationhood, and our ethical connection to strangers.
|Publisher:||Los Angeles Review of Books|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||454 KB|
About the Author
Joshua Weiner is the author of several books of poetry: The World's Room, (2001), From the Book of Giants (2006), and The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish (2013). He is also the editor of At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn (all from Chicago). He has been on the editorial staff of Tikkun magazine, where he serves as poetry editor, since the late 1980s. The recipient of the Witter Bynner Fellowship at the Library of Congress, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he held the 2013 Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, and he was Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow in 2015. His poems and essays have appeared in Best American Poetry, The New York Review of Books, The Nation, The American Scholar, Harvard Review, Poetry, AGNI, The New Republic, Brick, and elsewhere. He is professor of English at the University of Maryland, and lives with his family in Washington DC.