Synopses & Reviews
Every great city is a restless work in progress, but nowhere is the urban impulse more in flux than in Berlin, that sprawling metropolis located on the fault line of history. A short-lived fever-dream of modernity in the Roaring Twenties, redubbed Germania and primped up into the megalomaniac fantasy of a Thousand-Year Reichstadt in the Thirties, reduced in 1945 to a divided rubble heap, subsequently revived in a schizoid state of post-World War II duality, and reunited in 1989 when the wall came tumbling down Berlin has since been reborn yet again as the hipster hub of the 21st century. This book is a hopscotch tour in time and space.
Part memoir, part travelogue, Ghost Dance in Berlin is an unlikely declaration of love, as much to a place as to a state of mind, by the American-born son of German-speaking Jewish refugees. Peter Wortsman imagines the parallel celebratory haunting of two sets of ghosts, those of the exiled erstwhile owners, a Jewish banker and his family, and those of the Führers Minister of Finance and his entourage, who took over title, while in another villa across the lake another gaggle of ghosts is busy planning the Final Solution.
About the Author
writes short stories, plays, travelogues, essays and poetry, and also translates from the German, which he considers another form of border crossing. He is the author of A Modern Way to Die
, a book of short fiction, and Burning Words
, a play produced in 2006 at the Northampton Center for the Arts in Northampton, Mass., and slated for production in Pforzheim, Germany, in 2014. His travel pieces have run in major American newspapers and been featured four years in a row in Travelers Tales The Best Travel Writing
. A 2010 Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, he was the recipient of the Solas Awards 2012 Gold Grand Prize for Best Travel Story of the Year.
Table of Contents
- My Winterreise
- The Vectors of Alexanderplatz
- A Gift
- Of Sublime Ecstasy and Guttural Disgust
- Dietrich Undressed
- Poultry Epiphany
- Wurst Lust
- Walking on Water
- The Return of the Frog King, or Iron Henry
- The Museum of Things
- Professors of the Pavement
- The Publisher
- Alexanderplatz Revisited
- But Where Were the Nazis?
- Spring Awakening
- In Search of Lost Shadows
- Recalibrating Time and Space
- The Phantom Flash