jeudi 12 mars 2009

Germany - 22nd february 2008

In his first book, Julien tells the story of a homosexual and depressed Parisian actor who leaves for Berlin to grieve the loss of his friend Matthew who has killed himself after having contracted AIDS. So far I’ve only read the first fifty pages. The main character has already decided to leave, but before this he describes a dream to his psychiatrist. He spends a night in a trashy club in the first arrondissement, gets smashed on beer, then vomits in the Seine and falls asleep on a merry-go-round in front of the town hall, where he finds the horses ugly. What comes out of this drunken night? An illumination. Paris smells of death; this character wants a city where the blood runs freely – Berlin!

The other day Jean-François said: "things happen in Berlin." Martin, too, the dancer friend of Rosie, claimed that "something was happening" in the city, and that he wanted to be a part of it. The marriage of the east and the west? A fascinating cross between capitalism and communism? Yes, maybe; and indeed the city seems very rich in sensations for queer artists with piercings. But isn’t it also a bit sad, too, this city for which all of Europe longs because life is not too expensive, there, because unemployment benefits go a long way? It’s a remnant of the Cold War, perhaps: back then, living in Berlin exempted people from military service in the ex-RFA. Conscientious objectors and alternatives gathered, developing a way of life that the state recognised as military preparation, a kind of war against the communist enemy: "art!"

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