Ihr Standort

I went on something of a Texas-themed Twitter spree yesterday, retweeting news I had missed and catching up on a few articles. It’s some kind of homesickness, twice removed; this is day six in Berlin, after eight months in Ireland.

Picture 1

and my personal favorite (there has to be a hipster-dissing joke in there somewhere):

Picture 2

This probably isn’t making much sense; it certainly isn’t to me. I just have these weird disconnected thoughts that I’m having trouble expressing, partly because I’m in a place where I don’t speak the language (the funny thing is, there is probably a German bric-a-brac word that expresses exactly what I am feeling, like schadenfreude or weltschmerz).

Picture 3

That’s one of my favorite quotes from any book ever; this one happens to be Stasiland by Anna Funder, which I read last time I lived in Galway, but am re-reading now that I am in (former East) Berlin. I’ve also been re-watching movies from the German Film class I took as an undergrad, all set in Berlin: Wings of Desire, M, Cabaret (not on the syllabus, but I had never seen it!), and I just remembered The Lives of Others. I tried to go out for a screening of Lola Rennt the other night, but got delayed and I would have missed the fantastic opening sequence, so that will have to wait until a later date.

Okay, got a little sidetracked by the Unaufmerksamkeit or the Zerstreuung (and, to be clear, I am getting out and seeing the city and not just reading books and watching movies about it), but what I wanted to say is that lately I have been thinking about this book a lot:


I’m not entirely sure why; I think it has to do with the Laurent Binet/Sheila Heti panel at Cúirt: Characterisation in the novel; how does an author fit into the story? I couldn’t go the sold-out event, but I did read HHhH in the weeks leading up to the festival… with an embarrassing lapse in reading comprehension toward the end that shows I might have been too swept up in the action to effectively register the author’s presence in the story:

Picture 4

Picture 5

[I sure am getting the hang of these screen shots.]

Laurent Binet is still on my radar right now, so I’ve been reading some of his interviews and I keep thinking about Nothing Happened and Then It Did and a sense of place and when it’s okay for an author to lie to the reader. I read Nothing Happened a couple years ago during a vacation in Mexico with my mom and sister, and though I could probably do with a re-read to make sure, I think I’ll stand by my original assessment that it’s an important contribution to Texas literature. (Also, Billy Lee Brammer’s The Gay Place. That tour of LBJ’s Austin brought it up again, but that book should probably be required reading for all Texans.)

Okay, those are the disjointed thoughts of a Texan in Berlin who is avoiding work on her master’s thesis about Irish print culture.

Hey, at least I’m writing again.