Keasebier Takes Berlin

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Author(s): Gabriele Tergit
Original Publish Date: Jul 30, 2019
Product Number: EB00725212
Released: Jul 30, 2019
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781681372730
Publisher: NYRB Classics
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Description

In English for the first time, a panoramic satire about the star-making machine, set in celebrity-obsessed Weimar Berlin. In Berlin, 1930, the name KAsebier is on everyone's lips. A literal combination of the German words for "cheese" and "beer," it's an unglamorous name for an unglamorous man—a small-time crooner who performs nightly on a shabby stage for laborers, secretaries, and shopkeepers. Until the press shows up. In the blink of an eye, this everyman is made a star: a star who can sing songs for a troubled time. Margot Weissmann, the arts patron, hosts champagne breakfasts for KAsebier; Muschler the banker builds a theater in his honor; Willi FrAchter, a parvenu writer, makes a mint off KAsebier-themed business ventures and books. All the while, the journalists who catapulted KAsebier to fame watch the monstrous media machine churn in amazement—and are aghast at the demons they have unleashed. In KAsebier Takes Berlin, the journalist Gabriele Tergit wrote a searing satire of the excesses and follies of the Weimar Republic. Chronicling a country on the brink of fascism and a press on the edge of collapse, Tergit's novel caused a sensation when it was published in 1931. As witty as Kurt Tucholsky and as trenchant as Karl Kraus, Tergit portrays a world too entranced by fireworks to notice its smoldering edges.

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