Berlin’s Unexpected Connection to Famous Writers
Q: Which famous writers have connections to Berlin?
A: Well, if we were to walk down the streets of Berlin, we would be treading the same paths as some of the world’s most renowned authors. The list is pretty impressive! For starters, we have Vladimir Nabokov, the Russian-American author of ‘Lolita,’ who lived in Berlin during the 1920s. Then there’s Christopher Isherwood, the British-American novelist whose ‘Berlin Stories’ served as the inspiration for the Broadway musical ‘Cabaret.’ Let’s not forget Bertolt Brecht, the German author and playwright who penned ‘The Threepenny Opera.’ And of course, there’s Gunter Grass, author of ‘The Tin Drum,’ who lived and worked in Berlin for many years.
Q: What inspired these writers about Berlin?
A: Ah, the magic of Berlin! It’s like a well-crafted novel itself, teeming with fascinating characters, dramatic history, and a vibrant, ever-changing landscape. The city’s turbulent past, diverse culture, and pulsating nightlife have served as a rich tapestry for these writers. Isherwood, for instance, was drawn to Berlin’s edgy, libertine lifestyle during the Weimar Republic. Brecht, on the other hand, was deeply involved in the city’s political and social upheavals, which are reflected in his plays. And Nabokov? He was enchanted by Berlin’s cosmopolitan charm, a stark contrast to his homeland, Russia.
Q: Are there any specific places in Berlin connected to these authors?
A: Definitely! You could actually plan an entire walking tour around their former residences and favorite haunts. Start at Nollendorfstraße 17, where Isherwood lived in the 1920s. Then head to Lützowstraße 47, where Nabokov resided. Visit Bertolt-Brecht-Platz 1, where you’ll find the Berliner Ensemble theatre company, founded by Brecht himself. And while Grass lived in several places in Berlin, his most famous address is probably his studio at Behmstraße 14.
Q: How has Berlin honored these literary figures?
A: Berlin, being the cultured city that it is, hasn’t forgotten its literary heroes. There are numerous plaques around the city marking where these authors once lived. More impressively, Brecht’s home has been turned into the Bertolt Brecht House, a museum honoring his life and work. Additionally, literary tours and events often take place throughout the city, celebrating these authors’ connection to Berlin.
And, let’s wrap this up with a joke! Why don’t writers like to play hide and seek? Because good luck hiding when your pen is always leaking!