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- The Prose of Alfred Lichtenstein - 12/12 -


In the meantime, burning room. Burglar Benjamin thrashing at the window: Help. Forbidden action. Help. One shouldn’t become a social democrat that way. Wailing: a police trap, to let decent people burn in a fire. Help, help. Fire department comes. Help. Water sprays him. From the frying pan into the fire. He can even jump right now into the river. Drowns.

When the half-decayed corpse was pulled from the water, the doctor, still drunk, began to make bad jokes. Dr. Bryller vomited.

All talking, thinking, writing is useless; a corpse pulled from the water, lying dead in front of you, ruins everything written with its terrible distortion. See how the face and the hands are rigid as though clamped in iron! As though they are screaming to get out of themselves!

VI. Lunatic asylum scene: the insane red-haired sister of Martin Müller (Maria).

"The earth is getting dark", said Maria, the insane red-haired sister of Martin Müller. (She loves her brother). She strokes little Kohn, but says: "I can love only saints". All around were the melodies of the evening, which conceal everything as with a silk veil: the green trees, the longing earth, the bench with the red-haired girl and the little humpback.

In the lunatic asylum: one inmate, a lady with hair already rather gray, said: "If one stops here too long, one stays."--A modern writer who imagines he is there only to study the milieu, but who has, in reality, a softening of the brain, etc.

VII. Kohn's first lover (on Laaks' order): Hysterical person, the bugs really crept around in the kitchen.

VIII. The end of Dr. Bryller.

IX. Schulz the writer and Kitty the cocotte.

(Kitty said "Not so loud" as Schulz was telling her about God.)

X. Lecture of the scholar Neumann:

Sensation: A barely sixteen year old scholar named Neumann speaks about maternity regulations and the bringing up of children--it doesn't seem to him the place to talk about fallen girls--women have understood that it is right and proper to stay where they belong--the misery of prostitution--posed gestures. Voice. Raise the eyebrows. I must express myself in extremes. I must decidedly condemn zionism as a special variety of prostitution. Maternity regulations: The mother must be protected against her children (new sensational concept), a lady said.--She, a German specialist, contributed to the debate: "In the place where you have left your faith, there you must fetch it".

XI. Kohn’s second lover: Teenager (in one hand she had an illustrated astronomy text).

He loved her in this way: He frequently made a note if she said something funny to use it later (literarily). But in a cafe on a pond--everywhere it was already evening, and haze hung like veil on the trees and tables and waiters--he took out his notebook from the torn inside pocket of his overcoat and read to her quietly... She laughed and he laughed--more quietly and sadly. Each thought: This isn't the right thing... she thought further: he isn't thoughtful... he thought further: the poor thing, how distant she is from me... then they went rowing.

XII. Bar scene in Nuremberg: Kunstmayer.

They are all blissfully drunk and can hardly speak clearly anymore. Slurring, someone says: "Dede do dadä". – What are these brutish sleepers worth?--"See how the gaze of this worker is turned inward like an ox's eye ", said Paulus.

"The upper-crust ten thousand rule the world", grumbled the waiter bitterly; then he played a wild variation of "Sweetie, You Are the Apple of My Eye" on a mouth organ. From time to time, he beat against the edge of a table. He rubbed his hand clean on his sleeve or trouser leg.

Karl Kunstmayer, a revue performer down on his luck: I like to tell dirty jokes... a great guy, philosophically tip-top, but is too ideal-They were in a melancholy mood. Kunstmayer sang quietly: "The girls like this so much".

XIII. Drowning in the sea.

I am afraid that the girl has also drowned. My rival had an accident at sea (drowned). "It is vulgar that you can at most only make a poem about this, or suddenly find the ending for a story", yelled the dead Kohn. While they walked along, they found white newspaper flyers about the event everywhere.--"That is a brutality", said another. "This is the correct expression".--"Finally!" sighed another, relieved. Kohn yelled: "But I don't want to have an ending for a story. That is vulgar. I'm losing my mind. I want to inflame you. I want to torment you, not satisfy you. You must moan and wail. You must dissolve in pain." The dead Kohn was not noticed.

Detective Daniel

A thunderstorm was making a racket. The detective Daniel woke with a start from his sleep. He said: "Damned disturbance of the peace". There was an agitated knock on the door. The dancer Lola Lalà came in.

"There are much too few burglars", detective Daniel said. "There are fewer murderers than you think", Daniel said, calming the anxious woman.

Max Mechenmal

He took the young thing, after he had first inquired about her age, having in mind only erotic things, planning to speak words of love to her and privately making fun of it; in other words, he is a downright bad fellow. Somewhat proud of knowing just how bad a character he was, he calmed himself down and decided to rape the girl.

Berthold Bryller

"Kuno Kohn is the same in green as pupil Else Lasker is in blue", Bryller said.

If he wanted to get rid of a girl, he told her in a wonderfully touching way about his syphilis, presenting himself as a martyr who is making a sacrifice for the sake of her health. Most girls, crying, took him for an important and very noble man. Only one asked impudently one time why he didn't say that before.

Contrast between the devil-may-care skillful nihilism of Bryller and the pure despair of Paulus.

Senior teacher Laaks

I have longing, love and who knows what else for her.--Funny things could happen.

Lola Lalà

She boasted about her now-and-then and piece-wise virginity.

She said: as already mentioned, I am visibly frightened.--I find this silly, with good reason.--These really short lines.--He loves me only erotically.--In fact, I always lie.--He was very fond of me.--As is well known, every dancer has a friend.--


The Prose of Alfred Lichtenstein - 12/12

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