Käsebier Takes Berlin

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KÄSEBIER TAKES BERLIN
by Gabriele Tergit
translated by Sophie Duvernoy
published by The New York Review of Books

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In Berlin, 1930, the name Käsebier 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 Käsebier; Muschler the banker builds a theater in his honor; Willi Frächter, a parvenu writer, makes a mint off Käsebier-themed business ventures and books. All the while, the journalists who catapulted Käsebier to fame watch the monstrous media machine churn in amazement--and are aghast at the demons they have unleashed.

In Käsebier Takes Berlin, the journalist Gabriele Tergit penned 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.

- paperback: 336 pages
- product dimensions: 127 x 201 mm
- ISBN: 9781681372723