19 March 2018

Book Review: Nazi Literature in the Americas by Roberto Bolaño

It has been 6 years since I have last read a book by Roberto Bolaño. Ever since I have picked up 2666 in New York City in 2010, I have been fascinated by his writing style. And I am glad that this style that I have come to be fond of is repeated in this current book.

See, this is a novel, but it is stretching its definition quite a bit. Perhaps, it is more appropriate to be called an encyclopedia of an alternative reality. As the title implies, this book is less of a novel with a proper narrative and plot, but more a compendium or encyclopedia of Nazi writers from the Americas and their works. In other words, it is a summary of the pathetic writings of pathetic people with pathetic worldviews.

Bolaño doesn't pull punches here. Every "author" in this compendium is not someone the reader would like. They all end up somehow mentally unstable, weird, psychologically imbalanced, or otherwise someone you would not want to hang out with. And yes, they have right wing Nazi and Fascist views, though it is obvious that their views don't hold water. Bolaño makes it obvious for you.

17 March 2018

Lübeck Weekend: TheaterFigurenMuseum Lübeck

One of the most memorable places we checked out while we were in Lübeck was the Lübeck Museum of Theatre Puppets. It is a museum housing the immense collection of Fritz Fey, who has been collecting numerous items involved in puppetry from Germany and around the world. This museum was not only educational, but also entertaining, and it kept us busy for several hours I must say.

15 March 2018


A few weeks ago, I found myself back in the English Theatre Berlin. I haven't been here in a while, and this time, I decided to come back to see a performance of Nassim, a new play by Nassim Soleimanpour. In the past, I have seen White Rabbit Red Rabbit, and was rather impressed. So I figured I'd watch this one as well.

13 March 2018

Lübeck Weekend

Sometime back in November, we headed to Lübeck for a weekend. Lübeck is a city in the north of Germany, famous for its marzipan. Well, we wanted to escape Berlin for a short while, so we took the train to visit this Hanseatic city in the north for the weekend.

11 March 2018

Book Review: Couchsurfing in Russland by Stephan Orth

It's been a while since I have hosted a Couchsurfer, or surfed someone's couch. Perhaps it is because I have this impression that the quality of surfers have changed in the last few years, or that I value my personal privacy more now, not only at home but also on the road. Anyway, I still find the idea interesting, and so when the sequel to Couchsurfing im Iran came out, I decided to pick it up. This time, Stephan travels to Russia and spends 10 weeks on the road.

Starting in Moscow, the author travels all across Russia, using various modes of transportation, from busses to trains, to aeroplanes and even a horse. And all throughout his trip, he relies on strangers to provide him accommodation. As the author remarked, doing so provides a direct access to the national sentiment, as one is directly interacting with locals as opposed to travelling in a bubble. However, this mode of travel also means that you're under the whim of your host. As much as I don't mind this sometimes, there are also times in which I just want to be alone, and therefore I don't do this as my primary style of travel.