Carey Harrison will be reading from his new novel How to Push Through (Dr. Cicero Books, published in September 2016)
From Expat to Wahlberliner: Berlin as a Place of Work for English-Language Writers
This series of readings in English, presented by the Literary Salon Britta Gansebohm, constitutes a bridge between the English-language and German literary scene in Berlin. The concept of a reading in a setting reminiscent of a spacious and comfortable living room where all are welcome, with the ensuing discussion also including the audience, was an absolutely new idea in May 1995 when Der Literarische Salon was established. This openness is being expanded through the series “From Expat to Wahlberliner.” The target audience of this series comprises Berliners who hail from a wide variety of countries but speak English and little or no German. The series seeks to make a contribution to international understanding and successful coexistence in Berlin by having resident authors present their colleagues to the public. In one instance the pairing is a reciprocal one: The L.A. writer and Berliner-by-choice Kevin McAleer will be moderating the reading of novelist/playwright Carey Harrison, and on another evening Kevin’s presentation of his mock-epic poem on the life of movie star Errol Flynn will be moderated by Mr. Harrison, whose parents were the actors Lilli Palmer and Rex Harrison and through whom Mr. Harrison, this scion of Hollywood’s Golden Age, once encountered the subject of Kevin’s book-length poem. It is through Lilli Palmer that Carey Harrison also has a special relationship to Berlin, his mother having spent her youth in the city before fleeing from the Nazis to Paris and eventually London. The discussions which follow the readings will treat of such questions as: What impact does life in the German capital have on an author’s writing? Does life in Berlin help to idealize or deflate an author’s view of their homeland? How do expats experience this city along with its inhabitants and Germany in general? What makes Berlin such a special place for writers? How has the city changed for the expats since their arrival? What is their relationship to the German language? Can language also be a kind of homeland? How do Berliners-by-choice define the very word “homeland”?
How to Push Through
This is the final book in a novel quartet called The Heart Beneath, which Carey Harrison worked on for 48 years. He published other novels during that span, but this tetralogy is really his life’s work. It begins with the rescue of a “wild child,” a Waldmensch or Wolfskind, from the forests of Soviet-occupied East Germany in 1947, where the boy, Egon, has lived alone for more than three years. His father was executed following the 1944 assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler and his mother was sent away to her death in the final throes of the war – though not before hiding her son in the woods. Egon is now seven years old and no longer speaks. The tetralogy follows his rehabilitation into society and his return to the wilderness as a teenager in Britain so as to try and recapture his missing childhood. England and Germany are the twin poles of the tale, and the final book of the tetralogy, How to Push Through, is narrated by four women. They include a girl with whom Egon falls in love, and the elderly German psychoanalyst who brings them together. The girl has grown up in a family full of secrets, and her violent teenage years, in reaction to these secrets, lead her to the psychoanalyst and to Egon. The novel quartet is a love story of two people divorced not only from society but separated by national, social and psychological issues.
This series is sponsored by the Senate of Berlin (Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa). Conceptual assistance and the series title from Julia Eve Föll.
The story of voices, inspired by the Literary Salon, cultural place in Berlin, is a compilation of sound clips from artists, authors and contributors working with and for the Salon. This original story was created collaboratively, sentence by sentence from each participating member. To achieve the feel of a circular story, Britta Gansebohm, the found and director, began and ended the story with a sentence. The voices present in the videoclip are from authors Gernot Wolfram, Kevin McAleer (USA) ,Helmut Kuhn, Liv Larsson (Sweden), and singers Boris Steinberg and Corinne Douarre (France) as well as from several international students from the Macromedia University.
This is a Macromedia project
by Julie Zemanek and Veronika Gajer
Background: The first literary Salon entailed a circular gathering where Britta Gansebohm started with a sentence and each guest was asked to create a sentence so as to create a collaborative story. This video was influenced and inspired by the first event in the Literary Salon in May 1995.
Moderation: Kevin McAleer Der Literarische Salon Britta Gansebohm in der Z-BAR
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