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Berlin Noir (Akashic Noir)

Berlin Noir (Akashic Noir)

Author(s): Thomas Wortche

Location(s): Berlin

Genre(s): Noir

Era(s): Variouss

Berlin’s noir tradition is fueled by history, geography, and various literary traditions, all of which add up to a powerful volume of riveting short stories. Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city. Brand-new stories by: Zoe Beck, Ulrich Woelk, Susanne Saygin, Robert Rescue, Johannes Groschupf, Ute Cohen, Katja Bohnet, Matthias Wittekindt, Kai Hensel, Miron Zownir, Max Annas, Michael Wuliger, and Rob Alef. Translated from German by Lucy Jones. From the introduction by Thomas Wortche: Berlin does not make it easy to write noir fiction – or perhaps Berlin makes it too easy. Noir’s tradition casts a long, influential, and even daunting shadow. Alfred Doblin and Christopher Isherwood’s works, some of Bertolt Brecht’s plays, the Morgue poems by Gottfried Benn, M by Fritz Lang, and many other narratives from the first third of the twentieth century, all of which are tinged with noir, set high intellectual standards, and literary and aesthetic benchmarks that are hard to surpass… In the proud tradition outlined above, this legacy is continued in Berlin Noir: neither Doblin nor Benn, Brecht nor Lang, for example, catered to any crime fiction traditions. They merely steeped their literary projects in a great deal of noir. And so it is with most of the stories in our anthology: they do not necessarily follow the usual patterns of crime fiction, but regard noir as a license to write as they wish, a certain way of approaching the city, and a prism through which its nature is viewed… What’s left is history. It is omnipresent in Berlin at every turn; the city is saturated in a history full of blood, violence, and death.’

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