The Second Berlin International Literature Festival

September 2002

Most readings and events took place at the Berliner Ensemble where, behind the statue of Brecht and the wall of poster-poems, the hospitality tent was effective enough to leave Lee Mellor and Alistair Noon apparently possessed by gnomes. One reading, by Anne Waldman and Forrest Gander, took place in a Mall, after which Eliot Weinberger entertained Beatrice Fassbender with a light show. "Stop" and "Go" signs were different in old East Berlin where, a little past Hegel, there were still traces from the last century. A shaft of sunlight in the Tiergarten caught my eye on the way to the Botanical Gardens, and my last hours were bracketed by Dave Cook getting Luther's joke, and the de(or re)construction of the Olympic Stadium.