One should really write down what the people say. Naturalism can’t get near it. It is true that the authors of some plays do do their best to copy real life, but always with the necessary epic contraction, as Fontane called it, when he found it lacking in Raabe; always slightly stylized, tailored to the needs of the book. But that’s not what I mean.
Sometimes, in fine hotels, the little pages run through the velvet-hung rooms shouting in a high voice, “President Eisenstein! President Eisenstein!“ until some stout gentleman with narrow-rimmed glasses hurriedly rises and scurries behind the page to the telephone… That’s how the world is. And every time, I ask myself, „How does one get to be a company president?”
„Herr Panter, we heard such a wonderful joke yesterday. We really must… I really must tell it to you. My husband already knew it, but it is just too funny. Alright then, listen.
At the first approach of the flu, which is recognizable by a slight itch in the nose, contractions in the feet, a bit of a cough, shortage of funds, and an unwillingness to go to work in the morning, gurgle with a little pounded cocaine and half a drop of iodine. The flu will then take hold.
“My God, why can’t that the woman keep still! Some women fall asleep in the position you lay them down, and then they sleep there! Will you keep still! You still won’t keep still if I switch the light off. But OK, I’ll switch it off.
1910-1932. Walden Herwarth
No texts from this periodical have yet been translated.
1911-1932. Editor Franz Pfemfert