Remuneration (Die Belohnung)


It’s not easy with authors:

if you don’t review their works at all, they are angry, if you criticize, them they are offended, and if you praise them, they don’t pay you for it. S. J.[1] told me that only one attempt was ever made to bribe him, and they offered him seventy-five marks. He often complained about that. Luckily, there are some exceptions, I once earned a hundred marks, and the name of the generous donor, Walter Mehring, is engraved in the drawer of my bed-side table.

Mehring Songworks A. G. Groß-Stötteritz

Propaganda X. B. 12543


Dear Sir,

in receipt of your valued review, we take the liberty of enclosing the token of our recognition, calculated as follows:

Epitheta ornantia[2]:

37                  medium                                                26        Mark

2                    earned                                                  0          Mark         35

115                exaggerated                                        50        Mark         65

Comparisons with Theobald Tiger   68        Mark         20

ditto George Grosz                             35        Mark         00

ditto Villjon                                          1          Mark         80

11                  Cries from the heart @ 0 Mark 50: 0         Mark         22


Total                                                     182      Mark         22

As, on the other hand, we were forced to acknowledge the absence of the terms ‘modern’, ‘immortal’, ‘fundamental’, and ‘skilfully’, the above total is reduced to 100 marks.

Please indicate your acceptance forthwith, to avoid consequences (jurisdiction District Court Berlin Mitte I).

Yours Faithfully,

Signed Arnolt Lax,

General Secretary

And enclosed was a brand old hundred mark note. From the inflation time (bitter): Thanks from the House of Habsburg!


[2] Words of praise

Author: Kurt Tucholsky

Published in: PantrTigerCo Tucholsky Panter, Tiger & Co.

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