The Essay Writers (Die Essayisten)


St. Clou, 25th June 1721

…I received a long letter from the postmaster of Bern, Fischer von Reichenbach, with the newspapers, but his style is quite foreign to me. I don’t understand the words it contains. For example, „We take the liberty of charging the postage recently introduced by His Royal Highness‘ general postal authorities on all international sendings.“ That’s some writing if you ask me, I can’t understand a word of it, it makes me quite impatient. Is it possible, dear Louise, that our good, honest Germans have gone so crazy as to completely ruin their language, so that no one can understand it any more?

Liselotte von der Pfalz

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The Red Marking Pen Scissors (Die Rotstift-Schere)


The battles which Heine[1] and Börne[2] had to fight against censorship were battles against the red marking pen. The censor crossed out. The battles which film has to fight against censorship are battles against the scissors. The censor cuts. We don’t have freedom of the press, if one asks, “Free from what?” But we do have a sort of freedom of book publication.

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No, I won’t eat my greens! (Nein, meine Suppe eß ich nicht!)


Whenever one turns a corner in England, it looks different from how one expected, and that’s how it is with the old district around Shepherd’s Market, just behind Piccadilly. One can best recognize that it belongs there by the fact that it doesn’t fit in at all. And there is an already half-demolished house, with something black on top of it, like a roof tarpaulin. The whole thing makes a sad impression, and there are curtains behind some of the windows, so it is occupied. Still occupied downstairs and already demolished upstairs? What is that all about? It’s about a stubborn-headed man.

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