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Thursday, 23 April 2020

APROPOS OF NOTHING #6 - 23 APRIL 1922 - JOSEPH ROTH ON THE BERLIN OVER-GROUND

Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping, the golden age of Hollywood (esp westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 

joecushnan@aol.com & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. 


This is a series of very, very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.


Apropos of Nothing #6 – 23 April 1922

The Austrian writer Joseph Roth found Berlin's public transport system a never-ending source of fascination and conjecture.  In 1922 he wrote about his observations and thoughts while riding on the S-Bahn - Stadbahn - the over-ground railway.

‘I have come to know one or two apartments near certain stations really quite well.  It’s as if I’d often been to visit there, and I have the feeling I know how the people who live there talk and move.  They all have a certain amount of noise in their souls from the constant din of passing trains, and they’re quite incurious because they’ve gotten used to the fact that every minute countless other lives will glide by them, leaving no trace.”


Joseph Roth


Sources: What I Saw: Reports from Berlin, 1920 - 23;
The Traveller’s Handbook/Fergus Fleming/Atlantic Books/2012 

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