A Forum for and the Background of the Mediation of Dialogue in Ancient and Modern Academies

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Fragments of Love: Peter Stein and other Demons

As I was taking my regular evening walk, I realised I love Berlin. In Gendarmenmarkt various concerts take place since Thursday, this evening is devoted to swing. And so I circled the beautiful square for a couple of times as the tickets are not inexpensive.

I love Berlin; to come to think of it, without having fallen in love with the city. There was no spell. I just loved Berlin from the first encounter. What was it? How did this happen? Did the seminar on "Nietzsche and the Greeks" initiate my sympathy or the very well-hidden chapel I discovered in the center of the city or the avant-garde corners that the capital has to offer in abundance?

I shall not gather any fragments or cherry-pick elements that aroused my interest, gradually increased my sympathy or provoked my fascination. But I shall provide one quite special and crucial reason for my love for Berlin: Peter Stein, the authority of German theater direction. Although I have experienced very good productions in Residence Theater (Munich), no direction stood out. In comparison to all these marvelous Strindbergs, Becketts and Ibsens, Peter Stein's excellent work transformed von Kleist's famous Lustspiel "Der zerbrochne Krug" into a theater feast. This summer he ventured a twelve-hour adaptation of Dostojewski's "Demons": www.welt.de/kultur/article7911323/Peter-Stein-und-seine-Zwoelf-Stunden-Daemonen.html
How do I wish the play would reach Berlin! Unfortunately it does not seem to be the case despite the fact that the Demons travelled all around the globe (Vienna, Amsterdam, Napoli, Ravenna, Athens and New York). On the 25th of August, the Berliner Ensemble will celebrate the premiere of Stein's Oedipus at Colonus.

How can I love this city? What do I love in this city?



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