Egon Erwin Kisch, the Raging Reporter
Publication Year: 1997
Published by: Purdue University Press
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Egon Erwin Kisch (1885-1948) had an extraordinary life, and he is credited with virtually defining reportage as a literary genre. His dazzling, adventure- filled career included combat in Serbia as a soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army in Word War I; leadership of an abortive left-wing coup d' etat in Vienna...
The Raging Reporter Introduced
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His friends and wife. called him "Egonek," a combination of his first name and the Czech diminutive suffix "-ek"; the rest of the world came to know him as "the raging reporter." He was Egon Erwin Kisch, born in 1885 in Prague, when that city of Czech and German cultures was one of the...
The Career of Egon Erwin Kisch
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Kisch was born in Prague when the Czech and Slovak lands were part of the Habsburg Empire and was a typical product of the ethnic and cultural heterogeneity of the empire. Like the majority of Czech Jews, his first language was German and his cultural identification was wholly German. He was...
A Dangerous Literary Genre
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Allow me to devote a few minutes to the sketch or reportage, that special form of literature that all bourgeois aesthetes hold in light regard.... These wild attacks on the part of the vestal virgins of bourgeois criticism are less the consequence of novelty than of the dangerousness of our genre. Let me introduce an example. Three months ago I was in Ceylon...
Germans and Czechs
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[...] The Prager Tagblatt was indeed a commercial Undertaking. Founded by the Huguenot Mercy family as an exclusively advertising paper, it gradually added editorial sections, which as a result of its monopoly of want ads Gobs, swaps, secondhand sales, and marriage proposals) it could expand with the considerable means now at its disposal. Still, the greatest amount of space in...
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Once there was a little freckle-faced office girl from the small town of Podiebrad who came for a weekend to Prague in order to enjoy herself away from the ever-watchful eyes of the inhabitants of her hometown. She found the kind of entertainment she was looking for at the Hippodrome, a riding academy that every evening turned into a nightclub of...
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I was reminded in the most curious way of an article I wrote-or, better said, tried to write-in my youth, thirty years later. In the year 1933, German writers who had left their country after it fell to the Nazis as booty founded in Paris a cultural center of the antifascist emigration. They called it the Schutzverband Deutscher Schriftsteller the...
The Chief of the Prague Detectives
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"Old Lederer," the chief of the Prague police detectives, filled out his pension application in the security department on 30 March 1909, delivered it today, and from tomorrow on will no longer accept any assignments. For the first time in thirty eight years (except for periods of illness that he had to endure..
Scenes from Dives
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She fled her mad pursuer from the back alleys of the Old Town into the flood of light, into the Ferdinandstrasse, which she usually never dared enter in the middle of the night Here she thought she was safe from her jealous lover's attacks of rage. But hardly had she set foot within the orbit of the incandescent...
On Pubs and their Guests
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In cheap nightclubs you often come across people who do not earn "honorable" , bourgeois livelihoods but nevertheless do not earn their money in some dishonest way. People born with some talent who aren't suited for the track of ordinary life. So they derail themselves, and the course of their lives runs along side roads. But just imagine that in some peaceful street you suddenly...
Episodes from the Serbian Front 1914
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The day before yesterday I wrote as far as the word "flank." I covered the largest part during the halts in the march; the last sentences I tried to write shorthand on the front line. The men around me fixed their gazes on the near ground; I looked there too, nervously wincing after I wrote each word,
Preface to Classical Journalism
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To anyone who has for years been preoccupied with theoretical questions concerning the nature of journalism, above all with the newspaper as the advocate of new intellectual directions and with inquiries into the energy and duration of the journalistic filtering process, the commission of this publisher,...
The Case of the Chief of the General Staff Redl
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In the year before the outbreak of the World War the compulsory suicide of Colonel Alfred Redl, the chief of the General Staff of the Prague Corps, and the leaking soon after of his espionage activity caused an unprecedented stir, which was well founded politically in view of thetense European situation...
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My roommate Heinrich, whose forty duels and thirty-five saber matches have turned his face into a herringbone pattern, his scalp into mincemeat, and his body into the illustrated section of a textbook on surgery, scornfully shakes the aforesaid mincemeat when I stand at the 'sink with barechest. "It's unfathomable...
The Bombardment of Scutari and the Fire in the Bazaar, 11 May 1913
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The column of smoke, into which the column of fire had transformed itself today, is our destination. The steamer leaves the Montenegran shore and rolls through the mouth of the Rijeka River until the river bed widens immeasurably. We are in Lake Scutari. It is entirely covered with vegetation, with trees standing in water up to their crowns, with foliage plants that are flush with the surface, and with...
The Burglary and Murder in the Hotel Bristol
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All Vienna is floored by the sophistication of the burglary and murder in the Hotel Bristol. The police succeeded in determining ... Cold-'bloodedness, superb preparation down to the smallest detail ... I ask you. Emo Davit and Kurt Franke held rehearsals for a half a year. What was there to rehearse? The impact of the blows of a club and their effect...
Yiddish Literary Cafe
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The puritanically strict observance of the closing hourin London, the lack of continental-style coffeehouses, and perhaps also the isolated situation of the by no means untroubled British Isles may account for the fact that the network of the international coffeehouse boheme, which extends from the lily castle...
Vatican in the Sahara
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The most venerable and holy sharif and sheik Sidi EI Hadji .Ali ben Sidi EI Hadji Aissa, caliph of the monastic order of Tidjania, founded the monastery of Tamelaat more than a hundred years ago, and his name and title can be read on his tomb. This is a mausoleum the size of a cathedral. The stone vault soars at least twenty meters above the coffin; sculptured ornaments of stone and...
Runaways, Little Vagabonds, and a Small Poet
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Sometimes the heavy guns had to be spared, ammunition used frugally, food supplies now and then abandoned; strategic plans could backfire, tactical measures fail, but the tsar always had soldiers to send to the front against the Germans and Austrians-the human reserves were inexhaustible. (Did...
Working with Charlie Chaplin
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"Chaplin? We can stop in on him on the way, if you'd like." Of course I'd like; he is one of the righteous for whose sake America must be spared the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. Another of the righteous is the one who's asking me if we want to stop by Chaplin's place. His name is Upton Sinclair. We were then in a large Hollywood film production center where Sinclair had driven his Nash in order to pick up a film. For his wife. Sinclair was talking about her problems. She was filled with a constant, desperate fear of...
In the Afghan Jungle
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Everybody laughs when you tell them you'd like to hunt tigers. "There aren't any more. Tigers and tractors don't go together. Five years ago, it would have been a different story! But now ... " "That so? What about this skin here on the wall? And the tiger cubs...
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A man died by the executioner's hand. Blood gushed from his neck in a long, broad stream; life spurted up out of a man who had seemed dead beforehand. Unreal, his yellow face pale, he flitted this morning from the interior of the police car, his hands handcuffed, his long, lanky body in a gray Chinese coat. His hips swaying, he glided along like a ghost in a churchyard wind...
Chance Visit with Eunuchs
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It was one of those summer strolls inthe vicinity of Peking that have nothing at all to do with Peking and its vicinity. Our brain was crammed with impressions, our eyes overexposed. Here was a pagoda, fourteen stories high; the roofs floated in the ether like fourteen malachite-green parallel waves...
In the Dungeons of Spandau
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In the evening the Reichstag burned, and the next morning I was arrested. I had moved into the room on the Motzstrasse just four weeks before, on the day, to be exact, when power over Germany passed to Herr Hitler from Hindenburg, that same Hindenburg whom the Social Democrats had clamorously...
Ex Odio Fidei [Out of Religious Hatred]
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This much is certain: the boy Simon Abeles lies buried in the Teinkirche. If you enter the church from the street through the main door, you find in the right nave, beneath the choir, the brown grave slab of some citizen set in the ground. The sexton insists that that is the exact resting place of the copper....
Journey to the Antipodes
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Aking has been murdered. Alexander II of Serbia,who had come on a visit to France the day before yesterday, was shot on his entry into Marseilles. And not just he. The French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Barthou, who was sitting in the car next to he king, was also killed. The assassin was cut down on the spot. A Czech...
Soldiers on the Seashore
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The usual picture of a hospital is of a long, barracks-like, unadorned, dreary kind of building, something suitable as a temporary refuge for poor people who are not only poor but also sick, hence twice burdened. But once we mention that a Spanish coastal town has become....
An Indian Village under the Star of David
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The night was pitch dark and on the cool side when I got up this morning at seven sharp in order to be in Venta Prieta. I had already heard something about this village and its Jewish inhabitants in Mexico City, but I had no idea where it was and had also forgotten its name. Then the day before yesterday I happened to be riding toward...
A Deed of Collective Optimism
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"A German performance in Mexico, eight hundred spectators in the auditorium, twenty'-six performers and singers onstage, to say nothing of the stage painters, costume designers, and technical personnel ... It was not only the display of the intellectually interested and not just a brilliant new performance by the...
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Page Count: 392
Publication Year: 1997