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Excerpt from Florian Ilies’ book – Wonderzine

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Women no longer need men. This is alarming news for men in the late twenties. They are not needed to provide for themselves – now women can provide for themselves, at least in Berlin and other major cities they work in offices. “From nine to five they are addressed by” young ladies “. And after five the name returns to them “, as Masha Kaleko writes. In order to get from point A to point B, they also do not need men, because they drive their own cars, pose on the hoods and especially enjoy the wind on the road, when only a small dog is sitting nearby. Women also no longer need men for sex, because they perfectly fulfill their desires with girlfriends (or with themselves). When they do get together with a man, he realizes that the woman chose him just as he chose her, and she can finish the novel at any time, just like him. “Sleeping with him – yes, but without undue intimacy,” – said Kurt Tucholsky, an expert on modern women. He usually gives his mistresses male nicknames, as do Erich Maria Remarque and Erich Kestner – men try to participate in the game with sexual ambiguity, but they, of course, have no chance. Dandy women sit in bars on the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin, they smoke, they dance, they wear men’s suits with a tie, like Marlene Dietrich, and they write. Articles and feuilletons, witty and caustic, in the magazines Uhu, Die Dame, Querschnitt and in all the major newspapers of the Weimar Republic. But the most important thing is that women of the new generation write books in which something incomprehensible shimmers, and this is not a new morality and fantasy, this is a thirst for new experiences, and a man for the heroines of these authors – something like a side dish. Charlotte Wolff recounts how she and Dora Benjamin, Walter Benjamin’s first wife, went to the Verona Diele club in Schöneberg: “Lesbians often came to their establishments accompanied by men. But inside, these men immediately found themselves in the background, sitting at tables like poor relatives and just watching what was happening. ” Yes, sitting at a table and watching what is happening is a new role for a modern man, and it is a secondary role. The same is true in the literature. A new generation of women writers is creating a new generation of heroines: Irmgard Kane’s “Girl from Artificial Silk”, Masha Kaleko’s “Lyrical Transcripts”, Vicki Baum’s “People at the Hotel”, Ruth Landshof’s “Many and One”, Gabriela Tergit’s “Cheese Beer”. The same is true in the photo studio around the Kurfürstendamm, where a new visual language is being established: women deprived of the lustful male gaze, such as in black-and-white photographs by Marianne Breslauer, photographs by Annemarie Schwarzenbach, Frida Riess and Lotta Jacobi. Or in the paintings of Lotta Lazerstein, who studied the body of her friend Trout Rose, finding new angles and not losing the freshness of the look. Women described and seen by women. An aesthetic revolution based on courage and femininity. Everything else is thrown off the ship of history, as Ruth Landshof gets rid of the unnecessary letter h in writing her name Ruth, on the covers of her books her name is now slimmer – Rut. Marlene Dietrich and Margot Lyon become icons of new thinking, singing the life-giving power of lesbian love in the show “Something is floating in the air.” In it, two women buy underwear together and sing: “When a best friend with a best friend.” When a best friend is with a best friend, they no longer need men.

cover: Color by Klimbim

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