Daniel Juckes reviews 'City of Exiles' by Stuart Braun

Daniel Juckes reviews 'City of Exiles' by Stuart Braun

City of Exiles: Berlin from the Outside In

by Stuart Braun

£18 pb, 304 pp, 9780994326805

Berlin is built on sand, says Stuart Braun in City of Exiles; it is 'never far away from darkness'. It is a city of tolerance, which exerts a psychic pull for anarchists, artists, and those who become Wahlberliners: 'the people who choose to live in Berlin.'

City of Exiles' own sandy foundations make it difficult to find anything solid to hold onto in the early chapters, where Braun is more historian than journalist. There is little narrative other than a kind of wading forwards through time, split with reflections on the city. Braun introduces a cavalcade of exiles and luminaries who hang around for a paragraph and then fall back into Berlin. This idea of names and faces surfacing and sinking runs through City of Exiles, both in the art Braun discusses and the anecdotes he relates. It is an 'image montage' that can suffocate.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Published in November 2015, no. 376
Daniel Juckes

Daniel Juckes

Daniel Juckes is a writer and academic from Perth, Western Australia. He works at Curtin University, and his research and writing interests include the poetics of prose and the representation of the past. His writing has been published in journals such as Axon, M/C Journal, TEXT, Westerly, and Life Writing.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.