Deutsches Haus at NYU convenes a conversation on the circumstances that led to the publication of Tucholsky’s first novella, "Rheinsberg: A Storybook for Lovers."


On Tuesday, May 13, at 7 p.m., Deutsches Haus at NYU presents a reading of Kurt Tucholsky’s Rheinsberg: A Storybook for Lovers by Jack Wetherall and a conversation on the circumstances that led to the publication of Tucholsky’s first novella -- with Berlinica publisher Eva Schweitzer, and Noah Isenberg, Professor of Culture and Media at the New School for Liberal Arts. (Deutsches Haus is located at 42 Washington Mews, near University Place, New York, N.Y.)

One summer before World War I, a young couple escapes the daily drudgery of their life in Berlin for a romantic weekend getaway to the small German town of Rheinsberg. They spend three days in the midst of a rural landscape filled with country houses and castles, cobblestone streets, lush forests, and dreamy lakes. The story of Wolfie and Claire told with a fresh, new style of ironic humor, became Kurt Tucholsky’s first literary success and gave an entire generation a new blueprint for love.

Kurt Tucholsky was one of the most renowned journalists and satirists of the Weimar Republic and a pacifist who sounded an early warning against the growing threat of National Socialism. He was also a poet, a lyricist, and a lady’s man. Rheinsberg, originally published in 1912, was his first novella. As a way of improving sales of the novella, Kurt Tucholsky, together with his friend Kurt Szafranski openend a “Bücherbar” (book bar) on the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin, where the lucky buyers of Rheinsberg: A Storybook for Lovers also received a free shot of schnapps. Not breaking with tradition, Deutsches Haus at NYU will stage a reenactment of this historic precedent.

Eva Claudia Schweitzer is a journalist, book author, and publisher, bridging the German- American cultural sphere. She attended the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, earned an MA in German Literature, Journalism, and American Cultural History at the Free University in Berlin, and completed her Ph.D. at Humboldt University in Berlin. Originally based in Berlin, she now divides her time between Berlin and New York City. Her newest venture is Berlinica Publishing LLC, a New-York-based publishing company devoted to all things Berlin.

Noah Isenberg directs Screen Studies at Eugene Lang College-The New School for Liberal Arts, where he is Professor and Chair of Culture and Media and holds a joint appointment in the Committee on Liberal Studies at the New School for Social Research. His books include Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins (University of California Press, 2014), Detour (British Film Institute, 2008), Weimar Cinema: An Essential Guide to Classic Films of the Era (Columbia University Press, 2009), and Between Redemption and Doom: The Strains of German-Jewish Modernism (University of Nebraska Press, 1999). He is currently at work on a new book, Everybody Comes to Rick’s: How ‘Casablanca’ Taught Us to Love Movies, to be published by W.W. Norton. Over the years, his writing has appeared in such diverse venues as Bookforum, the TLS, Film Comment, The Nation, The Criterion Collection, Film Quarterly, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.

Jack Wetherall is a Canadian actor residing in New York City. Although best known for his supporting role as Vic Grassi on the television series Queer as Folk, he has been primarily associated with stage roles.

His roles at the Stratford Festival have included the title role in Henry V, Saturninus in Titus Andronicus, Konstantin in The Seagull, Orlando in As You Like It, Malcolm in Macbeth, Octavius in Julius Caesar, Ned in Ned and Jack, Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Ferdinand in The Tempest. He also played the title role in a Broadway production of The Elephant Man.

Events at Deutsches Haus are free of charge. If you would like to attend this event, please send us an email to Space at Deutsches Haus is limited; please arrive ten minutes prior to the event.

Revisiting Rheinsberg: Love Before the Great War is a DAAD-sponsored event.

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Robert Polner
Robert Polner
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