Wednesday 23 August 2017

How love for Berlin and a tale from Belfast led to the creation of my take on Rebus

A long fascination with Berlin and lifetime of stories from journalism find a novel outlet for Henry McDonald

Karl Marx
Karl Marx

I first went to Berlin in 1981 as a callow young communist who went behind the Iron Curtain to work at an international youth camp during the summer of the Hunger Strike back home.

Four years later I returned, guiltily, to stay for a while in West Berlin, the lines of the Sex Pistols' Holidays in the Sun rattling around my brain, especially that lyric about tourists like myself back in 1981 enjoying a "cheap holiday in other people's misery".

Punk and Marxist-Leninism were pulling me in different directions like the two souls in Faust's breast.

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