Doors with no handles

I’m a few dozen pages into China Miéville’s The City & The City, too early to comprehend the nature of its world, but the story’s allusions reminded me of this letter from the London Review of Books I read last week:

Reading Neal Ascherson’s account of Moresnet-neutre reminded me of another quirk of European geography (LRB, 22 March). The border between East and West Berlin followed the pre-existing municipal boundaries, but this line was quite irregular and when the Wall was built it cut a few corners. I remember seeing, in West Berlin in the mid-1980s, a collection of Gruftis and Autonomen — goths and anarchist punks — who had set up camp on a triangle of land about fifty yards on each side, hard up against the Wall, where they were playing very loud music and smoking spliffs without any interference from the West Berlin authorities. This was because the campers were on what was technically East German territory. I also saw some doors, with no handles on the Western side, set into the Wall where it ran alongside this triangle, and I was told, although I didn’t see it myself, that every so often the Volkspolizei would come through the doors, drag the Gruftis and Autonomen into the East, rough them up and throw them back out.

Nick Wray

That sounds so like speculative fiction, rather than a description of the recent past.

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10 Apr 2012 at Twitter

  • 9:08pm: @phl 'Damsels in Distress'…
  • 7:15pm: Having read 40 reviews of the same movie over recent months I can only say: we don’t need this many film reviewers.
  • 6:21pm: @infovore I really resisted switching from Safari because there were lots of things I liked. I am now equally attached to Chrome.
  • 5:57pm: @spaceboy Yes you’re only allowed to smoke toddlers in the open air these days. A shame in a way, but the smell did linger in one’s clothes.
  • 3:52pm: “We could run a cable across the bunting…”
  • 2:57pm: @revdancatt Ooh, me too! My current one’s been going way too long. I’m nervous.
  • 12:48pm: @antimega Ha, I nearly typed “peril sensitive”.
  • 12:48pm: @antimega Ah, assuming I’d want my sunglasses to be opaque. Still, maybe, one day.
  • 12:45pm: @antimega Ooh I really want prescription glasses that change to sunglasses at a touch. Rather than photochromatic lenses. This looks closer…
  • 12:20pm: @antimega Fad Café.

10 Apr 2012 in Links

Music listened to most that week

  1. The Cure (17)
  2. This Many Boyfriends (12)
  3. Young Knives (11)
  4. Massive Attack (6)
  5. Tortoise (6)
  6. Blawan (5)
  7. Brian Eno (5)
  8. Prince Buster (5)
  9. Laurel Aitken (3)
  10. Radiohead (3)

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