If novelist and critic Gabriel Josipovici has, for much of his career, written from the literary margin, it is because he has deliberately positioned himself as an anathema to the English establishment. He has pledged himself with monomaniacal devotion to arguing the cause of modernism, a form he would have us all recognize as the only viable mode of aesthetic expression.
The Berlin U-Bahn, like the New York subway, is a surprisingly easy place to feel alone. People avoid eye contact in the crush, and the German announcer’s voice has a lilting softness at odds with the language’s guttural reputation. For the year I lived in Berlin, the U-Bahn was where I spent time in my own head, easing into the day. It was unusual when, riding the U1 through Kreuzberg, my faux-solitude was interrupted by the onset of paranoia.