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Bricks and Mortar

by Clemens Meyer

Prepare yourself for a long haul ride. Bricks and Mortar takes you on a journey through the story of the sex trade of old East Germany from the late 80s to the present. Many different voices tell this story in their own unique way and there's no plot to speak of, more of a recurring theme. The story of the sex trade gives an interesting perspective to the social and economic history of the former GDR.

Extract

That the markets and the marketplaces are becoming more linked, steel and concrete town halls, the meat markets expanding, the bricks and mortar, sticks and stones, the rock growing, in a red-lit circle where everything’s linked, the rubbish truck, the fat woman, the Coke, the Viagras, the blockers, uppers and downers, lost cats, the right to sexual self-determination, scraps of memory like old police badges, the Angels on their motorbikes, peat mosses, flyovers, sixty-six municipal brothels in 1865, trade chronicles, he burrows in the old files, real estate on silver strings leading all the way to Italy, and the fall of the real-estate boss Silvio Lübbke, three bullets, boom, boom, Dead Peppers Alley, houses for pocket money, clues, clues, the country air so clean and pure, soon they’ll be building here but we’ll stop the diggers, the question is, who brings three bodies out to this mire, the swamped puddle, where everyone knows they won’t decompose, when you can dig holes in the sandy ground of the heath or drive out to the forest lakes like the ‘Blue Eye’, and there must be anglers there who discover the remotest of lakes, the woods arching around the north-eastern belt of the suburbs and incorporated villages to the south, all of if as flat as a pancake.
Translated by Katy Derbyshire

Parallels

Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney
Visions of Cody by Jack Kerouac
Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr.
 

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