The Wall Jumper

So I recently read Peter Schneider’s The Wall Jumper for a class on Berlin literature. I have never read something that captured the division of east and west in both geography and mentality so perfectly. No spoilers (you will have to read it yourself!) but I couldn’t resist sharing some of my favorite quotes:

“He realizes that only the plane’s shadow was free to move between the two parts of the city.”

“For the Germans in the West, the Wall became a mirror that told them, day by day, who was the fairest one of all.”

“The tenants of my building seldom meet; I only know them by their noises.”

“Having come to distrust the hastily adopted identity that both states offer him, he feels at home only at the border.”

“Why have we stayed on here in the shadow of walls, where every word, every thought resounds like the echo of something uttered long ago and in vain?”

“Where does a state end and a self begin?”

and now for my absolute favorite:

“It will take longer to tear down the Wall in our heads than any wrecking company will need for the Wall we can see.”


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