The Ornithology of Revolution
The use of words is infallibly the key to the practices of politics, and in revolutionary times existing vocabularies often fall short of the new demands on meaning, sentiment, suggestiveness. Someone, in the heat of a political polemic, made a devilishly outrageous pun. Western Social Democrats had met regularly with the East Germany Communists to work out "common positions". Ten years ago it was something of a cause celebre when Erich Loest was excommunicated. His expulsion from the Leipzig Writers Union effectively ended his career in the East, and he spent the next decade living and writing in Bonn. The underground archives had, in part, been looted, hidden away, leaked to blackmailers, and some were in danger of being officially destroyed. Evidently the black market here, as everywhere, gets to play its proper role in economic distribution. He accepted and paid them off, into their little white manicured hands, a couple of large bank notes, West.