This season's Threepenny Review is a great read, especially for fans of Berlin.
Wendy Lesser walks us through the Alte Nationalgalerie installation of Gerhard Richter's October 18, 1977. This cycle of fifteen monochromatic paintings is named for the day on which three members of an imprisoned left-wing terrorist group were found dead in their jail cells.
Paired with this is an insane essay from 1930 called The Season by Gottfried Benn. The Season is probably the angriest thing I've ever read. It reminds me of what Ian Frazier wrote about Veronica Geng, "Her writing was the purest satire, in the sense that its preferred outcome would be for its object to fall down dead."
Here is a single sentence, on the topic of college professors:
There he stands, the narrow little man- and animal-head, thinking, whiffling, woolgathering- it doesn't occur to anyone that the medieval luminaries were no members of learned societes, no massed ranks of professors, no suppliers of factory secrets, actually no scientists at all, but unpaid daimons: "rather sleep on oxhides than on dignity and respect," while all this here, fully a hundred years from the last echt intellectual breakthrough, pampered by a century of liberalism and ease; with instruments, formulas, textbooks that it has inherited or purchased, following recipes that it carries on gurgitating and regurgitating, its casuistical underpinning vital at most for an exam candidate, inflated into a philosophy of life, swilled with the help of press and photographers into the color magazines and soigne' evening classes to persuade a wider public ("tomorrow a ventriloquist, the day after the tomato gospel") of its relevance; a bureaucracy of research scientists assorted by paygrade, an international civilization guild with full pension rights, that could perfectly well be replaced en bloc by an equal number of grad students and an equal number of hemorrhoids.
(translated by Michael Hofman)