With the launch party of Noel Maurice’s The Berlin Diaries, his memoir of his first year in Berlin in 1991, we decided to shoot a few questions at our very own Noel Maurice:
ib: What is the first word, the first association, that you think of if someone says the word Tacheles?
NM: Possibility, dirty, tired, hopeful, hopeless, lost, I need a beer – those are the words that come to me first.
ib: what is your deepest regret about coming to Berlin?
Not coming earlier. Would have loved to have been here to see West Berlin when it was still an enclave…and to be there the night the wall came down. That must have been amazing. Other than that, I wish I had used the possibilities the city gave me more than I did…I didn’t understand that the magic that was the early nineties would change. I thought it would always stay like that. I was naïve.
ib: What do you think your old frieds from that time will think about the book?
NM: Hm. I can’t help thinking that many people will think, I don’t remember it like that, or I don’t remember that situation like that…because memory is so subjective, and everyone experiences things in their own way, with the backdrop of their own set of past experiences, and everyone remembers things and situations in their own way. I’d like to sit down with a lot of people from that time and just talk about those days. Not as in glory days or war stories, but to find out what it meant to them, and how those years affected their later life.
I’m a little uncomfortable about the sex scenes
ib: Is there someone you don’t want to read it?
NM: Apart from my mum? J There’s a couple of people who perhaps don’t come out of it so well. I’m a little uncomfortable about them reading it. I’m a little uncomfortable about the sex scenes I wrote about, even though I changed the names, if they recognise themselves and are pissed off with me for writing about the intimacy we shared…I suppose those are the main ones.
ib: is there a secret about your beginnings in Berlin that you haven’t told / confessed to anybody yet?
NM: If there is, it’s staying one!
Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it
We all have our secrets, we all have something or other that we probably never tell or admit to anyone…everybody should have their secrets, I think it’s healthy. But to quote a couple of people more imaginative and intelligent than myself:
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” – CG Jung
And lastly, from Mr James Joyce: “Secrets, silent, stony sit in the dark palaces of both our hearts: secrets weary of their tyranny: tyrants willing to be dethroned.”
The launch party for Noel Maurice’s The Berlin Diaries Vol I is at Posh Teckel on Pflügerstrasse in Kreuzberg on Friday 5.12. with readings from Noel and Polly Trope, indieberlin’s literary editor, as well as DJing by John Robb. Signed books are available to buy for 12 Euros.
…That’s all folks!
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.