A Small Circus: A Novel
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Tredup, a shabby reporter working for the Pomeranian Chronicle, leads a precarious existence . . . until he takes some photographs that offer him a chance to make a fortune.
While Tredup contemplates his next move, the town is buzzing. Farmers are plotting their revenge against greedy officials, a mysterious traveling salesman is stirring up trouble, and all the while, the Nazi party grows stronger as the Communists fight them in the street.
As the town slowly slips into chaos, Mayor “Fatty” Gareis does everything in his power to seek the easy life.
As tensions mount between workers and bosses, town and country, and Left and Right, alliances are broken, bribes are taken, and plots are hatched, until the tension spills over into violence.
From the brilliant mind of one of Germany’s most celebrated writers, A Small Circus is a genuine and frightening tale of small-town Germany during a time of unrest. It belongs in the collection of every reader who has enjoyed his break-out classics.
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the hell not! I know what Franz would say. It’s just as if he had written it. That our movement is irreproachable, that of course we’re not to blame if outsiders and madmen chuck bombs.’ ‘Right,’ say the farmers. ‘That’s exactly how it is,’ they say. ‘We’re opposed to violence. We condemn all acts of violence. We won’t besmirch our cause.’ ‘That’s good.’ ‘Franz is right.’ ‘And the more the government persecutes us, the more firmly we stick together. The bloody day in Altholm is unforgotten.
submissively. ‘With all demonstrations, two factors are to be kept in view at all times: the mood of the demonstrators, and the mood of the rest of the population. ‘In the present case, feeling in the farming community is running dangerously high. I call to mind the ox confiscation in Gramzow, the bomb in the president’s villa . . . ‘The danger is all the greater, as the farmers are no settled community, but something fluid and volatile. They have no written membership or leaders. ‘In the case
gamble, and he will go anywhere to sell space, and he addresses envelopes all evening, until deep into the night. Only, not all of it seems to help, and we have two little ones, and we’re just barely treading water.’ ‘But surely you must be doing a little bit better now that he’s got a thousand marks for the pictures?’ ‘A thousand marks? My Max? But, Your Worship, that can’t be right, because surely I’d know about it then. We’ve had no money in the house these past days, not until Wenk, who’s
thing to be,’ avers Gareis. ‘By the way, how’s the Holstein steer that won first prize at our agricultural show?’ Reimers smiles, he actually smiles. ‘We showed him at the great agricultural fair in Stettin, and he won the special prize from the Chamber of Agriculture.’ ‘Well, then,’ says Gareis. ‘By the way, our running into each other really is pure chance. I’m on my way to visit someone else, though, come to think of it, he may have some connection to you. One Tredup.’ ‘Tredup . . . ? The
‘I’m still confiscating it. Where are the reserves? I’ve sent Maurer for reserves.’ ‘Where are the rest of your men?’ ‘On the Burstah.’ ‘Wait, I’ll send a cyclist.—And I’d have thought if you want to get hold of the flag, you should be at the head of the column.—What happened to your sabre?’ Frerksen stands there. He has unbuckled his belt and is staring at his empty scabbard. ‘Where’s your sabre?’ ‘They took my sabre off me, the bastards!—Wait, send the cyclist.’ Frerksen looks around. He