Grand hotel greta garbo online dating

There is something macabre, something unnatural, about a hotel, if you think of it — and not just the seedy, out-of-the-way motel you might spy through dark branches along a desolate route, like the Bates Motel of Psycho — but even the most luxurious, gleaming, marble edifice in a metropolis, a seaside spa, or an Alpine ski resort.That is because nobody who inhabits a hotel really belongs there; nobody is quite himself or herself.Day after day he emerges to read the paper in the lobby, discreetly inquiring at the desk if the letter he’s been awaiting for years has arrived.Then there is Grusinskaya, a great ballerina now fighting a losing battle not so much against age as against her fear of it, who may or may not be made for Gaigern, a sleek professional thief.She studied harp at the Vienna Academy for Music and the Performing Arts and left home at eighteen to marry Max Prels, a journalist under whose name her first short stories were published.In 1916, after the dissolution of her first marriage, she married the conductor Richard Lert and launched her literary career, eventually writing nearly a book a year while working as an editor at the German publishing house Ullstein.A grand hotel in the center of 1920s Berlin serves as a microcosm of the modern world in Vicki Baum’s celebrated novel, a Weimar-era best seller that retains all its verve and luster today.Among the guests of the hotel is Doctor Otternschlag, a World War I veteran whose face has been sliced in half by a shell.

All these characters and more, with all their secrets and aspirations, come together and come alive in the pages of Baum’s delicious and disturbing masterpiece.

The Austrian author Vicki Baum was hardly the first to mine this setting for fiction; but the magisterial, nuanced novel she wrote in 1929, Grand Hotel (the original German title was Menschen im Hotel, or "people at a hotel"), has never been exceeded in the genre for its broadness of plot, its depth of observation, and, no small matter, its capacity to entertain and engage.

Her book, reprinted by New York Review Books, presents a kaleidoscope of characters, each personality flickering to reveal evolving passions, fears and hopes.

The true protagonist, a poor, terminally ill accountant from the provinces named Kringelein, has come to Berlin to end his life of penury with a splash of grandeur, squandering his savings on a final spree.

He speaks for all of them when he asks, "Where is real life?

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