* The Narrator lives in Berlin, a scarred yet living city separated by the Wall.
* The Wall has just gone up when the Narrator moves to Berlin.
* After the initial shock, West Germans see it as a symbol of a detested social order.
* The Narrator lives in an apartment building formerly owned by the gentry.
* The back apartments are peaceful.
* Up front, two bars lease the bottom ï¬‚oor, one German and one Bolivian.
* Tenants rarely meet.
* The Narrator enjoys an elderly violinist's practicing.
* The Narrator ï¬rst meets writer Robert in East Berlin before he is forbidden to publish.
* They meet regularly at Charlie's for pinball.
* Gerhard Schlater, the Narrator's ï¬rst landlord in Berlin, is a boundless optimist until a love affair fails.
* He lets himself go physically and eventually moves East.
* On his ï¬rst visit to the Wall, the Narrator watches bus loads of tourists wave to one...
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