• 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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