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GILGI, ONE OF US By Irmgard Keun reviewed by Nathaniel Popkin • Cleaver Magazine
GILGI, ONE OF US By Irmgard Keun (1931) in the first English translation by Geoff Wilkes Melville House, 210 pages Reviewed by Nathaniel Popkin You push through the small, enclosed, almost claustrophobic rooms at the head of “Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis,” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, like an exile from a provincial village, and there you are face to face with Léger’s masterwork The City. Now free of the repressive ties of the parochial, you’re not there yet. The City—the city—looms, an inscrutable machine. “At once spacious in its lateral spread and aggressively frontal, it offers the eye no reasonable focus and the body no comfortable place to stand,” says the show’s curator, Anna Vallye, in the deeply informed essay, “The Painter on the Boulevard,” in the exhibition catalog. “To approach is to hazard.” But Léger’s painting is no warning. Rather it’s a syncopation of the moment … chop! chop! read more!