29 November 2014

Elliptical Treadmill

This blog leads people in unexpected directions.

When I was in Berlin last winter I went along to the 103rd Berlin Six Day Race. Having no idea what to expect, I called on MOB for advice. He introduced me to a German writer I had never heard of - a journalist called Egon Erwin Kisch, who wrote a piece called Elliptische Tretmuehle about the 1923 Berlin Six Day Race. 

So I had a night at the races (I blagged a press pass). But I could not find an English version of the Kisch article, although it was clear that he was a celebrated writer and this is a celebrated piece - it was mentioned in the programme for the 2014 race. In fact it is well known enough to still be in print in German.

At the heart of matters
I really liked the man, the history, the city, and the article. And the evening at the Six Day Race was fun too - as you might expect with beer and sausages and some pretty dramatic, if not melodramatic, track racing going on. The article is only short - I think 1300 words in German, 1800 or so in English. I have now translated it into English - I was amazed that there is no full English version. After some negotiation with the copyright holder and a bit of learning about self publishing, it is now available on Amazon for Kindle. I have to pay the copyright holder so I cannot make it available for free unfortunately.

Anyway, it is available here: 

I used this image for the cover
I wrote an article too for Rouleur magazine about Berlin in the 1920s, Kisch, the Six Day Race now, and then. It should be in edition 51.

Thanks to MOB for the inspiration and Juliane on some German difficulties. Definitely a Positivo co-production.
It is entertainment masquerading as sport, but fun to go


David Litt said...

Thanks, Graham.
I really enjoyed it ... especially the end.

Unknown said...

Very kind of you David, thank you. I think Kisch should take the credit though!

mob said...

So what is writte in the end. Sorry, no I don't own a kindle. Perhaps I should buy one and start with this one?
Anyway I am glad that I could be of help.

David Litt said...

Hi MOB: I have a Kindle but it is not working right now ... but there is free "Kindle for PC" and "Kindle for Mac" software, so I read it on my Mac. I hate to give away the end ...

Graham -- I would expect the original work is off copyright by now, if written over 90 years ago?

Best, David

Anonymous said...

Hihi. Am going to stop by the condor shop to pick up rouleur... And incidently just acquired a 1959 condor frame built by the late, great Bill Hurlow - the only frame builder to have an obituary in the Financial Times... I 'll try and post some pics. Best DJ

Unknown said...

German copyright law - possibly a first for the site - is life plus 70 years, and he died in 1948. I guess I should have waited.