Read | 17. May 2021

It Can´t Always Be Caviar

Last week I read a piece in the New York Times regarding the guilty pleasures of loving a movie that obviously was - just??? - a blockbuster.

Under the headline "Titanic is my favorite Movie. There, I Said It" the writer talked about why she never dared to answer the question about her personal movie favorite honestly; and I wonder if we aren´t all suffering from that lack of sincerity

There is - and always was - a certain shame for loving rather commercial cultural contributions like bestselling books or blockbuster movies. Watching or reading something together with millions of others would automatically make you an idiot - but to confess that you really loved it? Impossible!

As I fell in love with reading from a very early age, I read just everything. Lucky enough to have a literature teacher with the spirits of "Dead Poets Society"´s John Keating I read the classics of Russian literature as passionately as the trivial books I found on the shelves of holiday houses. That is how I found out about Johannes Mario Simmel.

The maybe most popular Austrian writer wrote dramatic post-war novels, many of them became blockbuster movies as well. I was in love with his titles alone and read most of them within days even though only a few had less than 600 pages.

I just found a used version of "Bis zur bitteren Neige" in a Zurich thrift store, bought it and read it with the same pleasure I had when reading "Und Jimmy ging zum Regenbogen", "Liebe ist nur ein Wort" or "Alle Menschen werden Brüder" a million years ago.

And though it makes sense to read them in German, there are also translated versions of them ready to order online: precious early edtions as well as used books from closed libraries all over the world.

The English version of "To The Bitter End" is available on Amazon. Get it and enjoy reading it during your summer vacation. After all, as Simmel himself once said - and wrote another bestseller about - , "It Can´t Always Be Caviar".