This week was actually remarkably productive. I finished the first part of my story, dealing with the experiences of a German-born Turk named Nehmet growing up in Berlin. The story talks about his coming to terms with his identity and the paradigm of looking “foreign” but feeling native. The next part of the story will deal with the exact opposite, the daughter of former East Germans who feels she no longer has a homeland as it was re-absorbed into Bundesrepublik. No one would ever accuse her of being foreign but she struggles to find a connection to the modern, capitalist society of Germany after having been raised by staunch communists.
One thing I did deal with a lot this week was the task of editing, and trying to pick out all the little grammatical tidbits of such a complex language has been daunting but also fun. One interesting fact about German is that, thanks to a convoluted case system, there is 16 ways in which you can say the word “the.” When I first started learning this it seemed ridiculous to me, but now I see the merit of it. By using the different cases and genders, with the simple word “the” in German you can convey a multitude of meanings, such as motion towards something, gender, possession and many other grammatical aspects. My task this week has been re-reading my work to fine-tune and make sure that all of these little tidbits are in order so that my writing can convey the nuanced aspects of Nehmet’s journey with clarity.