Martin Salomonski’s moon travel novel “Two in Another Land”

UTo begin with honestly: The peculiarity of Martin Salomonski’s “Zwei im other Land”, advertised as a “future novel about the solution of the Jewish question” when it was published in 1934 and now, 87 years later, reissued by the Berlin pastoral publisher, cannot and must not be published the literary quality of this text should be sought. This is a serial novel that was initially published in the “Jüdisch-Liberalen Zeitung”, the practice of which has had a noticeable impact on the narrative process. Rapid changes of scene, rather brutally interwoven plot threads as well as a strong concentration on scenic pathos, aphorisms and sentences characterize the narrative – and none of it, unfortunately one has to contradict the afterword by the editor Alexander Fromm, has to do with avant-garde prose. Nonetheless, none of this does anything, because the attraction of “two in the other country” is to be found precisely in the sometimes abrupt narrowing of subject complexes, the context of which can only be explored underground.

On the surface things are like this: In 1953, the copywriter Victor Arago invented an apparatus in a coastal town called “Maimi” with the help of which scenes that were already inaccessible to human memory were retrieved from the “larders of the brain” and projected onto a screen can. Before he can sell this “sound film patent” to a consortium, however, he is kidnapped by six women – among them Mica Cohn, who grew up without parents in a monastery, with whom the kidnapped immediately falls in love. At the moment of mutual confession, the couple is raptured through space during a lunar eclipse to the satellite, whose population solemnly welcomes the astronauts.

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An instrument of human introspection

As it turns out, the Möndlers are “Israel’s children” and their head is Mica’s missing father, who immediately initiates the marriage of daughter and son-in-law – an Ashkenazi Jew and a Marran. The way back to earth leads the couple to Berlin, Mica becomes pregnant, Victor takes a trip to Maimi and “slips away there physically” with Mica’s best friend, but remorsefully returns to Germany in time for the birth. The love community is transformed into a community of convenience: Together, the two decide to “collect Israel” and to lead all the Jews of the earth in a mass procession to the moon via the stopover in North Africa.

Of course, too much is being wanted here – and that is precisely why this novel is most likely to open up from the point at which it openly reveals its own excessive demands. So, with the constant change of the leitmotif, the attraction of the technological novelty – the memory projector – falls by the wayside. A reflection of scientific responsibility should evidently be built around it: what at first glance might be a breathtaking instrument of human introspection, remains in the demonstration in front of Mica’s Berlin relatives a toy for the sentimental demonstration of historical moments and private fateful scenes (right down to the Abitur examination).

Surveillance and torture

Why the equipment in the wrong, i.e. in capitalist hands, could be “extremely dangerous and unbearable for our nerves”, yes, why it urgently needs to be handed over to the German state, since only in this way “sharpened and secure the conscience and the future of the world “Be: That remains implausible. It would have been easy to imagine the function of such a device in police, surveillance and torture as the ultimate consequence, but there is no trace of it. Instead it comes at some point – by the way – to the admission that the patent question “came to an end anyway”.

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