report no.: 202
source: Siegfried Kracauer, The Salaried Masses
Only in Berlin, where links to roots and the soil are so reduced that weekend outings can become the height of fashion, may the reality
of salaried employees be grasped. It also comprises a good part of Berlin's reality.
Does this reality submit to normal reportage? For a number of years now, reportage has enjoyed in Germany the highest favour among all
types of representation, since it alone is said to be able to capture life unposed. Writers scarcely know any higher ambition than to report;
the reproduction of observed reality is the order of the day. A hunger for directness that is undoubtedly a consquence of the malnutrition
caused by German idealism. Reportage, as the self-declaration of concrete existence, is counterposed to the abstractness of idealist
thought, incapable of approaching reality through any mediation. But existence is not captured by being at best duplicated in reportage.
The latter has been a legitimate counterblow against idealism, nothing more. For it merely loses its way in the life that idealism cannot find,
which is equally unapproachable for both of them.