Dances of Vice, Horror & Ecstasy

Side Real Press has more details (apart from publication date, unless I missed it) on the translation/reissue of Die Tänze des Lasters, des Grauens und der Ekstase (Dances of Vice, Horror and Ecstasy). It’s a collection of poems, reflections, images by and about Anita Berber and Sebastian Droste, the Weimar Berlin dancers who set off Hansel and Gretel-like to explore the dark forest of their own compulsions, obsessions and addictions. The website has this to say about the 1922 version:

Of  the original edition of Berber and Drostes’ ‘Tänze des Lasters, des Grauens und der Ekstase’, Toepfer (p91) says “it is difficult to imagine, let alone find, a more bizarre and complex relation between dance, writing, speech, nudity, and image than that found in this little book”. It certainly seems that few copies of the original edition appear to have survived, its relatively small print run (1,000 copies) its size, and fragile paper binding having made it susceptible to damage. 


The book is saturated with an air of morbidity and decadence; death, dreams, torture, sex and sensuality proliferate often combined with a narcissistic homosexual undertone.

So basically: Fifty Shades of Gay, and 90 years ahead of its time.


  1. If “Fifty Shades of Grey” had a narcissistic homosexual undertone I’d be despairing less of humanity right now. Now’s the time to hop on the Kindle train, Side Real Press, let’s make this happen.

  2. Hi James,
    thanks for your kind words re publicising the book. It is now officially available to order. I must say that I have enjoyed many of your other posts. Lots of stuff I didnt know and am now glad I learnt from you.

    Butterscotchclouds: I am sad to say that, whilst I have no ‘issues’ with e-books, I only like to issue the ‘real thing’ (whatever that is nowadays), so paper only it is I am afraid.



  3. Pingback: The Anita Berber lifestyle collection « Strange Flowers

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