IN “NOCTURNE,” one of five short stories in this slim collection, a young man named Freddy is lying in bed when a burglar breaks into the room. They talk, and one thing leads to—well, to sex, obviously, because we’ve seen this porn set-up countless times. In this particular version, the sex is not explicitly shown, but it definitely happens, and joyously so—which is remarkable, as the story was published over 100 years ago, in 1920.
Berlin Garden of Erotic Delights (the original title was Erotische Komödiengärtlein) was written by Granand, the pseudonym for Erwin Ritter von Busse (1885–1939), a painter, writer, and theater director who, among other things, worked with Max Reinhardt in Berlin.
Michael Schwartz is an associate editor for this magazine.