Benjamin Nicholaus Oliver Xaver Barkow

Updated at: Dec. 7, 2007, 8:56 p.m.

Benjamin Nicholaus Oliver Xaver Barkow is a German of the old school. Born in Berlin in 1956, he spent his formative years lobbying to have the wall built through the city because he strongly disapproved of the way the Socialists pegged out their laundry.

With this achieved, he moved to Hamburg, but finding it such a well-ordered placed, moved swiftly to London. What he found there has so appalled and fascinated him, he is unlikely ever to leave. After a tempestuous and Angst-ridden adolescence, he studied humanities (in the vain hope that some of it would rub off). For most of his adult life he has freelanced as a researcher and writer, and has recently completed a history of the Londoin Wiener Library.

Despite being a chronic sufferer of Kreislaufstörung, which no herbal remedy has yet cured, he soldiers on in the hope that that one day he will understand why people don't understand him; at which point he will take his Seele out of pawn, move to the mountains and begin work on his cherished project, Wagner, the Musical.

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