• Although the noise of the chattering clientele is much more significant than the topics of their chatter, it does finally constitute that type of social and indistinct expression that we refer to as rhubarb. The very particular volume in which people tell each other their news seems to generate all by itself that acoustic chiaroscuro, a sounding murk, in which every communication seems to lose its edges, truth projects the shadow of a lie, and a statement seems to resemble its opposite.

    Joseph Roth (2002). “What I Saw: Reports from Berlin 1920-1933”, p.141, W. W. Norton & Company