You weren’t born, man, you were never alive. Learning that the translation was by Eugene Jolas surprised me. Two works of autobiography have also been translated: Destiny's Journey (trans. [87], Döblin's 1918 comic novel has been seen, in its experimental narrative technique, its refusal to psychologize its characters, and its depictions of Berlin as modern metropolis, as a precursor to Döblin's better-known Berlin Alexanderplatz. With Günter Lamprecht, Claus Holm, Hanna Schygulla, Franz Buchrieser. This book is so good. Can he fall to lower depths? [15] Despite his hatred for school, Döblin early became a passionate writer and reader, counting Spinoza, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, as well as Heinrich von Kleist, Friedrich Hölderlin, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky among his most important early influences. [9], His parents' marriage dissolved in July 1888, when Max Döblin eloped with Henriette Zander, a seamstress twenty years his junior, and moved to America to start a new life. Döblin, born in 1878, was a physician who lived and practiced medicine in the working-class district around Alexanderplatz (Alexander Plaza) in Berlin for more than twenty years, ending with his flight from Hitlerism in 1933. It's like if Dos Passos decided to do USA with one character, and set it in Berlin, and to write sort of in the style of Joyce but also realize that he needed some German so threw in a bunch of devices from Brecht, and then from the future Chris Adrian decided to pay a visit and tweak parts of the story from out of nowhere. von Alfred Döblin Der 1929 erschienene Roman »Berlin Alexanderplatz« ist das bedeutendste Werk des deutschen Schriftstellers Alfred Döblin. I was going so slow that it seemed embarrassing even to post updates as I read. Be the first to ask a question about Berlin Alexanderplatz. A prolific writer whose œuvre spans more than half a century and a wide variety of literary movements and styles, Döblin is one of the most important figures of German literary modernism. "Döblin" redirects here. When I learned Berlin Alexanderplatz is a technical first cousin to Joyce's Ulysses I became very interested. [35], At the end of August, 1916, Döblin was awarded the Fontane Prize (including a monetary award of 600 Marks) for The Three Leaps of Wang Lun (Die drei Sprünge des Wang-lun). [91] Döblin's approach to narrating the war differed from prevailing historiography in that, rather than interpreting the Thirty Years' War primarily as a religious conflict, he portrays it critically as the absurd consequence of a combination of national-political, financial, and individual psychological factors. In order to make it more accessible to English readers in the absence of any guidance from reviewers, the translator C D Godwin has adapted it as a Play for Voices, available for download at the website Beyond Alexanderplatz: Alfred Döblin's OTHER writings, in English. Klicken um zu vergrößern. Der Dichter Alfred Döblin Zwischen Gott und Alexanderplatz. [45] His description of his travels to Warsaw, Vilnius, Lviv, and Kraków, among other cities, was published in November 1925 under the title Reise in Polen (Journey to Poland). His epic writing and even his theory about the epic strongly influenced my own dramatic art."[115]. Bruno Alfred Döblin (* 10.August 1878 in Stettin; † 26. I have a lot of complicated feelings about this book. I starting reading at a slow pace and then slowed down further at times wondering what was going on, then the last third I read in about two days. Das kollektive Geschehen, das Allgemeine einer menschlichen Situation erfuhr hier eine gültige dichterische Gestaltung. And by antihero, I mean the pulling out your hair while thinking to yourself "don't do that Franz, you big Biberkopf, you schnauzer of a one-armed mongoloid, you! This powerful and sometimes puzzling story is told in a vigorous, direct and dramatic language, with constantly shifting moods and voices. I had quite a few laughs, although it's definitely not a funny book. In attendance were Thomas Mann, Franz Werfel, Lion Feuchtwanger, and Bertolt Brecht, among others. In 1920 Döblin joined the Association of German Writers (Schutzverband Deutscher Schriftsteller), and in 1924 he became its president. [106], Hamlet oder Die lange Nacht nimmt ein Ende (Tales of a Long Night) (1956) was Döblin's last novel. [84] Published in 1916, (although back-dated to 1915), this epic historical novel narrates upheaval and revolution in 18th-century China, and was favorably received by critics, who praised its detailed and exotic depictions of China. In a 2002 poll of 100 noted writers from around the world, Berlin Alexanderplatz was named among the top 100 books of all time. This large and enormously impressive novel Berlin Alexanderplatz is one of those. variety of hero. During this time he busied himself with lectures, readings, and the effort to contribute to a collective intellectual response to the growing power of the National Socialists. However, wishing to hide his artistic inclinations from his mother, Döblin had sent the manuscript under a false name, and was not able to retrieve it at the post office; he thus had to rewrite it entirely. A village priest declares that Manas and the demons make up a single new terrible being: likely meaning a human no longer innocent but equipped with Id, Ego and Superego. The world of Berlin, the world generally, is the real subject of the book. It's left me with quite a hangover, filling me with a tender sense of sorrow for all of us fallen creatures in this pitiless world. [57] Here he also saw Robert Musil, with whom he had kept up a sporadic relationship for over a decade, for the last time. [92] Döblin saw a strong similarity between the Thirty Years' War and the First World War, during which he wrote Wallenstein. [105] The work was highly praised by figures such as Bertolt Brecht, and critic Gabriele Sander has described November 1918 as representing the culmination of Döblin's work in the genre of the historical novel. [82], Alfred Döblin died in the hospital in Emmendingen on 26 June 1957 and was buried two days later in the village cemetery at Housseras next to his son Wolfgang. I found out about this book, like many English speaking Americans, from its mention in, Until a few months ago I'd never heard of this novel or of Doblin. Letters to Penthouse XXVIII: Threesomes, Foursomes, and Moresomes (v. 28) Biberkopf hat geschworen, er will anständig sein, und ihr habt gesehen, wie er wochenlang anständig ist, aber das war gewissermaßen nur eine Gnadenfrist. For in fact our protagonist is not a very bright bulb. But as little as I know about translation, this seems an excellent one. A prolific writer whose œuvre spans more than half a century and a wide variety of literary movements and styles, Döblin is one of the most important figures of German literary modernism. Modern, well-edited, critical volumes of almost the complete œuvre have been appearing in German since the 1980s, published by Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag and, since 2008, by the Fischer Verlag; and the Internationale Alfred-Döblin Kolloquien have been held every two years since the early 1980s. This is the marriage of the real, natural Berlin of 1928-29 with the imagined, fictional, mythical. Berlin Alexanderplatz book. [71] The only work of his that was published in German during his American exile was a private printing of 250 copies of the Nocturno episode from November 1918. [40], In February 1921, he met the 21-year-old photographer Charlotte ("Yolla") Niclas; the close romantic relationship between the two was to last many years, despite their age difference. Der Sturm, modeled after Karl Kraus's newspaper Die Fackel (The Torch), would soon count Döblin among its most involved contributors, and provided him with a venue for the publication of numerous literary and essayistic contributions. August: Alfred Döblin wird als Sohn des Schneidermeisters Max Döblin und dessen Frau Sophie (geb. [13], The sense of being déclassé, along with rocky experiences at school, made this a difficult time for Döblin. Berge Meere und Giganten (Mountains Seas and Giants) presciently invokes such topics as urbanization, the alienation from nature, ecological devastation, mechanization, the dehumanization of the modern world, as well as mass migration, globalization, totalitarianism, fanaticism, terrorism, state surveillance, genetic engineering, synthetic food, the breeding of humans, biochemical warfare, and others. [23] During the early part of his engagement to Reiss, he had been unaware that Kunke was pregnant: their son Bodo was born on 14 October 1911 and was raised by his grandmother, Elise Kunke, in Schleswig-Holstein following Friede's death from tuberculosis in 1918. [61] In May 1939, he briefly visited the United States to take part in a PEN congress in New York. To see what your friends thought of this book. As Döblin writes in the opening pages: His complete works comprise over a dozen novels ranging in genre from historical novels to science fictionto novels about the modern metropolis; several dramas, radio plays, and screenplays; a true cri… Published in the fall of 1929, two weeks before the Wall Street crash, Alfred Döblin's Berlin Alexanderplatz is a classic of the turbulent late Weimar period, an era that provides a favorite point of comparison with the politics of our own day. [89], Although Döblin's 1920 epic about the Thirty Years' War was in general favorably received by critics, he was disappointed with the reception because he felt he had created in Wallenstein a peerless work; as a consequence, he wrote a scathing critique of critics which he published in 1921 under the title Der Epiker, sein Stoff und die Kritik (The Epic Poet, his Material, and Critique). I find, though, that they compliment each other. [74], In 1945, Döblin's 18-year-old son Stefan was called up for military service in the French army. Alfred Döblin, Writer: Berlin-Alexanderplatz - Die Geschichte Franz Biberkopfs. Analyse 2.1. My admiration for Alfred Doblin's Berlin Alexanderplatz is boundless. [27] Introduced by a mutual acquaintance, Döblin met Georg Lewin, a music student better known as Herwarth Walden, who founded the Expressionist journal Der Sturm in 1910. [93] The novel is counted among the most innovative and significant historical novels in the German literary tradition. Free shipping for many products! [101], Generally considered Döblin's masterpiece, Berlin Alexanderplatz has become an iconic text of the Weimar Republic. Ein Anschlag im Fluchtauto lässt ihn verkrüppelt zurück, doch er schließt sich erneut der Bande an un… [83], Die drei Sprünge des Wang-lun (The Three Leaps of Wang Lun) was Döblin's third novel (although it was the first to be published as a book), and garnered him the Fontane Prize. Trevor and Phyllis Blewitt, Howard Fertig, 1976). Only a few years after his rise to literary celebrity with the 1929 publication of Berlin Alexanderplatz, Döblin was forced into exile by the rise of the Nazi dictatorship. B. Tauris, 1991). [43] It was likely Brecht, who counted Döblin among his significant influences, who introduced him to Erwin Piscator in 1928. These huge novels (Ulysses by Jimmy Joyce, U.S.A by Johnny Dos Passos, The Waste Land by Tommy Eliot - not a novel but the same kind of thing) use newspaper clippings, adverts, random dialogue, doggerel, children’s rhymes, radio announcements, political proclamations, Greek myths [they love those] and anything and everything to collage & mash together ALL OF MODERN LIFE in a frantic attempt to mirror the stressed-out psychological dissociativeness and allround bonkers quality of how we live NOW (multivalent) as opposed to how we lived THEN (linearly). C. D. Godwin, Chinese University Press, Hong Kong, 1991), and the November 1918 trilogy: A People Betrayed (which also includes The Troops Return) and Karl and Rosa (trans. Like many other German émigrés he spent the war years in Los Angeles, where he converted to Catholicism. It has been filmed twice, once in the 1931 Berlin-Alexanderplatz, directed by Phil Jutzi and starring Heinrich George as Biberkopf, and then again in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's 1980 14-part television film. Die Geschichte des Transportarbeiters Franz Biberkopf, der, aus der Strafanstalt Berlin-Tegel entlassen, als ehrlicher Mann ins Leben zurück. I feel that I have to let the novel sink in a bit more before I can write a review. [94], Döblin's 1924 science fiction novel recounts the course of human history from the 20th to the 27th century, portraying it as a catastrophic global struggle between technological mania, natural forces, and competing political visions. 7.Interpretation. [11] Shortly thereafter, in October 1888, Sophie and the five children moved to Berlin and took up residence in a small shabby apartment on the Blumenstraße in Berlin's working-class east. [70], Döblin completed work on November 1918 in the spring of 1943, but was unable to find a publisher. Born in Stettin, Germany (now Szczecin, Poland), to assimilated Jews, Döblin moved with his mother and siblings to Berlin when he was ten years old after his father had abandoned them. Success at home was short-lived, however; Doblin, a Jew, left Germany the day after the Reichstag Fire in 1933, and did not return until 1945. Heinrich Mann gave a speech, Fritz Kortner, Peter Lorre, and Alexander Granach read aloud from Döblin's works, and he was presented with notes of congratulation and praise from Brecht, Max Horkheimer, and Alfred Polgar, among others. In Part 3, the reborn Manas rejoices in his physicality, but does not understand where he fits into the world. His dissertation, completed in April 1905, was published that year by Berlin's Klett Verlag. Fore, Devin. [30] Döblin's early novel Der Schwarze Vorhang was published in Der Sturm, and in November 1912 the Munich publishing house Georg Müller published his collection of novellas under the title Die Ermordung einer Butterblume und andere Erzählungen. This novel is so fabulous I won't even try to describe its awesomeness. [77] Despite these efforts, Döblin was disappointed by the apparent continuity between the Nazi years and the postwar climate. Published in 1929, its innovative use of literary montage as well as its panoramic portrayal of a modern metropolis have earned it a place among the key works of literary modernism. Can he fall to lower depths? In Michael Hofmann's extraordinary new translation, Alfred Döblin's masterpiece lives in English for the first time. [81] Döblin's remaining years were marked by poor health (he had Parkinson's disease) and lengthy stays in multiple clinics and hospitals, including his alma mater, Freiburg University. [5] He was the fourth of five children born to Max Döblin (1846–1921), a master tailor from Posen (Poznań), and Sophie Döblin (1844–1920), née Freudenheim, the daughter of a merchant. Somehow, Doblin gets us to root for this failure who we don't even like that much, and somehow even though he fails us time and time again, we still hold out hope for him. [98], This remarkable but almost totally neglected epic in free verse immediately preceded Döblin's best-known work Berlin Alexanderplatz. [49] One of the best known appraisals of the novel is Walter Benjamin's essay, "Die Krisis des Romans" ("The Crisis of the Novel") which sees in Berlin Alexanderplatz's radical use of montage a solution to the impasses of the traditional novel.