By Wulf Koepke, Roland Dollinger, Heidi Thomann Tewarson
Alfred Döblin (1878-1957) was once one of many nice German-Jewish writers of the twentieth century, an important determine within the German avant-garde sooner than the 1st global warfare and a number one highbrow in the course of the Weimar Republic. Döblin vastly stimulated the background of the German novel: his best-known paintings, the best-selling 1929 novel Berlin Alexanderplatz, has usually been in comparison in its use of inner monologue and literary montage to James Joyce's Ulysses and John Dos Passos's long island move . Döblin's oeuvre is certainly not restricted to novels, yet during this style, he provided a shocking number of narrative suggestions, topics, buildings, and outlooks. Döblin's impression on German writers after the second one international struggle was once huge: Günter Grass, for instance, said him as my instructor. And but, whereas Alexanderplatz keeps to fascinate the interpreting public, it has overshadowed the remainder of Döblin's great oeuvre. This quantity of rigorously centred essays seeks to do justice to such very important texts as Döblin's early tales, his a variety of different novels, his political, philosophical, clinical, autobiographical, and spiritual essays, his experimental performs, and his writings at the new media of cinema and radio. members: Heidi Thomann Tewarson, David Dollenmayer, Neil H. Donahue, Roland Dollinger, Veronika Fuechtner, Gabriele Sander, Erich Kleinschmidt, Wulf Koepke, Helmut F. Pfanner, Helmuth Kiesel, Klaus Müller-Salget, Christoph Bartscherer, Wolfgang Düsing.
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Extra info for A Companion to the Works of Alfred Döblin (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)
Döblin pursues the question with Calypso’s speculation that art could go even further and sever all connections to reality and “sich . . völlig bezugslos in selbstherrlichen Neubildungen ergehen” (SÄPL, 61). The musician recognizes that she is alluding to “pure art” or aestheticism but rejects it. Döblin is quite decidedly turning away from fin-de-siècle aestheticism, with which he too had been flirting. By rejecting both the naturalistic or mimetic as well as the aestheticist approach to art, Döblin theoretically breaks free of earlier traditions.
The breakup of his parents’ marriage when Döblin was ten years old, with its attendant poverty and loss of social status, and the notoriously authoritarian, class-conscious, and anti-Semitic Prussian school system induced distinctive psychological and emotional patterns that would determine to a large extent his subsequent social relationships and attitudes. These patterns remained remarkably constant throughout his turbulent life and, as we shall see, manifest themselves in his fiction and his critical and essayistic writings.
When listening to his schoolmates’ easy way with words, he is convinced that this is real life (“fleischgewordenes Schicksal”), the kind of life he yearns for. At the same time, he is horrified at the certainty with which the others speak about people and things. “Er hatte Furcht vor der unerbittlichen Bestimmtheit der Worte, 8 wo er stumm den Dingen lauschte und sich ihnen hingab” (JR, 117). After meeting Irene, however, he remembers the word “love,” which he alternately calls charming, ridiculous, and stupid, and resolves to play the game (of love).
A Companion to the Works of Alfred Döblin (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture) by Wulf Koepke, Roland Dollinger, Heidi Thomann Tewarson