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By Roland Dollinger, Wulf Koepke, Heidi Thomann Tewarson

Alfred Döblin (1878-1957) was once one of many nice German-Jewish writers of the twentieth century, a massive determine within the German avant-garde prior to the 1st global battle and a number one highbrow through the Weimar Republic. Döblin significantly prompted the heritage of the German novel: his best-known paintings, the best-selling 1929 novel Berlin Alexanderplatz, has often been in comparison in its use of inner monologue and literary montage to James Joyce's Ulysses and John Dos Passos's new york move . Döblin's oeuvre is not at all restricted to novels, yet during this style, he provided a stunning number of narrative concepts, subject matters, constructions, and outlooks. Döblin's influence on German writers after the second one international struggle used to be massive: Günter Grass, for instance, stated him as ''my teacher.'' And but, whereas Alexanderplatz maintains to fascinate the interpreting public, it has overshadowed the remainder of Döblin's giant oeuvre. This quantity of conscientiously centred essays seeks to do justice to such vital texts as Döblin's early tales, his a variety of different novels, his political, philosophical, clinical, autobiographical, and non secular essays, his experimental performs, and his writings at the new media of cinema and radio.Contributors: 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. Roland Dollinger is affiliate professor of German at Sarah Lawrence collage; Wulf Koepke is professor emeritus of German at Texas A&M collage; Heidi Thomann Tewarson is professor of German at Oberlin collage.

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It is he who has condemned humans to this desire for each other, who imposed this mark of Cain (JR, 128), which Döblin presents in purely negative, social Darwinian terms: “Wir haben nicht Arme, um uns entzückt zu umschlingen, nur uns zu wehren und zu kämpfen gegen das andere und zu töten . . Jeder Kuss ist ein verfehlter Biss” (199). Further chipping away at human autonomy and self-worth was the idea that the world was governed by chance. “Die Zufälle wirbeln und reiten durch alle Welt und sind an jedem Orte” (JR, 126).

In it, an officer in the German army is confronted by a judge who tries in vain to make the officer recognize his guilt and thus produce a “wirkliche Kapitulation” (OD, 17). Although some critics welcomed the book as a necessary work with the purpose of fostering a much-needed moral catharsis of German society after the Second World War, other critics — among them Bertolt Brecht — attacked Der Oberst und der Dichter for its moralizing tone and its irritating rhyme. There had been a radical change in Döblin’s view of the world.

She illustrates the literary and philosophical reorientation based on the first of Döblin’s many theoretical texts, Gespräche mit Kalypso. Über die Musik and, furthermore, shows how Döblin’s medical and psychiatric studies impacted on his fiction. The new poetics are revealed in the stories, where the narrator is conspicuously absent and the earlier psychological descriptions have been replaced with an abundance of visual imagery, metaphors, and comparisons. At the same time, they are still imbued with a deep pessimism, a view of the world locked in a permanent struggle.

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