Berlin Alexanderplatz

Berlin Alexanderplatz

Alfred Doblin

Literature & Fiction

The inspiration for Rainer Werner Fassbinder's epic film and that The Guardian named one of the "Top 100 Books of All Time," Berlin Alexanderplatz is considered one of the most important works of the Weimar Republic and twentieth century literature.Berlin Alexanderplatz, the great novel of Berlin and the doomed Weimar Republic, is one of the great books of the twentieth century, gruesome, farcical, and appalling, word drunk, pitchdark. In Michael Hofmann's extraordinary new translation, Alfred Döblin's masterpiece lives in English for the first time.As Döblin writes in the opening pages: The subject of this book is the life of the former cement worker and haulier Franz Biberkopf in Berlin. As ourstory begins, he has just been released from prison, where he did time for some stupid stuff; now he is backin Berlin, determined to go straight. To begin with, he succeeds. But then, though doing all...
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Bright Magic

Bright Magic

Alfred Doblin

Literature & Fiction

Alfred Döblin's many imposing novels, above all Berlin Alexanderplatz, have established him as one of the titans of modern German literature. This collection of his stories —astonishingly, the first ever to appear in English—shows him to have been a master of short fiction too. Bright Magic includes all of Döblin's first book, The Murder of a Buttercup, a work of savage brilliance and a landmark of literary expressionism, as well as two longer stories composed in the 1940s, when he lived in exile in Southern California. The early collection is full of mind-bending and sexually charged narratives, from the dizzying descent into madness that has made the title story one of the most anthologized of German stories to "She Who Helped," where mortality roams the streets of nineteenth-­century Manhattan with a white borzoi and a quiet smile, and "The Ballerina and the Body," which describes a terrible duel to the death. Of the two later...
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The Three Leaps of Wang Lun

The Three Leaps of Wang Lun

Alfred Doblin

Literature & Fiction

In 1915, fourteen years before Berlin Alexanderplatz, Alfred Döblin published his first novel, an amazing, extensively researched Chinese historical extravaganza: The Three Leaps of Wang Lun. Even more remarkably, given its subject matter, the book was written in expressionist style and is now considered the first modern German novel, as well as the first Western novel to depict a China untouched by the West.Based on actual accounts of a doomed rebellion during the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the late eighteenth century, the novel tells the story of Wang Lun, a historical martial arts master and charismatic leader of the White Lotus sect, who leads a futile revolt of the "Truly Powerless." Densely packed cities and Tibetan wastes, political intrigue and religious yearning, imperial court life and the fate of wandering outcasts are depicted in a language of enormous vigor and matchless imagination, unfolding the theme of timidity against...
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Bright Magic

Bright Magic

Alfred Doblin

Literature & Fiction

Alfred Döblin's many imposing novels, above all Berlin Alexanderplatz, have established him as one of the titans of modern German literature. This collection of his stories —astonishingly, the first ever to appear in English—shows him to have been a master of short fiction too. Bright Magic includes all of Döblin's first book, The Murder of a Buttercup, a work of savage brilliance and a landmark of literary expressionism, as well as two longer stories composed in the 1940s, when he lived in exile in Southern California. The early collection is full of mind-bending and sexually charged narratives, from the dizzying descent into madness that has made the title story one of the most anthologized of German stories to "She Who Helped," where mortality roams the streets of nineteenth-­century Manhattan with a white borzoi and a quiet smile, and "The Ballerina and the Body," which describes a terrible duel to the death. Of the two later...
Read online
  • 32
The Three Leaps of Wang Lun

The Three Leaps of Wang Lun

Alfred Doblin

Literature & Fiction

In 1915, fourteen years before Berlin Alexanderplatz, Alfred Döblin published his first novel, an amazing, extensively researched Chinese historical extravaganza: The Three Leaps of Wang Lun. Even more remarkably, given its subject matter, the book was written in expressionist style and is now considered the first modern German novel, as well as the first Western novel to depict a China untouched by the West.Based on actual accounts of a doomed rebellion during the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the late eighteenth century, the novel tells the story of Wang Lun, a historical martial arts master and charismatic leader of the White Lotus sect, who leads a futile revolt of the "Truly Powerless." Densely packed cities and Tibetan wastes, political intrigue and religious yearning, imperial court life and the fate of wandering outcasts are depicted in a language of enormous vigor and matchless imagination, unfolding the theme of timidity against...
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  • 22
Berlin Alexanderplatz

Berlin Alexanderplatz

Alfred Doblin

Literature & Fiction

Berlin Alexanderplatz is a novel by Alfred Döblin, published in 1929. The story concerns a small-time criminal, Franz Biberkopf, fresh from prison, who is drawn into the underworld. When his criminal mentor murders the prostitute whom Biberkopf has been relying on as an anchor, he realizes that he will be unable to extricate himself from the underworld into which he has sunk. In a 2002 poll of 100 noted writers conducted by the Norwegian Book Clubs, the book was named among the top 100 books of all time The novel is set in the working-class neighborhoods near the Alexanderplatz in 1920s Berlin. Its narrative style is reminiscent of James Joyce. It is told from multiple points of view, and uses sound effects, newspaper articles, songs, speeches, and other books to propel the plot forward.
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