Berlin Alexanderplatz: The Story of Franz Biberkopf

Berlin Alexanderplatz is one of the asterpieces of modern European literature and the first German ovel to adopt the technique of James Joyce. It begs he tory of Franz Biberkopf, who, on being released from jai, is onfronted with the poverty, unemployment, crime and burgeoning Nazism of 1920s Germany. As Franz struggles to survive in his world, fate teases him with a little pleasure before cruelly turning on him. Foreword by Alexander Stephan. Translated by Eugene Jolas.

Alfred Doblin ( 1878-1957) studied medicine in Berlin and specialized in the treatment of nervous diseases. Along with his experiences as a neurosurgeo in the workers' quarter of Berlin, his writing was influence by the work of Holderlin, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche and was first published in he literary magazine, Der Sturm. Associated with the Expressionist literary movement in Germany, he is now acknowledge as one of thi most significan modern European novelists.
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Berlin Alexanderplatz
Publication Date
Published January 21st 2005 by Continuum (first published 1929

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his autobiography is said to be one of the required readings for high school students in Germany.

was also one of the reasons why I tried hard to first read Ulysses ( serialized from 1918 to 1920) prior to cracking this one up.

Thi implication is that this modernist work, does not intend to be fully understood since it is multi-layered with its internal ( rather than external as in most contemporary books) conflicts.

Conversely, ook might be conflate into so many possibilitie that you do n't now if what you kno of it is right or wrong.

The seriousness of that feeling when you seem to be inside a prison when in fact you are living free in an outside world is very evident.I think this book deserves a 5-star rating.

This storylines are mouthing their innermost feeling and since it was Berlin at the time of Hitler 's rise, some of what they were saying could cause their lives or reveal what they really fee about their religion as told in the Bible.

his for me, made his book ery intriguing.

Similarly, if you need to say how was it to live in Alexanderplatz ( downtown Berlin) in the 1920s, tha essa is for you.

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It ’ s a year 1928 and the place is Berlin.Biberkopf wants to lead a goo life from now on.

He ’ s fed up with his previous life; honest pay for honest work; that ’ s plan.

He starts selling newspapers and gets a little cas, enough to rent room and maybe expand his “ business ” at some time.

Although he recovers from the blow, he is stil on th path which is toug to leave, especially for a character like him.It ’ s so easy for reader of his book to like he main haracter.

Not surprisingly there were some harsh criticism from first-time readers of the Frankfurter Zeitung ( the newspaper in which he boo was serialized first between September and October 1929).

It ’ s hardly a case that ca be called tragic.Early on in he trilog there ’ s a description of the Berlin slaughterhouses, one of the strongest scenes in the hole ook.

Biberkopf doesn ’ t act, he is acted upon.The style of his ovel is certainl not for everyone ’ s deligh.

Tha all makes it hard sometimes to follow the actual story, but it ’ s a lot of fun too.

And it ’ s s ften clear who is talking to us; the narrator, or Biberkopf, or anyon else.

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Pornography and the sex-trade in general are thriving, despite the Victorian ( or more ccurately the Wilheminic) era ‘ blue laws. ’ The historical class structures are being ndermined by the same residues of the Great War that are affecting Britain.

And in a perverse way Berlin, despite its status as a conquered capital city, is the entre of a new global culture.

Franz Biberkopf is the new Everyman, even les so than Leopold Bloom.

So despite wanting to lead life of stable conformity, such a thing is no longer possible: “ He swore to all the world and to himself that he ould remain decent.

But Döblin captured the whole event in Biberkopf as he caroms around the street of Berlin.

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And what mus you possibly expect of Biberkopf then, not havin a better man?

Or passable? And Martin Amis: I all of th sudden realise that you did not only fin the plot from lovely Muriel Spark 's The Driver 's Seat, you stole the main haracter from Berlin Alexanderplatz, and just dressed it up and made it bigger, and changed some Kneipes into English pubs!

And Sparks' Lise would not have hesitated one single moment to grab hold of London or Berlin if she had needed either one of those cities to find her criminal! I wish I had thought of Biberkopf when I read London Fields.

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Severa are those like Marshal Piłsudski who manage to get off at the appropriate stop.We don ’ t experience this morality tale in a direct way, tha he boo tarts with Franz Biberkopf ’ s release from imprisonmen, but it is about a hundred pages before we find out why he was in prison in the las place – it does not matter this is the ook that we experience as we experience city life travelling on public transport – as we gaze through the window we see adverts, life, crowds, ambulances, and police cars, so here we shift abruptly from stream of consciousness point of view to different stream of consciousness point of view to the author addressing the reader, from share prices, to boxing matches, from the slaughter house to the tory of Job, is Job ’ s story the universal one Franz ’ s and ours?

Döblin seems to emplo the Slaughterhouse to represent not a human system of exploitation, but something muc more fatalistic -this is what life on Earth is like- you ight hav a beast being led to slaughter, or you should hav one of thes leading beasts to slaughter, there is no choice, you imply are in one of hose two groups, the only course of action is to be like Job or Abraham and submit to the Will of God, yet at the same time we see that thi main villai is unconsciously admittedly without much will power- he ets on the ram and rides to the beginnin of the line, his domestic violence seems to emerge because of th lack of self knowledge or self control rather than conscious volition, he is throughout rather bestial- good natured, but essentially reactive and dependent on others.As I learnt from Peter Gay 's book Weimar Culture: The outsider as insider, Berlin Alexanderplatz was a product of the relatively creamy, comfortable years of the Weimar republic, but I know it is an anti-Republican novel- fatalistic, the people require a good shepherd, they re s apable of thinking and looking after themselves in a responsible or a social manner, but even thi is too simplisti a response to Döblin 's novel, and a ovel is no an authoritatan format.

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