Alfred Doblin (1878-1957) was one of the great German-Jewish writers of the 20th century, a major figure in the German avant-garde before the First World War and a leading intellectual during the Weimar Republic. Doblin greatly influenced the history of the German novel: his best-known work, the best-selling 1929 novel Berlin Alexanderplatz, has frequently been compared in its use of internal monologue and literary montage to James Joyce's Ulysses and John Dos Passos's Manhattan Transfer . Doblin's oeuvre is by no means limited to novels, but in this genre, he offered a surprising variety of narrative techniques, themes, structures, and outlooks. Doblin's impact on German writers after the Second World War was considerable: Gunter Grass, for example, acknowledged him as "my teacher." And yet, while Alexanderplatz continues to fascinate the reading public, it has overshadowed the rest of Doblin's immense oeuvre.
This volume of carefully focused essays seeks to do justice to such important texts as Doblin's early stories, his numerous other novels, his political, philosophical, medical, autobiographical, and religious essays, his experimental plays, and his writings on 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 Muller-Salget, Christoph Bartscherer, Wolfgang Dusing. Roland Dollinger is associate professor of German at Sarah Lawrence College; Wulf Koepke is professor emeritus of German at Texas A&M University; Heidi Thomann Tewarson is professor of German at Oberlin College.