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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. Franz Biberkopf, pimp and petty thief, has just finished serving a term in prison for murdering his girlfriend. He's on his own in Weimar Berlin with its lousy economy and frontier morality, but Franz is determined to turn over new leaf, get ahead, make an honest man of himself, and so on and so forth. He hawks papers, chases girls, needs and bleeds money, gets mixed up in spite of himself in various criminal and political schemes, and when he tries to back out of them, it's at the cost of an arm. This is only the beginning of our modern everyman's multiplying misfortunes, but though Franz is more dupe than hustler, in the end, well, persistence is rewarded and things might be said to work out. Just like in a novel. Lucky Franz.Berlin, Alexanderplatz is one of great twentieth-century novels. Taking off from the work of Dos Passos and Joyce, Doblin depicts modern life in all its shocking violence, corruption, splendor, and horror. Michael Hofmann, celebrated for his translations of Joseph Roth and Franz Kafka, has prepared a new version, the first in over 75 years, in which Doblin's sublime and scurrilous masterpiece comes alive in English as never before.
About the Author
Alfred Doblin (1878-1957) was a novelist, essayist, neurologist, and the leading exponent of German Expressionist writing. He is best known for his novel Berlin Alexanderplatz, which was adapted into an acclaimed television series by Rainer Werner Fassbinder in 1980. His Bright Magic: Stories is pubished by NYRB Classics and Three Leaps of Wan Lun is published in NYRB's Calligram series.Michael Hofmann is a poet and translator. He has translated nine books by Joseph Roth and was awarded the PEN translation prize for String of Pearls. His Selected Poems were published in 2010. He lives in London.
"[A] major writer who grappled with the roots of darkness in our time...." --Ernst Pawel, The New York Times "His was an extraordinary mind." --Philip Ardagh, The Guardian "Without the futurist elements of Doblin's work from Wang Lun to Berlin Alexanderplatz, my prose is inconceivable.... He'll discomfort you, give you bad dreams. If you're satisfied with yourself, beware of Doblin." --Gunter Grass "I learned more about the essence of the epic from Doblin than from anyone else. His epic writing and even his theory about the epic strongly influenced my own dramatic art." --Bertolt Brecht "As we look back over the rich literary output of this great writer, as we look back over the long and fruitful life of this fighter and this friend of man, this perennial spring of spiritual life, we venture to ask: When will the gentlemen [sic] of the Nobel Prize jury discover him?" --Ludwig Marcuse, Books Abroad
New York Review of Books|
15+ years |