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Ies chance meetings and stories I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast full of names of blasphemy having seven heads and ten hornsAnd the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornicationAnd upon her forehead was a name written Mystery Babylon the Great the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth Revelation 173 5 Berlin Alexanderplatz is a doomsday story of human fates in the Babel at the nd of timesThe protagonist leaves the prison and returns into the alienated capital citySuddenly he took a run up and he was sitting in the tram with passengers all around him At first it felt like being at the dentist s when the dentist has the offending tooth gripped in his pliers and is pulling and it feels like your head will xplode with the pain Berlin Alexanderplatz is probably the best ver written xpressionistic novel it is grotesuely revelatory and strictly apocalypticThe capital is swarming with peopleThey are reading newspapers of differing political stripe keeping their balance by means of the labyrinthine passages in their ars breathing oxygen dozing off or looking at ach other they feel pain feel no pain make ye contact make no ye contact are happy unhappy are neither unhappy nor happyThe city is a huge boiling cauldron in which human destinies are being cooked Because when worms at soil and make they always at the same stuff The creatures can t stop once they ve had a healthy breakfast they need to stuff themselves the next day as well And it s the same way with people and with fire it s hungry if it s burning and when it can t at it goes out that s the way of itBright lights big city He who lets a current to carry him will be Snowflakes on the Sea eventually caught by an undertow and will go under Digging Ourselves Out It s unlikely that any writer has been described in terms of other writers preceding and following than Alfred D blin Joyce Dostoevsky Henry Miller Bukowski Martin Amis Henry Fielding Upton Sinclair C line Burgess Smollett Isherwood dos Passos and Conrad among others have been mentioned freuently as influences or being influenced It seems impossible to pin D blin down to a definite style or techniue I find him an inspiration for William Gaddis s JR forxample in his stream of conversation Yet he is also uniue in time and place Weimar Germany is in social chaos Work is hard to find Wrathful Chaos: Five Books of Satanic Philosophy even before the Great Depressionspecially for an x con Pornography and the sex trade in general are thriving despite the Victorian or accurately the Wilheminic ra blue laws The historical class structures are being undermined by the same residues of the Great War that are affecting Britain Politics has yet to work out its disastrous compromises although the omens of the future are clear And in a perverse way Berlin despite its status as a conuered capital city is the centre of a new global culture Perhaps this is why D blin is so difficult to categorise or characterise In this one book is all of not just Western literature but also Western culture a literary Mahler s Ninth Franz Biberkopf is the new Everyman ven so than Leopold Bloom Bloom was up against tedium boredom and oppressive religion but at least Dublin was what it always had been Biberkopf s Berlin had no historical continuity It was the far side of the moon waiting to be discovered by the rest of mankind This new world is non traditional It demands the abandonment of habits in order to survive Because the s of good behaviour have yet to be stablished it feels like a prison in which a mis step can have lethal conseuences Trial and Humanism: The Greek Ideal and its Survival error rather than best practice inverything from sex to career the anticipation of Viagra is startling So despite wanting to lead a life of stable conformity such a thing is no longer possible
he swore to all the world and to swore to all the world and to that he would remain decent And as long as he had money he remained decent But then he ran out of money which was a moment he had been waiting for to show them all what he was made of This is the new man the player the scammer the inside trader the mobster the Love 2.0 (A Cates Brothers Book, exploiter of loopholes the corporate boss Thentire foundation social relations had been altered Sociologists may not see that for and The Fix even then not very clearly But D blin captured the wholevent in Biberkopf as he caroms around the streets of Berlin Almost a century later it has become obvious to the rest of us how perceptive he was After his release from prison Biberkopf realises that the world had changed in his absence I know I need to dig deeper he says Indeed don t we all Berlin Alexanderplatz The German uivalent to James Joyce UlyseesBerlin Alexanderplatz is considered to be one "of the most important and innovative works of the arly 20th with world "the most important and innovative works of the arly 20th with world recognition and on the top 100 lists Therefore I was ager to finally read this amazing book which didn t dissapoint Franz Biberkopf in Rainer Wener Fassbinder s Berlin Alexanderplatz television series It s 1929 in Berlin when Franz Biberkopf is released from prison for homicide Out of jail he swears to become an honest man but as life continues to fail him he relapses Unable to Desire in Seven Voices extricate himself from the underworld into which he has sunk he must deal with misery unemployment lack of opportunities crime and the imminent ascendency of Nazism Cheated humiliated mutilatedmbroiled in an underworld of pimps thugs drunks and prostitutes Franz picks himself up over and over again but only falls deeper Berlin 1923To add the context for the non German readers I feel like I need to xplain that time This novel plays in the area of the German Weimarer Republik which marks the time between the first and Second World War 1918 to 1933 The Weimar Republic faced numerous problems including hyperinflation political xtremism as well as contentious relationships with the victors of the First World War Resentment in Germany towards the Treaty of Versailles and it s agreement on war reparations towards the victors was strong The Casa Mono Cookbook especially among the right political spectrum It was this situation which drove Germany into a financial and social crisis mass unemployment hunger and politicalxtremism Veterans without legs and pain medication were lying on the streets bagging for food and the infant mortality was the highest in Europe Be aware that this was the situation ven before the Great Depression in 1929 Many wonder how Hitler could come to power in 1933 It was the Great Depression already hitting this xtremely instabile situation that allowed Nazism to spread Hitler picked up on the despair promised mployment and spread hate towards jews and the victors of the First World War making them responsible for their sufferingMeanwhile the novel doesn t completely miss out on the golden twenties ither In Germany it only lead to a small and very short conomic spike in 192627 but art and culture spread non the less It was the time during which dance theaters drinking music pornography and the sex trade in general were thriving despite the Wilheminic ra of blue laws Berlin 1929It s this area in which the novel dives into with the problems of the Weimar Republic but before the Great Depression During the cultural spike while having Lachlan's Protg (English Edition) extremely high crime rates with a character that is rough andxtremely violent but also kind hearted and naive It s very asy to abuse him for political propaganda or involve him in crimes without him being political antisemitic or ven aware of his actions Still he is the one always paying the price while the initiators walk free The conseuences he suf. Egorie sorprende ogni volta che lo si rilegge Nelle sue pagine c'è così tanta nergia che sembra scritto domani Anche per uesto la storia di Franz Biberko. Fers become and severe leaving him severely disabled He had good intentions and not the criminal motivation you would xpect but is pushed into circumstances that make it almost impossible for him to ver make an honest living While being a criminal without uestion it s hard to not sympathize with him at times Alfred D blinAlthough its narrative style is sometimes compared to that of James Joyce s it has many discrepancies as well and remains it s own innovation It combines all traits of criminal novel social commentary love story development tension and sarcasm The German original massively switches between languages from the proletarian slang of Berlin s criminals German bureaucracy wise jews military songs classic poetry and irritated doctors which is why I urge you to get a good translation Alfred D blin was a jewish socialist writer and psychiatrist which lead him to flew from Germany in 1933 and Berlin Alexanderplatz was burned Wandering in Weimar Purgatory Brutal and prophetic anything but boring I m glad I filled that void A shocking novel A disturbing novel A brutal novelAnd if you click into the novel s ironichumoroussatiric vibe set in the years when Berlin was Europe s most liberal city featuring avant garde art radical politics and sex asily available in any and all varieties then Berlin Alexanderplaz is I kid you not a thrilling Conflict in Blood enjoyable romp at breakneck speedOh the picaresue novel with itspigraphs and pisodic adventures of an insatiable scallywag usually from the lower classes True to form Alfred D blin trots out his main character and hero a World War I vet by the name of Franz Biberkopf fresh from Tegel Penitentiary where he served four years for sending his sweetheart to an arly grave by way of cracking her skull and inflicting an assortment of other nasty injuriesAlfred D blin s The Crucified Ones: Calling Forth the End-Time Remnant expressionist prose reads like mile Zola s naturalism on crack and speed as if nearlyvery man and woman in its five hundred pages has the jazz driven Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age (Lemelson Center Studies in Invention and Innovation series) energy and lan and irreverence of a Henry Miller or a Charles Bukowski And such ualities include the omniscient narrator who inserts jingles and songs headlines and screamers slogans and catchphrases as well as an array of other verbal flotsam that invade a reader s five senses as if one actually spent nights back in 1927 1928 the years D blin wrote his masterpiece wandering the Berlin streets and popping into many of the city s decadent fleshpot theaters And oh those sardonic chapter openings andpigraphs such as Franz Biberkopf is on the job market you need to arn money a man can t life without money and Here decent well intentioned Franz Biberkopf suffers a first reverse He falls victim to a cheat The shock is profound Biberkopf has sworn to be decent and as you ve seen he has been decent for several weeks but that was really just temporary In the long run life finds that too prissy and it cunningly trips him up New York Review Books deserves the highest praise for republishing this German literary classic in Michael Hofmann s stunning translation Mr Hofmann also furnishes an xtensive Afterward wherein he Dialogue: Relationships in Graphic Design expatiates on the life and times of Alfred D blin the history of Berlin Alexanderplatz and the challenges of translating the author s vibrant language into EnglishActually it s Michael Hofmann s observations on language I found most helpful and for good reason in all the many novels I ve read over the years I have never been as keenly aware of the role of a translator as when reading Berlin Alexanderplatz I know I know Berlin in the 1920s was a special time and a special place but I had the sense all the many depictions portrayals sketches and mostspecially the words of Franz Biberkopf and others could have also been from a bustling current day international metropolis say London New York or Los Angeles This to say D blin s novel is as alive today for readers as it was back when Berliners gobbled it up when first publishedAnd such crisp colorful
LANGUAGE THERE HAVE BEEN FREUENT COMPARISONSThere have been freuent comparisons James Joyce s Ulysses a novel D blin greatly admired and stream of consciousness but if there is one aspect of Berlin Alexanderplatz I would like to stress it is this I never had the need to go back and reread any passage or bit of dialogue nor when listening did I replay any part of the audio book the writing is that clear and accessibleSo what manner of man is Franz Biberkopf now that he s out of prison and returns to Berlin At one point he s described as a slick dude hey Franz is as hip as any hip hop artist Here s a passage that comes at a reader as part of one unending gush This Franz Biberkopf previously cement worker then furniture removal man and so forth currently newspaper seller weighs nigh on two hundredweight He has the strength of a cobra snake and has joined an athletics club again Decked out in green puttees hobnail boots and a bomber jacket You won t find much money on him it only comes to him in small amounts but The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths even so it s worth trying to get to know him For added flair the narrator tosses in references from ancient Greek literature figures such as Agamemnon Telemachus Helen Also the Bible Adam Eve the Serpent Job Not to mention grizzly details of slaughterhouses The killing bays must be at the back it s from there you hear smacking sounds crashing suealing screaming gurgling grunting sounds There are big cauldrons there which produce the steam Men dunk the dead beasts in the boiling water scald them pull them out nice and white a man scrapes off the outer skin with a knife making the animal still whiter andvery part smooth Very mild and white deeply contented as after a strenuous bath a successful operation or massage the pigs lie out on wooden trestles in rows they don t move in their sated calm and in their new white "Tunics They Are All Lying On Their "They are all lying on their on some you see the double row of tits the number of breasts a sow has they must be fertile animals But they all of them have a straight red slash across the throat right in the middle which looks deeply suspicious Of course this passage brings to mind Germany in the not so distant future the death camps following Adolf Hitler proclaimed Chancellor in 1933 There are references in the novel to the National Socialist Party and swastikas but swinging freewheeling Berlin remained liberal artistic and as free as a randy decadent bird in the pages of Berlin AlexanderplatzNot only will readers follow the fate of Franz but also many other men and women I purposely went light on the story s arc curves and swerves by my Modeling and Analysis of Communicating Systems eye many reviewers reveal too much better to allow you the reader to discover what happens to Franz and others for yourself Since so much of the beauty and artistry of Alfred D blin s masterpiece is in the language I llnd with Michael Hofmann s favorite passage on the song to the outgrowths of Berlin Suffer them to approach Suffer them to approach The great flat plains the lonely brick houses giving out a reddish light The towns all in a line Frankfurt an der Oder Guben Sommerfield Liegnitz Breslau the towns appear with their stations the towns with their great and small streets Suffer them to approach the cabs the sliding shooting cars What an intense jaunt I Inventing the Medium: Principles of Interaction Design as a Cultural Practice encourage you to hop in one of those sliding shooting cars and travel to Berlin by way of Alfred D blin German born in 1957 poet and translator Michael HofmannGerman author Alfred D blin 1878 1957 He swore to all the world and to himself that he would remain decent And as long as he had money he remained decent But then he ran out of money which was a moment he had been waiting for to show them all what he was made of Alfred D blin Berlin Alexanderplat. Pf il cobra appena uscito di prigione terrorizzato all'idea di The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth essere nuovamente libero resta unica di una bellezza disperata assoluta Giuseppe Culicchi.