Döblin, Alfred

(1878-1957)
   novelist, essayist, and physician; known chiefly for the novel Berlin Alexanderplatz. Born into a Jewish family in Stettin, he spent a lonely childhood in Berlin* after his father, proprietor of a tailor shop, fled to America with a shop seamstress; the episode was crucial to his later writing. After earning a medical degree in 1905, he briefly was an attendant in a Regensburg mental institution; returning to Berlin in 1907, he came under the influence of Expressionism* and helped found the weekly Der Sturm in 1910 with Herwarth Walden.* During 1911-1933 he maintained a private neu-rological practice. He managed the Aktionsgemeinschaft für geistige Freiheit (Alliance for Intellectual Freedom) from 1928, a watchdog group that scrutinized application of the Law for the Protection of Youth against Trash and Filth.* Although he was elected in 1928 to the Prussian Academy of Arts, as a "city intellectual" (Asphaltliterat) of Jewish heritage, he foresaw the personal danger involved in remaining in Nazi Germany. Immediately after the Reichstag fire (27 February 1933), he left Germany.
   While Döblin was still studying medicine, he began a literary career that resulted in more than forty books. His early short stories were collected in 1913 as Die Ermordung einer Butterblume (The murder of a buttercup). As was the case with Gottfried Benn* (also a physician), Döblin's keen eye allowed him to distill the big-city psyche and its collective soul. Berlin, with a population nearing four million, was where the individual increasingly withdrew and dis-appeared. Yet while he experienced the mass soul of modern-age Berlin as pure trauma, Döblin loved the city. His masterpiece, Berlin Alexanderplatz,anim-mediate best-seller in 1929, has been compared to Joyce's Ulysses and Dos Passos's Manhattan Transfer. Utilizing a montage technique, it provides a strik-ing portrait of the Berlin underworld. Although he refused to view it as his magnum opus (he assigned this label to the tetralogy November 1918, written during 1939-1950), Berlin Alexanderplatz is generally regarded as Döblin's fin-est work.
   Craving Berlin and his German-speaking public, Döblin found his years of exile painful. He took French citizenship in 1936 and fled to the United States in 1940. Largely forgotten, he returned to Germany in 1945 as part of the French occupation army. Remaining for eight years, he relocated to Paris in 1953, em-bittered by his inability to place his work with German publishers.
   REFERENCES:Dollenmayer, Berlin Novels; NDB, vol. 4.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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  • Döblin, Alfred — born Aug. 10, 1878, Stettin, Ger. died June 26, 1957, Emmendingen, near Freiburg im Breisgau, W.Ger. German novelist and essayist. He studied medicine at the Universities of Berlin and Freiburg, specializing in psychiatry. His first novel, The… …   Universalium

  • Doblin, Alfred — (1878 1957)    German poet and novelist. He was born in Stettin and became a psychiatrist. His first novels were expressionist in nature. In 1933 he fled from Germany to France and then to the US. In his novels of this period he criticized Jewish …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Döblin, Alfred — ► (1878 1957) Escritor alemán. Fue uno de los fundadores de la revista La tempestad. Autor de: Los tres saltos de Wang Lun (1915). * * * (10 ago. 1878, Stettin, actual Szczecin, Polonia–26 jun. 1957, Emmendingen, cerca de Friburgo de Brisgovia,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Döblin, Alfred —    см. Дёблин, Альфред …   Энциклопедический словарь экспрессионизма

  • Döblin — Döblin, Alfred …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Alfred Döblin — Alfred Bruno Döblin (* 10. August 1878 in Stettin; † 26. Juni 1957 in Emmendingen) war ein deutscher Arzt und gesellschaftskritischer Schriftsteller. Alfred Döblin, ca. 1930 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alfred Doblin — Alfred Döblin Alfred Döblin Alfred Döblin (10 août 1878, Stettin, alors en Allemagne 26 juin 1957, Emmendingen, Allemagne) était un médecin et écrivain allemand. Il a acquis la nationalité française en …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alfred Döblin — (August 10, 1878 – June 26, 1957) was a German expressionist novelist, best known for Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929). Life 1878–1918Döblin was born in Stettin (Szczecin), Province of Pomerania, as the son of a Jewish merchant. His family moved to… …   Wikipedia

  • DÖBLIN (A.) — DÖBLIN ALFRED (1878 1957) Un des romanciers allemands les plus importants du XXe siècle, qui fut l’un des fondateurs de la revue Der Sturm. D’origine très modeste, Alfred Döblin parvient néanmoins à faire des études de médecine et il exerce un… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Döblin — Döblin,   Alfred, Schriftsteller, * Stettin 10. 8. 1878, ✝ Emmendingen 26. 6. 1957; stammte aus einer jüdischen Kaufmannsfamilie; studierte Medizin in Berlin und Freiburg im Breisgau und lebte seit 1912 als Facharzt für …   Universal-Lexikon

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