Alfred Döblin. A Biography
Döblin's novel Berlin Alexanderplatz brought him international fame, but other than that he is considered the great unknown of German literature and his other works remain in comparative obscurity. Döblin was many things: a patriarch of modernism, the Homer of Berlin, a petit bourgeois and a post-war cultural officer. He was also a government doctor, a mystic, an emigrant and Thomas Mann's only real rival, as well as a first-hand victim of and witness to 20th century German history. Reluctant to talk about himself, he relegated his own psychological dramas, suffering, anguish and passions to his work; in his novels he was able to superimpose the order of art upon the chaos of experience, which comes across as wild, raw and forthright in his writing. Now, at last, Wilfried F. Schoeller presents the first comprehensive Döblin biography, drawing on his in-depth knowledge of the author's oeuvre and introducing hitherto unknown source material. Schoeller presents the many, often contradictory, aspects of Döblin's life and demonstrates how much there is to discover in the richness of his vast literary cosmos.