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By Alfred (Eugene Jolas, trans.) Doblin

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Extra info for Berlin Alexanderplatz: The Story of Franz Biberkopf

Example text

Now he groaned, it did him good to groan. In the first days of his solitary confinement he had always groaned like this, and had been happy to hear his own voice, there you have at least something, everything is not lost yet. Many did that in the cells, some in the beginning, others later on, when they felt lonely. Then they started it, it was something human, it consoled them. Thus our man stood in the hallway, did not hear the terrible noise from the street, those mad houses were not there. With pursed lips he grunted to give himself courage, his hands clenched in his pockets.

Too bad, eh. Let ‘em see me. ” He walks along to the left, swings into the room. Rumbledy, bumbledy. That piece of twine on my tongue won’t come off. He scrapes it with his fingers. But it’s nothing, just a lousy feeling on the tip of my tongue. So that’s the room, the stiff-backed sofa, the Kaiser hanging on the wall, a Frenchman in red trousers giving him his sword. I have surrendered. “What do you want here, Franz? ” I have surrendered, the Kaiser presents his sword, the Kaiser must return the sword to him, that’s the way the world runs.

Virtually ignored following his return to Europe in 1945, Döblin’s books fortunately since have been rediscovered. Alexander Stephan Contents Foreword by Alexander Stephan v First Book 3 Second Book 30 Third Book 79 Fourth Book 92 Fifth Book 128 Sixth Book 173 Seventh Book 247 Eighth Book 293 Ninth Book 341 This book reports the story of Franz Biberkopf, an erstwhile cement-and transport-worker in Berlin. He has just been discharged from prison where he has been doing time because of former incidents, and is now back in Berlin, determined to lead a decent life.

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