“I’m waiting for the victory of decency, then I could make myself available.”
~Erich Kästner, Going to the Dogs. The Story of a Moralist (Informally translated)
“Originally published in German in 1931 and in an expurgated English translation in 1932, this novel is the tale of Jacob Fabian, a Berlin advertising copywriter doomed in the context of economic, ethical, and political collapse by his characteristic mixture of detachment and decency.
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“I have seen apes only at the fair, they must perform tricks, are chained up, a bitter fate, no human has one so hard.”
~Alfred Döblin, Berlin Alexanderplatz
The novel concerns the story of Franz Biberkopf, an ex-convict, who balances between his past in the underworld and his wish to become decent in the 1920’s Berlin. Döblin uses montage techniques to enhance the effect of the pulsing metropolis by making use of newspaper articles, songs, speeches, and other books.
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“We are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves. From our life. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces.”
~Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
“This is the testament of Paul Bäumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army of World War I. These young men become enthusiastic soldiers, but their world of duty, culture, and progress breaks into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches.
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