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Ergebnisanzeige "Beyond the Alexanderplatz - Alfred Döblin Conference "
RessourcentypCall for Papers
TitelBeyond the Alexanderplatz - Alfred Döblin Conference
BeschreibungAlfred Döblin (1878-1957):
Beyond the Alexanderplatz

Wednesday, 21 March - Thursday, 22 March 2007

Venue: Stewart House/Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Co-Ordinators: Steffan Davies (Oxford) and Ernest Schonfield (London)

Keynote speakers: David Midgley (Cambridge), Helmuth Kiesel (Heidelberg)

Call for Papers

Alfred Döblin is one of the most famous, imaginative and prolific German authors of the first half of the twentieth century, and one of the most challenging. His place in the literary canon is assured by Berlin Alexanderplatz, itself a dense composite of wide-ranging allusions and technical innovation, but to base his fame on Alexanderplatz alone does little justice to his significance as a literary figure or to his work as a whole. His works engage with the decisive experiences of a turbulent era: the Kaiserreich, the First World War, Weimar politics and culture, and the problems of exile and return. His themes are the major themes of his times: war and revolution, technological progress, authority, the city, travel, dislocation, mythology, German-Jewish identity. He was at the forefront of literary innovation in the Weimar Republic: Die drei Sprünge des Wang-lun, published in 1915, was a landmark in Expressionist fiction. Most famously, his theory of epic in the novel anticipated and influenced the theatrical principles of Brecht. Although left-leaning politically, he stood at the centre of a remarkably broad network of Weimar authors, notably through his membership of the Literary Section of the Prussian Academy of Arts.

Interest in Döblin arises as much from his complexity as from his importance. In common with many avant-garde writers, his relationship with tradition was contradictory: a strong desire to conform counterbalanced his position as a trendsetter. On the one hand he introduced a global dimension into German literature with works set in China, India, Babylon and South America; on the other hand he wrote about Berlin, and about two of the major traumas of German history, the 1918 Revolutions and the Thirty Years War. Personally he struggled to find a settled political position in the Weimar years; his attitude towards his Judaism was ambiguous. He was intensely ambitious to gain an established place in tradition: on close inspection, his novels are not such arbitrary and accidental constructs as his theory might sometimes suggest, but complex realisations of his underlying conception of epic fiction, and no less deliberately structured than the Realist texts he claimed to oppose.

The popular reception of Döblin and his works during his lifetime and since has arguably not lived up to their importance. Many know (or know of) Berlin Alexanderplatz; few could name another of his texts. In academic circles, work on Döblin, although substantial, has lagged behind that on other Weimar ‘greats’, such as Thomas Mann, Brecht, Robert Musil and Joseph Roth. Fifty years after his death, this international conference aims to bring together a broad range of perspectives on Döblin’s writings and to provide a showcase for new research on them.

We invite contributions in English or German on all aspects of Döblin’s work, including, but not limited to, the following themes:

* Döblin’s texts: what accounts for Döblin’s prominence on the one hand, but the relative obscurity of many of his works on the other? What makes his works worth reading; do they possess qualities beyond literary-historical interest?
* Döblin’s works: can we speak of a coherent oeuvre in Döblin’s case? Are there particular areas of that oeuvre which have been neglected in the past; are there new approaches which might profitably be taken to his work?
* Döblin and the avant-garde: in what sense(s) is Döblin’s work modern? Does it represent the literature of its day, or – as ‘Döblinismus’ – stand alone?
* Döblin and tradition: how did Döblin’s writings both set new trends and tap into traditions and history?
* Döblin and the city: how is the urban experience reflected in Berlin Alexanderplatz and other texts?
* Döblin and others: what contacts and relationships did he have with contemporary authors and institutions?
* Döblin the man: can we speak of a man, or author, with a number of different identities or voices (such as his pseudonym, ‘Linke Poot’)? What place is there for the many personal traumas of his life in interpreting his literary texts?
* Dr Döblin: what was the impact of Döblin’s psychiatry on his writing?
* Döblin on literature: what was the impact of the theoretical writings? Did the practice of his writing meet his theoretical demands?
* Döblin and politics: What is his significance as a commentator on contemporary culture?
* Döblin and metaphysics: How are we to assess his contributions to philosophy and to comparative religion?
* Reception and influence: can Döblin be described as a controller of his own reception? Günter Grass described him as his ‘teacher’; has he also influenced other modern authors?

Please email abstracts of no more than 300 words for papers of 30 minutes to reach both conference organisers by 31st August 2006:

Abstracts may also be sent by post to Jane Lewin (Döblin Conference), at the address below.
University of London School of Advanced Study
Room ST282, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Telephone: +44 (0)20-7862 8966 Fax: +44 (0)20-7862 8970
E-mail: jane.lewin

Quelle der BeschreibungInformation des Anbieters
PersonName: Lewin, Jane 
Funktion: Ansprechpartnerin 
E-Mail: jane.lewin 
KontaktdatenName/Institution: University of London School of Advanced Study 
Strasse/Postfach: Senate House, Malet Street 
Postleitzahl: WC1E 7HU 
Stadt: London 
Telefon: +44 (0)20 7862-8966 
Fax: +44 (0)20 7862-8970 
E-Mail: jane.lewin 
SchlüsselbegriffeLiteratur 1880 - 1945; Literatur nach 1945
Zusätzliches SuchwortAlfred Döblin
Klassifikation17.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1914-1945); 17.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1914-1945) > 17.14.00 Literatur der NS-Zeit. 1933-1945; 17.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1914-1945) > 17.15.00 Exilliteratur; 17.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1914-1945) > 17.18.00 Zu einzelnen Autoren
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