Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Under a liberal definition of the form, one would probably consider two additional works by Alfred Döblin(DOH-bleen) as novels: Manas: Epische Dichtung (1927; Manas: a verse epic) and Die Pilgerin Aetheria (1978; Aetheria the pilgrim). The consciously archaic verse form of the first and the relative brevity of the second exclude them from the category of novels in the view of at least some scholars.

Döblin also wrote short stories throughout his literary career, though the majority of them were written before 1933 and were typically first published in well-known literary journals of their time: Der Sturm, Der neue Merkur, Die neue Rundschau, and Die literarische Welt. Eighteen of these earlier stories were reprinted, together with six new ones, in collections in 1913 and 1917. Between 1906 and 1931, Döblin experimented four times with drama. All four plays saw production (in Berlin, Darmstadt, Leipzig, and Munich), but their respective legal, political, and critical consequences outshone their dramatic quality.

The best known of Döblin’s novels, Berlin Alexanderplatz, was adapted as a radio play, with script by Döblin and the radio director Max Bings, in 1930. In the following year, it became a film success in an adaptation written by Döblin in collaboration with Hans Wilhelm. (The overwhelming international acclaim given German cinema director Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s...

(The entire section is 402 words.)