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By Alfred (Eugene Jolas, trans.) Doblin

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Too strong resistance through extreme psychic inhibitions, exhaustion of the erective center. At what moment the impotent patient will be able to resume his functions can be determined only through the progress of each individual case. A period of abstention is often effective. And gluttonously he eats and sleeps his fill, and the next day on the street he thinks: I’d like to have this gal, and that gal I’d like to have, but doesn’t go near any of them. And the one in the show-window, what a plump little morsel.

A piece of twine on my tongue; got to spit it out. He is standing in the hallway, she shuts the door behind him. ” “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.

James Joyce’s Ulysses has been mentioned as a source for Döblin’s writing style, with its rapid shifts between interior monologue, collage of quotations, and montage of fragmented details. Filmmakers from Phil Jutzi (1931) to Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1980) have been attracted by its technique. ” German Expressionism reached its zenith with Döblin’s masterpiece. The “Americanization” of the Weimar Republic and its culture is reflected in the hectic life at Alexanderplatz in the heart of Berlin, in the emergence of a new, socially and sexually independent woman, and in the at-once fascinating and threatening aspects of technology.

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