Chapter

Renegade Modernism

Ehrhard Bahr

in Weimar on the Pacific

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780520251281
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933804 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520251281.003.0009
Renegade Modernism

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Alfred Döblin, the least known of all the German exile writers in Los Angeles, departed from modernism in his exile works in tandem with his conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1941. After the burning of the Reichstag in 1933, he immediately fled Germany via Zurich to Paris, where he lived relatively comfortably until 1940, when France was invaded by German troops. Like Franz Werfel, Döblin was an author of avant-garde literature who turned to anti-modernism in exile. He continued the form of the modernist novel in November 1918, but advanced a history of salvation that was in conflict with modernism. Although Döblin was Jewish, he showed an affinity for Catholicism that influenced his works. Döblin was quite productive during his years in Los Angeles, completing the first part of his autobiography, Schicksalsreise: Bericht und Bekenntnis (Destiny's Journey), as well as his novel Karl und Rosa (Karl and Rosa), the last part of his tetralogy November 1918: 204 Renegade Modernism Eine deutsche Revolution (November 1918: A German Revolution).

Keywords: Alfred Döblin; Karl and Rosa; modernism; exile; anti-modernism; France; November 1918; salvation; Catholicism; Los Angeles

Chapter.  11225 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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