Berlin Alexan­der­platz

The Week (US) - - Arts 25 - By Al­fred Döblin (NYRB Clas­sics, $19)

One of the land­marks of mod­ern Ger­man lit­er­a­ture fi­nally has a solid English trans­la­tion, said Amanda DeMarco in The Wall Street Jour­nal. The slang-laden di­a­logue in Al­fred Döblin’s 1929 novel about an ex-con strug­gling to go straight is “fiendishly dif­fi­cult” to trans­late, and Michael Hoff­man was brave to at­tempt a new English edi­tion. But he’s done well by be­ing as loose as Döblin was. With Berlin Alexan­der­platz, “the trans­la­tor’s chal­lenge is to mas­ter its crude, prodi­gious en­er­gies.”

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