Every so Often

There remains some portion of the Weimar Republic that is valuable historically, and it is meaningful literature. Alfred Döblin wrote about real, everyday experiences. These stories are bits of tenderness, sympathy and severity. One receives a strong sense of the German character during the time of Germany's first democracy. A culture that produces great art and thought cannot go without human empathy and hardy sentiment, but what I take from these stories is a sense of what is real, how it is that we survive the storm that is the flow of vitality from work and from a demand to express what we have seen. It is not a world of eidoi in which we live, but one that has at its core a kind of surrender to destruction and eventual annihilation. Unfortunately, our politics must follow the same path as our energy, and our need for constant renewal must be part of what we do in order to become and remain good. Döblin's characters, as far as I presently know them, demand an honesty from the reader.

The Germans seem to know what the ancient Greeks recognized. One suffers regularly within a context of occasional joy.