Europa in Alfred Döblins Amazonas-Trilogie
Diagnose eines kranken Kontinents
1. Edition 2011
The topos of Europe's lingering illness is omnipresent in Alfred Döblin's novel "Amazonas". The novel portrays the course of European modernism as the history of a disease, breaking out in the Age of Discovery and reaching its catastrophic climax in the barbarity of Fascism. Exaggerated rationalism, materialism and nihilism culminate in an excessive will to power and rule and senseless, crazy (self-) destruction. Europe and the Europeans seem to be denied any alternative. This diagnosis, made with pen and paper by the doctor and writer Döblin is crushing, but not final.
Taking Döblin's poetological, cultural-philosophical and anthropological writings into account, Vera Hildenbrandt sees "Amazonas" as a laboratory in which Döblin gets to the root of the disease of his time by examining Europe and Europeans in different epochs and from numerous different angles. At the same time he shows ways and means of conceiving of a new, different Europe.