Zachary Lopez

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Berlin, Alexanderplatz holds a unique place in literary history; for despite being considered one of the major Großstadt—or big city—novels of the modernist period, it has largely been forgotten. Between the Axe and the Anvil: Internal (Re)constructions of Modern Subjectivity in Berlin, Alexanderplatz is an essay that grapples with the problem of subjectivity within the city—a problem that is peculiarly similar to the novel’s, as both seem to have been lost amidst the buildings and crowds of Weimar Berlin. By reading the text as a dialectic between the social pressures of modernization and the spatiality of the city, Berlin, Alexanderplatz serves as an excellent case study for examining the ways in which subjectivity is both deconstructed and reconstructed within the textual and industrial city alike.