The Emptying of Meaning in Döblin's "Berlin Alexanderplatz"

By Goran Mijic.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper examines the fundamental question of whether it is possible to use a highly automatized discourse of technology and still remain human at the same time.

Keywords: Technological and Narrative Discourse, Emptying of Meaning, Montage Technique, Technology and Individual, Literary Criticism in a Technological Age

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.31-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.072MB).

Goran Mijic

My interest in science and technology dates back to my childhood. My father used to invent different machines, and my mother and older sister were mathematicians. Surrounded by all sorts of technological apparatus and theoretical thought, I felt deep admiration for the wonders of modern technology and science. At the same time, I was somewhat frightened by the rigidly structured time and reasoning of my parents, so that I felt that I was missing something essential. I have compensated for this lack through the study of humanities. I have become involved with in-depth studies of German literature, languages, philosophy, and sociology; however, I have never abandoned my interest in technology and science. I found a solution in combining literature and technology/science at the University of Hamburg, from which I received my M.A. degree, and which is known for its specialization in the interaction of the expanding natural sciences and technology on the one hand, and German literature on the other. At the University of Utah, my studies focus on 20th- century German novels and film. The relationship between 20th-century German novels and films and technology/science has been investigated in numerous papers and oral presentations, which have generally focused on the human battle against the technological Leviathan - a frightening invisible societal giant who determines the life of human beings and who is difficult to control. The role of the language, especially the relationship between "expert knowledge/discourses" and "everyday language," has always played an important role in my projects. In the future I would like to examine how literary topics can enrich, offer an alternative, or maybe even solve some scientific concerns, and vice versa.


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