Die Detektivfunktion in "Berlin Alexanderplatz" - eine erzähltheoretische Analyse der Ver- und Enthüllungsstrategien in Alfred Döblins Roman.
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This thesis analyses the function of the detective in Alfred Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz. I argue that the modernist metropolis Berlin challenges the way in which crimes are solved by complicating the process of identifying those responsible for them. The ambivalence of life makes it impossible to get to the truth of crime. This ambivalence, partly created by the urban context, leads to the reinvention of the role of the detective. No longer located in the individual, the function of the detective is shared among author, narrator, protagonist, reader, and the city, whereby the protagonist Franz Biberkopf (on the intra-textual level) and the reader (on the extra-textual level) are the major players. However, neither Biberkopf nor the reader succeeds in this process, but are forced to accept the solution suggested by the text. The thesis adopts a narratological approach in analysing the narrative processes of veiling and unveiling facts and circumstances. It demonstrates how Biberkopf’s specific perception of urban space and his attempt to give it a particular shape in his imagination, as well as the complex relationship of story and discourse in the novel, contribute to the obfuscation of fact and fiction.