To the Editors:

I read John Simon’s essay on Brecht in his letters (“The Amoral Superman,” December 1990) with great interest. But since Mr. Simon is a stickler for accuracy, I would like to call to his attention that the appellation of Alfred Döblin as “the Marxist novelist” is an oversimplification. While it is true that Döblin embraced Marxism after World War I, the record also shows that he did so in a highly unorthodox and free-wheeling manner. After his conversion to Catholicism in 1941, Döblin's work reflects a radical break with Marxism and a pronounced interest in Christian mysticism and religious renewal (cf. Der unsterbliche Mensch, 1946). His frank criticism of atheism and clericalism, neo-capitalism and Marxist orthodoxy made him an outsider in either part of Germany to which he returned in 1945 after spending most of the war years in the United States. Since according to Mr. Simon,...

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