“I know God made the world, but I wish a priest would tell me why. Though he made it better than the priests know, he gave us leave to piss on the whole thing, and gave us two hands and a length of rope, and away with it, that’s in our remit, and then the hellish shit is over, enjoy, blessings, we’re going to hell in a handcart.” – Alfred Döblin, Berlin Alexanderplatz (trans. Michael Hofmann)

“Yes, women are my weakness, they are the place where I am mortal, I kiss one, think of a second and eye up a third. Oh, women are my weakness, what can I do, I can’t help it, and if one day I go broke on account of women, then I’ll write Out of Stock on the door of my heart.” – Alfred Döblin, Berlin Alexanderplatz (trans. Michael Hofmann)

“The world is iron, there’s nothing you can do, it rolls up to you like a steamroller, there’s nothing you can do, here it comes, there it goes, they’re sitting on the inside, it’s like a tank, a devil is driving it with horns and glowing eyes, they tear you limb from limb, they sit there with their chains and teeth and tear you into bits. And it runs on, and there’s no getting out of the way of it.” – Alfred Döblin, Berlin Alexanderplatz (trans. Michael Hofmann)

“Whoever thinks bread and baked goods made from depleted white flour can be improved by artificial additions is mistaken, and is leading their clients astray. Nature has laws, and it punished infractions. The impaired health of almost every advanced nation may be traced to indulgence in devalued and refined foods.” – Alfred Döblin, Berlin Alexanderplatz (trans. Michael Hofmann)