Alfred Lichtenstein (* 23 August 1889 in Berlin-Wilmersdorf; † 25 September 1914 near Vermandovillers, Somme, France) was a german expressionist writer.
Lichtenstein grew up in Berlin as the son of a manufacturer. He finished a study of law in Erlangen. His was first recognized after publishing poems and short stories in a grotesque style, which recalls a friend of his, Jakob van Hoddis.
"Der einzige Trost ist: traurig sein. Wenn die Traurigkeit in Verzweiflung ausartet, soll man grotesk werden. Man soll spaßeshalber weiter leben. Soll versuchen, in der Erkenntnis, dass das Dasein aus lauter brutalen, hundsgemeinen Scherzen besteht, Erhebung zu finden."
The only solace: be sad! If sadness becomes despair: be grotesque! Be a clown, trying to find one's amusement by recognizing that existence consists of sheer brutal and shabby strokes. ( A. Lichtenstein )
Indeed, there were voices, claiming an imitation: while Hoddis created this style, Lichtenstein has enlarged it, was said. Lichtenstein played a little around with that reputation by writing a short story, called "The winner", which describes in a scurill way the by chance made friendship of two young man, wherein one falls victim to the other. By using false names he often joshes real persons of the Berlin 1920´th, including himself as Kuno Kohn, a silent shy boy; in "The winner" it is a caricatured - virile van Hoddis, who kills Kuno Kohn at the end of the story. Lichtenstein liked the manner of the French writer Alfred Jarry not only in his ironic writings, like him he rode his bicycle through the town. He did not get old: in 1914 he fell at the front in World War I.