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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

PREFACE
TO THE THIRD EDITION

The present edition fulfils the promise made in my last Preface.
The text of the first edition has in the main been kept; but certain
writers who in 1939 were in the forefront of interest have now
passed to the rear and the space allotted to them has necessarily
been shortened. Other writers on the contrary are now more
accurately appreciated because of the indefinable musicality of
their verse (Georg Trakl for instance) and because their mentality
and moods gave scope for the deepened psychological probing
of these later years. The writers of the Nazi period with their
clamour and clangour have now only historical and symptomatic
importance, except perhaps that their cult for racial reasons of
Heimatkunst has kept the prestige it gained. After the advent of
Hitler not a few of the most eminent writers, Jew or Gentile,
found asylum abroad; some were naturalized in the country of
their adoption; and those of them who were discussed in the first
two editions and continued to produce in exile - some of them
their best work - have had this later work fully treated. The
glaring feature of the post-war B/tite%eit is the vogue of Existen-
tialism, and my supplementary chapters follow the genesis and
the growth of this 'Magic Realism' or whatever we may care to
call it, although the traditionalist opposition has been stressed
and interpreted. One feature of the post-war period cannot be
missed: from 1933 to the end of the war the Germans had been
denied access to foreign literature, and inevitably, as soon as the
gates were flung open, the new French and Anglo-American
literature came as a revelation that instantly called forth work of
sterling worth in the same style and spirit. The new literature
may be remotely fanciful or it may strike out to the last limits of
Neo-Realism, as for instance in the work of Heimito von Doderer;