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34                    MODERN   GERMAN   LITERATURE

Veland1 (1925), in which the legend of Wayland the Smith is
dramatized, is another study of sadism, and thus to some extent it
repeats Griselda: here Veland enslaves Bodwild by twisting her
hair round his fists and raping her, and the measure of her de-
basement by the (at first) forced exercise of the sex function is that
of her passion for this man who 'bends her like a bow'. Veland
can hardly be given dramatic value unless it is classed as a Mdrchen-
drama^ but - though Veland is a god and though the finale sym-
bolizes the self-liberation by rebellion of all oppressed workers -
the general spirit is not that of the Mdrchendrama^ nor could it well
be so as a study of sadism. Veland can work magic, but he can
only free himself from bondage by constructing wings to fly with.
Hauptmann has de-humanized an old tale which has its own satis-
fying symbol of patient human endeavour. Masochism is again
the theme of Hauptmann's next play, Dorothea Angermann (1926);
the heroine is a parson's daughter who is seduced by a cook; he
drags her through the mud, but does not destroy her devotion to
him. The very title ofSpttk (192.9) hints at Hauptmann's progressive
obsession by demonism; there are two plays in the volume, Die
schwar^e Maske and Hexenritt; in the former there is a gigantic
nigger who blackmails his former mistress, now the wife of a
burgomaster; the second is a Swedish scene with Satanism and a
vampire. The title of Vor Sonnenuntergang (1932) seemed to hold
forth a promise of cessation. It is one more study of senile eroti-
cism, but this time an old man's right to the love and possession of
a girl is defended as perfectly natural. The hero, a septuagenarian
business man who has made his pile, infuriates his family by insist-
ing on marrying a young Kindergarten teacher, and they attempt
to foil his plan by suing for the application of legal restraint, which
in Germany means immediate deprivation of rights of administra-
tion till the case is decided. His son-in-law is appointed curator,
with tragic effects. That the play was galvanized into life by the
distinguished actor Werner Krauss does not prove the thesis pro-
pounded by the drama that neither mind nor sex necessarily decay
in advanced age.

It might be charitable not to mention three plays of Hauptmann

1 Wagner's unfinished opera Wieland der Schmied was followed by Franz
Held's We/and der Schmied, Eberhard Konig's Wielant der Schmied (1911), and
Fritz Lienhard's Wieland der Schmied (K)Q<fi. Karl Gustav Vollmoller's Wieland
(1911) is a cynical travesty of the legend: Wieland is a German aviator, whose
first flight is financed by Lord Northwick, proprietor of the Evening Mail.