THE DRAMATISTS OF NATURALISM 37 Dominik, the Breslau student whose teachers will not allow him to come up for his examination con the ground of moral delinquency'. The period of Quint's appearance is set about 1890, a time when all Germany was in a ferment; and we have transparent portraits of celebrities of that time and after, e.g. Peter Hullenkamp is the hallucinated poet Peter Hille, the picturesque vagrom man among the naturalists. There is an autobiographical substratum, too, in Hauptmann's second long novel. In 1884, while studying sculpture in Rome, he had been laid up with an attack of typhoid fever, and probably his life was saved by his fiancee., who came from Germany to nurse him. Ten years later he visited America. These are the two ex- periences which form the groundwork of Atlantis (1912). There is much else that is obviously autobiographical; probably the hero Friedrich von Kammacher, whose experiments in bacteriology have ended in a fiasco, is as much Hauptmann himself as Vockerat is in Einsame Menschen or Heinrich in Die versunkene Glocke. While Friedrich's scientific reputation was being torn to shreds his wife had gone mad; these two threads which the Parcae had woven into his life had snapped, but a third thread, his passion for a little vampire of a dancing girl, is still whole. He takes a berth on a steamer by which she is travelling to New York; and more than half of the book is taken up with the life on board the Roland till it is rammed by a derelict, with the escape of a boatful of passen- gers, including the doctor and his dancing girl, and with their rescue by a schooner. Minute as the description is, there is not a moment's languor; and accounts of actual shipwrecks by survivors seem illusory after the unerring balancing of psychological states which even Hauptmann could probably not have written if he had not been a pupil of Forel.1 Moreover, the events as described are strangely prophetic of the disaster to the Titanic, which occurred shortly afterwards. In New York, Friedrich whistles his dancing girl down the wind, joins a circle of artists, and takes lessons in sculpture, at which he had tried his hands in his youth, from Eva Burns. But he cannot free his mind from the experiences of the shipwreck, and he would become a maniac if the 'poisons and putrid matter' in his body did not end his consciousness by an 1 August Fotel's Die sexuel/e Frage (1904), Mantegazza's Pbystologie der Liebe, and Krafft-Ebing's Psychopathia sexwlis had considerable influence on this period.