44 MODERN GERMAN LITERATURE one need only point to his prose versions of Lohengrin and Parsivafi published in 1914 as a volume of the Ullstein-Jugendbucher; here there is absolute incomprehension of the beauty and meaning of the medieval tales; or there is a cynical distortion of them - cfor a handful of silver'. In Hauptmann's later years there is either pandering to the call of the public for sensational or erotic litera- ture or there are obsessional themes. In any case his range is extremely limited; time and time again he portrays himself and makes capital of the same domestic conflict. There can be no doubt, however, that in the history of the drama he will always have a prominent place; his form of drama may not, according to Lessing's canons, be drama at all, since for 'hero' it substitutes the lurid illumination of a pathological state, but it bears the impress of an interesting personality; and his experiments and successes mark a new period in the history of the German stage. All his good work is on the side of progress and uncompromisingly bold; and for this reason he only just managed under the Nazi regime to save his face: he was branded as volksfremd because his work has no sense unless it defends the right of the individual - even to be immoral. In every literary movement that pushes forward to extremes there is a group of cautious adherents who trail along with them something of the paraphernalia of the old school. They are fol- lowers, but not pioneers. In the period of naturalism they are classed, as far as the theatre is concerned, as Kompromissdramatiker (Sudermann, Fulda, Halbe, Otto Ernst), but they feuilletonize the novel just as much as they blend old and new in the drama. Both in drama and novel the typical pseudo-naturalist is HERMANN SUDER- MANN (1857-1928). He has related the story of his hard youth in Das Bilderbttch meiner Jugend (192.2). Born in East Prussia, he mi- grated to Berlin, and made a hit in 1887 with his novel Frau Sorge, an East Prussian variation of the Romeo and Juliet theme,2 which already shows the salient features of Sudermann's novels: his char- acters are shown in grim contest with conditions imposed upon 1 After Wagner's two operas and Wilhelm Hertz's (1835-1902) fine transla- tion o£Par%wa! (1898), the most notable poetic adaptation is that of Albrecht Schaeffer (p. 153). Vollmoeller's Parrival: Die fruhen Garten is a series of impressions in Stefan George's manner. 2 A favourite motif of Dorfnovetle %&d'Batterndramay e.g. Keller's Romeo und Julie aufdem Dorfe, Auerbach's Erdmute, Anzengruber's Der Meineidbauer and Doppthtlbstmord.