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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

HUMORISTS,   SATIRISTS,   SATANISTS,  VISIONARIES    6l

His songs of loose student life (Gigerlette, ]eanette> Josephine, etc.)
are unforgettable; the immorality may be regrettable, but the in-
souciance is disarming. The very idiocy of his refrains has a charm;
as in his song of the young witch, who rides out into the night
air (Rack, schack, schacke mem Pferdcheri) and all the while hears her
baby's laughter (Kling, ling., klingalaki). His song Der lustige FLhe-
mann was so popular that it more or less discredited the Oberbrettl
movement:

EJngelringelrosenkran^

Ich tan^ mit meiner Frau,

Wir tan^en urn den HLosenbusch,

Klingklanggloribusch,

Ich dreh mich me em Pfau.

The first of his satirical novels was Die Freiersfahrten und Freiers-
meinungen des miberfeindlichen Pankra^ius Graun^er (1895), in which
he tilts particularly at the foibles of art circles and parodies the
Darwinian theory of natural selection. His great success was the
long novel Stilpe: Rowan aus derFroschperspektive (i 897). The model
is ostensibly Murge'r's Scenes de la vie de Bobeme, but Bierbaum
needed no prompting for his presentation of the student's and
journalist's life he knew so well. The picture is sufficiently dis-
gusting. Stilpe (like Bierbaum) is a verbummeltes Genie, who man-
ages to make a splash in journalism and lays about him as a Berlin
critic. The characters of this Berlin Boheme are portraits: derBaren-
fuhrer is Paul Scheerbart, der Peripatetiker is Peter Hille, Casimir
is Przybyszewski, and der Zungenschnal^er is Julius Meier-Grafe.
There is internal evidence that the far-flung fame of Oscar Wilde
- who at the time the novel was written had just been released
from prison - shaped the characterization of Stilpe: the chosen
colour of both is yellow. The influence of Wilde is patent in the
novel Prins^ Kuckuck, Lebeny Tafen, Meinungen und Hollenfahrt ernes
Wollustlings (1907-8). The model of the hero is said to have been
Alfred Walter Heymel, one of the "Oberbrettl poets; his name in
the novel is Henry Felix Hauart, and he is called Prinz Kuckuck
because he does not know who his father was and has always
nested with other people. His mother is a Jewess, who sees him
as rarely as the mother of Wilde's Star Child saw her son; and like
the Star Child he denies his mother - for he is an anti-Semite. Like
Carl Hauptmann's Ismael Friedmann he - *eine