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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

80                      MODERN   GERMAN   LITERATURE

turning out of mass matter. The style, in a kind of Whitmanesque
prose, runs parallel with that of Johannes Schlaf in the sketches
of his rural divagations; and it is indeed as an experimenter in free
rhythms that Casar Flaischlen has historical interest as a lyrical
poet1: wistful moods he renders admirably in his seemingly artless
verse. His dramas (Tom Sturmer•, 1891, and Martin Lehnhar*//, 1895)
are in their reflection of the poet's own ripening of mood and
character complementary to Jost Seyfried; Martin l^ehnhardt counts
also (say, with Max Dreyer's Der Probekandidat and Hermann
Stehr's Drei Nachte) in the literature of religious anguish and
revolt: a theological student, after a poignant argument with a
clergyman, abjures the faith he was to have preached; here Flaisch-
len is trying to fashion (like Johannes Schlaf in his trilogies and
like Kurt Martens) a kind of healed decadent (gesundeter Dekadenf),
one who has won his way to a moral Nietzscheanism.

The hero is levelled rather than raised in those novels of the
period which stand for the social doctrines of the extreme political
left. The typical Communistic novel, John Henry Mackay's Die
Anarchistm^ is less literature than programme; the typical Socialist
novels are Hans Land's Der neue Gott and Felix Hollander's Jesus
und Judas. The symptomatic feature of these tales, the abnegation
of his 'higher' class and conventional faith by an aristocrat or
theologian, who becomes one of the people, is of course common
to the European life of the day; in Germany there were Socialist
theologians such as Bruno Wille; and one clergyman, Paul Gohre,
actually worked as a factory hand for three months and described
his experiences in Drei Monate Fabrikarbeiter (1891) and Denkwiir-
digkeiten mdErinnerungen eines Arbeiters. An aristocrat had espoused
the people's cause in fiction in George Sand's Le Compagnon du
Tour de France; in German life an officer did so in the person of
Morite von Egidy, and in German fiction there is Fedor in Omp-
teda's Deutscher Adelum 1900, who refuses to be any longer 'noble
by love of self (em Adeliger des Egoismus) and seeks to be 'noble
by love of others' (fin Adeliger des Altruismus). The millionaire's
son who gives up his wealth and turns Communist we get later
in Jakob Wassermann's novel Christian Wahnschaffe and Georg
Kaiser's dramas Koralle and Gas, The hero of HANS LAND'S (1861-
92) Derneue Goltis a count and lieutenant in the Hussars who lives
in a garret and serves the Socialist party; he fails to adapt himself,
1 Von AlltagundSonne (1898), Zmschenklange (1909).