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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

90                     MODERN   GERMAN   LITERATURE

as a Japanese singer, was taken to be a hit at a famous producer.
Musical virtuosi are the protagonists of Die Andere (1905), with its
picture of the dual nature of Lida Lind the violinist, and of Bahr's
most successful play, Das Kon^ert (1910), a rollicking farce in
which a famous pianist is pestered by his pupils, whom he refers
to as 'die Ganse\ His wife is aware that according to the mood of
the moment he selects one or the other for a night's recreation in
his cottage in the forest; he is then, officially, called away to give
a concert; she has the tolerance of a wise Viennese lady, and in
the last act wins him back by going with the husband of the lady
of the moment to the forest cottage and pretending that since her
companion is her lover a double exchange is the obvious way out.
There is too much of the fireworks of conversation in DasKon%erty
but the characterization is effective; the pianist - said to be self-
portraiture (Bahr boasted of his success with women) - is some-
thing of a stock figure (Wedekind's Kammersanger is the same
type), but he has little ways which individualize him; the wife,
with her pretence of indifference and her belief that an artist hus-
band is a child and to be treated as such, is an effective stage role;
and quite delightful is Eva, one of the pupils, tailormade in snake
fashion ^neun^ehn Jahre; sehr schlank, phantastisch, auf SMange stili-
siert. . . versucht auf alle Weise nervos %u schillern ...'), who, just
when the bad boy has promised to reform, arrives at the cottage
in a state of erotic excitement. The curtain rings down with Eva
in the hero's arms; she is telling the usual tale - 'Frau von Stein und
Goethe*, *Seeleneinsamkeit\ etc.; this philandering is second nature,
part of the musician's business, and aids publicity (for if scandal
ceases he is classed as worn out in body and music); and so,
mechanically, he must go through the routine movements with
Eva fainting in his arms to bliss. And with his wife in the next
room! It would be interesting to compare Bahr's ironical depic-
tion of erotic Viennese women in Das Kon^ert - as also in Wiene-
rinnen (1900) - with that of Schnitzler; what one sees at a glance
is that with Bahr the treatment is Don Juanesque and jovial, and
with Schnitzler pathological and, under the cynical surface, sad.
Bahr's novels and tales, after Die gute Schule, have little interest
other than (where the originals of the characters were recognized)
scandalous or as Austrain aspects. The short tales otCaph (1894)
are in Maupassant's manner. After his return to the Roman Cath-
olic fold, and under the influence of expressionistic ethics, Bahr