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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

114                    MODERN   GERMAN   LITERATURE

Aber die ILiebe \ ist das Trube? What is best in the book reflects
DehmePs passionate wooing of Hedwig Lachmann. 'Wie aus dem
Schilf die Wasserfee\ he hails her, 'taucbest du winkend aus der Schar |
der andern um uns %u mir her | mit deinem langen schwar^en Haar | und
deinem fernen Augenpaar? She was another Jewess. In Eetrachtungen
(Kultur und Rasse) he says of himself: 'Ich stamme aus durchweg blau-
dugigen und uberwiegend blonden Familien und Hebe die dunkeln judischen
Prawn. Ich finde bei keiner andern Art Weib so viel hellen Geist mit
seelischer Glut verbunden.' HEDWIG LACHMAN (1870-1918) was a poet-
ess of distinction; her original verse (Im Ttilde, 1902) does not rise
beyond formal perfection, but this very quality makes her trans-
lations of Rossetti, Swinburne, Poe, and Verlaine notable. Her
poems Begegmng and Spa^iergang reflect her feelings for Dehmel:
he and she are like two birches at the rim of the forest; gossamer
threads bind one to the other. She remained good, and in 1900
married Gustav Landauer, who wrote Socialist books, and was
murdered in the street in Munich in 1919 at the time of the Com-
munist troubles. Hedwig Lachmann's resistance stirred the poet
to his very depths. It was the period when, according to his diary,
he stood on a bridge and was near committing suicide. He was
tortured by dreams and hallucinations; organ notes surged within
him, and oracular words; or on the roof of his room he would see
Christ's face with the crown of thorns burning with electricity.
He could only rid himself of his hallucinations by projecting them
into verse, and to this morbid state we owe the loveliest poems of
Aber die Uebe. How individual his technique became under the
stress may be seen from one of these Hedwig lyrics, Ohnmacht:

Doch als du dann gegangen^
da bat sich mein Verlangen
gan^ aufgetan nach dir.
Als sollt ich dicb verlienn^
schuttdte icb mit irren
Fingern deine verschlossene Tur.

Und durcb die Nacht der Scheiben,
ob du nicbt witrdest bleiben,
bettelten meine Augen; und
du gingst binauf die Stufen
und hast micb nicht gerufen,
mich nicht yuruck an deimn