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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

120                  MODERN   GERMAN   LITERATURE

'Ich war ihr Vampyr? They flee together, and in their union realize
the new doctrine of the spiritualization of the flesh. Lea has sym-
bolic variety: she is the goddess Isis; she is Frau Welt; but she is
the physical image of Frau Isi. And Lux is in every physical detail
Dehmel: 'seine offne Stim, den kur%j!fhaltnenT$arty \ den Mundvon trdu-
merlsch verschhssemr Art^ \ Hiebnarben neben den beftigen Nustern...'
It is the tense reality of the story beneath the tinsel that gives the
poem its interest; and added to this there is the lyric splendour of
certain passages.

Stern reproof and partial praise had combined to give Dehmel
the notoriety which made the publication (1905-9) of his Gesam-
melte Werke in ten volumes possible. His last volume of verse,
Schbm wilde Welt (1913), is pathetic; even a last extra-marital esca-
pade had not prevented his poetic vein from calcifying. Even
when he re-states his sex doctrine we get: 'Doss der Mensch am
Weib sich freut^ \ dass die Freude Sam en streut^ \ das ists^ was die Welt
erneut? Die Musik des Mont Blanc shows the poet as the keen Alpinist
he was in his later years. That he was physically fit he proved by
enlisting on the outbreak of war in 1914; he served in the trenches,
won the Iron Cross, was promoted to lieutenant, was wounded,
had an attack of thrombosis, was declared unfit for active service
but kept in the army till the end of the War. He died in 1920 of
thrombosis.

Dehmel will keep his place in the annals of literature if only
by the sheer strangeness of his personality and by the fascination
which emanated from his person as from his works. It would be
quite possible to liken him to Mephistopheles: he had a sulphur-
ous effulgence. He denied all that the parson calls good, and what
he called good, the parson might very well say, was the lure of the
devil. That he wrote devilishly fine poetry would not make an
angel of him.

Dehmel had his school (Paul Zech, Winckler, etc.), but as dis-
ciples they were bound to follow his own Nietzschean injunction:
Sei Du! OSKAR LOERKE (1884-1941) is a Dehmelianer, but rather in
the sense of personal devotion to a master than in style and doc-
trine; his nearness is that of North German mentality, and actually
he continues Annette von Droste-Hiilshoff; he has Annette's close
vision of the mystic earth and her rough-hewn rhythms covering
vibrant feeling. He is a 'cosmo-centric' poet who strives to take
the absolute into himself; he loves, as parts of the absolute, not