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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

STEFAN   GEORGE  AND   HIS  CIRCLE                145

of invective which sometimes breaks up the rigidity of George's
icy lines in normal enjambments. In Das Zeitgedicht\& pours scorn
on those who would praise him now his rank is assured; in Dante
und das Zeitgedicht, Goethe-Tag and Nietzsche he shows the affinity
of his fate to those great creative geniuses who were isolated by
the supremacy of their intellect. In Ge^eiten we have George's one
erotic burst. But there is nothing whatever to indicate that a female
is the subject of these love lyrics; and they have morbid thrills:
e.g. Als glitten erkaltete finger \ A.uf wangen von sonnigem flaum. But
the absorbing interest is gathered into the middle part, Maximin.
One poem, Aufdas Leben und den Tod Maximins^ is in six parts: the
first apostrophizes the Munich friends: * . . . mit schimmer urn die
haare \ Erschien eingott und trat %u euch ins haus . . . | Preist eure stadt
die einen gott geboren! \ Preist eure %eit in der ein gott gelebtT The
second describes a pious visit to the place where the God was born.
Einverhibung is ecstatic mysticism: George worshipping Maximin
calls himself the creation of his own son (Ich geschopf nun eignen
sohnes).

Der Stem des Bundes (1914), again tripartite, continues the doc-
trine embodied by Maximin: physical beauty is not only the guer-
don of love, it is the law of life and the very sense of the universe.
Since Maximin was the perfect youth (^schon me kein bild undgreifbar
me kein tram??} George's doctrine is also worship of youth - and,
since from the time of the appearance of Der Stern des Bmdes the
youth movement grew apace in Germany, it had its share in fur-
thering the cult (so important as it has proved for military policy)
of the beautiful and healthy body. It was one of the books - Also
sprachZarathustra and Rilke's Die Weise von 'Liebe undToddes Cornets
Christoph ~BJIke were two others - which soldiers carried in their
knapsacks during the War. In George's 'third humanism',1 which
in this book he interprets, the principles of the Third Empire are
foreshadowed: thus the children of God must keep apart from
' women of alien nature' ('Mif den frauen fremder ordnung \ Sollt ihr
nicht den leib beflecken \ Harret! lasset pfau bei affeT}.2 Sundering
dubious divinity from divine poetry one must give first place to
the poems in this book in which what should be the monotonous

1 The term 'dritter Humanismus* derives, not from George himself, but
from Lothar Helbing's essay Der dritte Humanismus.

- fremde Qrdnung=gemeines Wesen. Racial application to 'blood-pollution*
was inevitable.