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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

VIII
HUGO VON HOFMANNSTHAL

Arfenkunst is of the Rhineland and the French border:
George's esoteric art centres in the Rhine province, Darm-
stadt, Frankfurt-am-Main, And yet the victories of sym-
bolism were won, as far as the world at large is concerned, not
along the Rhine, but in Vienna. Not for the first time in the history
of German literature, Austria now leads: in criticism (Hermann
Bahr), in aphorism (Peter Altenberg), in the lyric (Schaukal, Rilke),
in the epic (Daubler), but above all in the lyric drama. Voluptuous
Vienna, between the nations, takes into its literature moods from
all its neighbours and becomes international, the more easily as
its greatest writers are Jews or half-Jews who have the typical
Viennese mentality (soft and cynical and half-despairing - Vienna
is the city of suicides), and are yet, with their limitless receptivity,
half-Italian, or half-French, or half-Slav.

Viennese decadence exposes its most corpse-like glints in the
verse of FELIX DORMANN (1870-1928), a Jew complete: Neurotica
(1891), Sensationen (1892), The women he loves and describes lie,
with *jvunyfoelke Nerven\ expectant or exhausted:

Ich Hebe die hektischen, schlanken
Nar^issen wit blutrotem Mund;
ich lube die Qualengedanken,
die Her^en, ^erstochen und wund.

Ich Hebe die Fatten undBkichen,
die Frauen wit mudem Gesicht,
aus mlchen inflammenden Zeichen
versghrende Sinnenglut spricht.

Ich Hebe die schillernden Schlangen,
so schmiegsam und biegsam und kuhl;
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