(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

X

COSMIC IMPRESSIONISTS
AND EPIC INFINITIES

In the occult verse of Stefan George the mist is woven into the
words; in that of ALFRED MOMBERT (1872-1942) it lies clinging
over them, but shifting to reveal strange glimpses of the Unveil
or chaos, of planets rising half-formed from blind seas, with a
spirit-being ('the sea-gull shoots freely through his body5) ranging
through the seething clouds: the poet-creator, or God, with logos
nesting in his hair. At a cursory glance at this weltering vapour
the wary reader may well say: blamr Dunst pure and simple, but
with Mombert familiarity breeds a distant, if not effortless, com-
prehension. The terror is in the ideas, not in the language; this is
of the simplest: it is even very often like the babbling of a child.
Nor is there intricacy of rhythm or even the melody of rapt music:
it is all rather prose poetry lifting here and there into ghost-like
incantation. The early poems of Tag und Nacht (i 894) have the lure
of simplicity; the later verse (Der Gluhende, 1896; Die Schopfung,
1897; Der Denker, 1901; Die Bliite des Chaos, 1905; Attar> 1925;
the two dramas Aiglas Herabkunft, 1929, and Aiglas Tempel, 1931)
can only be (like Einstein) an acquired taste. Der Held der Erde
(1919) is a mythically transfigured vision of the First Great War.
"Symphonic dramas' is the name he gives to the trilogy Aeon, der
Weltgesuchte (1907), Aeon, ^wischen den Framn (1910), and Aeon vor
Syraktis (1911); Aeon is the genius of humanity wedded at Syra-
cuse, in the face of the teeming east and at the cradle of the sea-
faring nations, to Semiramis, the mother of peoples. Here all is
symbol: thus Aeon is 'between two women' as in temporal dramas,
but of these women one is Chaos and the othet Form, or Gothic
art (unformed and therefore to-be-shaped) and Greek art (formed
and perfect). The poet's aim, at which he toiled for fifty years, was

242