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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

COSMIC   IMPRESSIONISTS   AND   EPIC   INFINITIES     249

biography in Wir wollen mcht venveilet? (1915). In the prose intro-
duction to Das y^ordlicht (1910; the second edition, "die Genfer
Ausgabe', 1921, is revised) he explains the genesis and meaning of
his astral system. Sun is father, earth mother, moon hermaphrodite
but tending to female. Sun and earth were once joined, and the
earth is still striving to get back to the sun ('Die Erde braust dem
Sonnenllcht entgegen^ \ AIs ftoge sie in des Geliebten Ar&f}. This is in-
deed the secret of life: everything that lives, plant and animal, has
its flight to the sun (Sonmnftug)^ so that existence is synonymous
with return to the sun. In other words sun is God. But all this, it
transpires, is an inner process: and here we get to the roots of
Daubler's mysticism; for literally he is in the line of the great
mystics, although, since his medium of revelation is poetry, his
system has no clear lines and is mingled with much of the dross
of earth. Sun and earth, then, are within us. And just as at the pole
the sun released by the earth and the sun of heaven embrace and
produce the aurora borealisy so within us mystic irradiation meeting
God brings a mystic play of glory. And thus the task of man is
to achieve the future of the earth by means of the aurora borealis,
Earth will again be luminous; but the nations must see to it that
this star of ours shall one day be the brightest of all, and that will
be when forth from man shines that sun which is Primeval Being
(Ursome). From this (more or less naive) mysticism Daubler builds
up his cosmogony, which is often an orgy of sensuous images:
thus prolific and glowing India is the earth's tribute or sacrifice
to the sun. And so Daubler storms across the face of the universe,
weaving dream-pictures of clime and landscape. How many de-
voted dreamers will follow him through his vasty epic? Picking
up the three volumes and 30,000 lines of the work one is apt to
feel - as is the case with Klopstock's Messrs and Spitteler's Qlym-
pischer "Fruhling - as a hen is said to feel when it is placed with its
head facing a chalk line - hypnotized at the start of infinity. If,
however, one frees oneself from the inhibitory spell and strides
onward there will be sudden thrills: evening at Venice (A%f des
Tages Abendscbhppe \ Streutder Mond sein LJcbtgescbmid. \ IJberfermr
Alpentreppe \ Funkeltnoch das Purpttrkleid}; or some symbolic vision
(Floreffi^, am Himml steben misse 'Lilien \ Und stromen 'Polkngold %u
Go ft empor^ \ Aucb schtingen Bache sich me I^ichtreptUim \ Durch tran-
ches burggekronte Felsentor}\ or that gruesome sonnet (known to
anthologies) of tangled ivy climbing to the marble balcony of the