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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

NEO-CLASSICISM                                257

of objectiveness and concentration, but because where he does
infuse his personality the result is perfect form without magic of
atmosphere. When he began his experimental renovation the ac-
cepted definition of a Novelle rested on the formulations of Paul
Heyse and Friedrich Spielhagen, which stipulate that the character
of the hero or the heroine, or both, should be revealed by a con-
flict which develops as the outcome of an unusual incident,1 (See
p. 474.) The narrator must be objective: that is, he tells the story
without putting anything of himself into it. The salient modifi-
cation of the technique of the Novelle now is that it is liberated
from the criterion of absolute objectivity; the very best of the
new Novellen tell a good story but are coloured by the author's
personality and informed by his own outlook on life. Thus Ricarda
Much, though she continues the realistic method of Gottfried
Keller, reads her own femininity and her anti-clerical bias into her
short stories, while Jakob Wassermann inspires his with a sad
sympathy for the very soul of the submerged classes (e.g. Das
Amuktf)^ whereas naturalistic Armeleutepoesie had merely recorded
the conditions of poverty. There is a marvellous range and variety
in the mass of these contemporary Novellen. Paul Ernst leads with
his revival of the medieval anecdote, and is followed by Wilhelm
Schafer, who makes the Anekdote a definite modern genre. Wil-
helm von Scholz reads his modern occultism into the picturesque-
ness of the Middle Ages. Novelists with a political message, like
Bruno Frank and Stefan Zweig, make the Novelle poignant with
the suffering and hopes of the post-War period. The greatest
miracle, perhaps, is in the exotic Novelle (Dauthendey, Klabund):
the strange reality of far-away lands and peoples is shown through
a haze of dream. The Kunstlernavelle^ which we find Tieck elabor-
ating at the very beginning of the modern Novelle (Das Dichter-
leben, Der Tod des Dichters\ is now made more psychologically
appealing; as for instance in the two pictures of Holderlin in his
madness: Klabund's Holderlin and Hermann Hesse's Im Presselsehen
Gartenhaus.

Paul Ernst's technique in the Novelle may be gathered from
one of his Romance tales: "Bin Familimbildvon Goya. The poet tells
of his own visit to a Spanish count, the last scion of an ancient
race of hidalgos, in his shell of a medieval castle. The count shows
his visitor the family portraits, among which the narrator at once
1 now/ a  Newgkeit,