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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

NEO-CLASSICISM                                265

becomes popular. The playlet begins with an intensely lyrical and
theologically admirable exposition of mystical doctrine by the
hero, Amandus, a monk who, long ago, as a soldier in Italy, had
a love-night with a woman and felt the depths of his being stirred
by some vague awakening of his better nature; thereafter he
entered a monastery, but within him still burns (more or less a
repetition of the central motif of Der Besiegte} love for the woman
from whose black eyes the fire of pain had sent a kindling spark
into his. This lovely harlot symbolizes the soul of man; she comes
now, a penitent, to his confessional chair; and, by some spectacular
hocus-pocus - which on the stage must thrill believers to the
marrow! - she - the harlot! - is the Virgin Mary, whose image in
the chapel speaks; and the heart Mary holds in her hand she ex-
changes for the heart of Amandus, who thereupon dies. In Der
Wettlauf mit dem Schatten (1921), a glaring experiment in occultism
which has had international success, a stranger visits a novelist
and tells him that the fragment of a new novel he has read in
public corresponds exactly with the events of his own life; he has
thus a double existence, that of his real self and that of his shadow
in the novel; and the race (Wettlauf) indicates the dramatic tension
raised by the problem whether the further experiences of real self
and shadow will coincide; the novelist goes away to the country
to finish the tale, and in the meantime his wife comes near to
being murdered by the stranger, whom she had deceived in his
youth. Again life and novel, by telepathy or some subconscious
chain of suggestion, correspond. The novelist returns, pierces the
mystery, the stranger shoots himself (as foreseen in the novel), and
the play ends with the words Dime ! from the husband and Morder!
from the wife,

Scholz's mystical creed is founded on the mystics he edits in
Deutsche Afystiker (i 908). His lyrical verse, too, is much preoccupied
with ideas of fate and the beyond (Der Spiegel, 1902). His verse
collections Fmhlingsfabrt (1896) and Hohenklingen (1898) are more
traditional in theme; Hohenklingen has a medieval background by
the Lake of Constance. Neue Gedichte (1913) and Die Balladen und
Konigsmdrchen contain his most mature verse. His free renderings
of medieval lyrics (Minmsang, 1917) have interest to the Germanis t,
but Schob's lyric note is too heavy and too thought-bound for
the floating gossamer of his originals. As a writer of short stories
- he began with Die Beichte (1919) - Scholz is to be ckssed with