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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

NEO-CLASSICISM                                 269

varying in mood and scene: a European woman may dissect the
love she takes, whereas in climes where human nature is lovely
and strange as the landscape that moulds it (as in Java) the maid
opens herself out to love which enters and possesses her; thus in
these tales we have a further dualism of Nordic and exotic. Stories
built up so elaborately on ideas are apt to prove wearisome, and
it cannot be said that Hans Franck's long novels are an exception
to the rule; in a short story on the other hand the significance
given to the necessarily concentrated story may make it memor-
able (even Mdrchen - say The Ugly Duckling - may be better for a
meaning); and if in Frances Der TLegenbogen (1928) the beauty of
the idea rather spans the group than illuminates the series of seven
times seven short anecdotes, it does stay in the memory as a
colourful symbol of that idealism which binds earth and heaven
over all the seven periods of German history and the panorama
of German landscape. Zeitprisma (1932) is a collection of thirteen
times thirteen anecdotes of a similar tendency - German fate and
character are refracted in the evolutions of periods, but the prism
is ever beautiful. The novel Re/se in die Ewigkeit (1934) recounts,
looking backward from the day of his death, the life of J. G.
Hamann, the 'magus of the North',

Several other dramatists stand between impressionism or expres-
sionism and neo-classicism. They are too vigorous to be classed
as neo-romantics but not too lyrical and romantic to be ranged
with the neo-classicists. In the work of two Rhinelanders, Herbert
Eulenberg (born Muhlheim a/Rh.) and Wilhelm Schmidtbonn
(=Wilhelm Schmidt aus Bonn) there is a strong personal note:
both are inspired by their own upwelling lust of life. Eulenberg's
characters have a passionate greed of animal experience - they
would live in the fire of their own wild hearts clike a salamander',
while Schmidtbonn's general theme is the grasping at happiness
and brilliance of existence of characters who refuse to be thrust
down into the shadows. The key-word of Eulenberg is 'Leiden-
schaft\ of Schmidtbonn, Gliick.

WILHELM SCHMIDTBONN (i 876-195 2) has certainly nothing of the
cerebral planning of construction which is the hall-mark of the
neo-classicists: he builds up, not to mathematical symmetry of a
whole but to the thrill of lyrically heightened and startling situ-
ations. After naturalistic beginnings - the drama Die galdene T&r
(1904) and the Rhineland stories Uferkute (1903) and Rafatt (1904)