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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

2jz                  MODERN  GERMAN  LITERATURE

with Belinde (1912), a very original handling of the Enoch Arden
theme. Belinde has married for love, but her husband is poor, and
he loves her so much that he leaves her for ten years to make his
fortune. It is in keeping with his character that he does not write;
but he is sure of her fidelity. Her starved senses, however, yearn
for love, and she gives her heart to a boy, who, moreover, is
wealthy. But on the eve of the marriage the lost husband - he has
officially been declared dead - returns. The lover agrees to an
American duel; he loses, and shoots himself. The whole force of
the drama is now put into the conflicting feelings of Belinde. She
loves her returned husband and longs for him, but she shoots
herself for very shame. The action might be sordid, but there is a
transposed Elizabethan mood of mystery over it: the characters
move like ordinary beings, but over volcanic passions. As a writer
of short stories Eulenberg aims first of all at the 'unerhorte Begeben-
heif of the Falkentheorie. His Sonderbare Geschichten (1910) are in the
line of E, T. A. Hoffmann, though the mystery is pathological
rather than suprasensual: there is a duel between women; an old
shepherd loves and fondles under the moon a beautiful female
corpse he has found washed up naked by the river; a man of model
behaviour must every three weeks or so have a Heliogabalic night;
a good peasant lad defiles an image of the Virgin; an old scissors-
grinder drinks the blood of all the cats he can catch. Very curious
is Das Geheimnis der Frauen: it is a transposition to our own days
of the Psyche and Amor or Melusine motif. Others of the tales
belong to the genre of Amkdoten in Wilhelm Schafer's sense, but
without Schafer's dull didacticism - there are such episodes (inter-
pretative of the man, not of some moral implication) as Schopen-
hamrs Geliebte> Warum Gottfried Keller nicht heiratete, Gleim und die
Karschin (this tale is delightful Rococo!). Platens let^te Liebe comes
close in theme to Thomas Mann's Tod in Venedig. The tale of
Schiller's wooing of two sisters has the implications of the Ehe %u
Drift, The use of the Melusine motif - the inhibition to the hus-
band of access at stated times - is used in another tale to symbolize
monthly periods. The outrageous picture of Lesbian love in Der
Maler Rajski adds another to the studies in the period of this
pathological theme. The novel Katinka, die Fliege (1912) revives
the satirical valuation of romantic love in Fischart's sixteenth cen-
tury Ftohbat^ Weibertrafy
The dramas ofEDUARD STUCKEN (1865-1936) are perhaps rather