NEO-CLASSICISM 275 ration, and therefore it is not surprising that he should have made a speciality of what is a medieval genre, though he is no doubt justified in his claim that he schooled himself on Johann Peter HebePs SchaP%kastlein\ his A.mkdotenl are miniature stories much as are to be found in sixteenth-century collections of facetiae such as Kirchhoff?s Wendunmut,> to which Paul Ernst acknowledged his debt. The modern element Schafer adds to the genre is that of patriotic selection: his aim is to show the heroic qualities of the German race in episodes from the lives of its famous men or from general types of German. This racial bias, of course, explains the tendency to over-estimate him in the Nazi period; an impartial judgment would deny him more than the rank of a popular story- teller but acknowledge the academic interest of his re-creation of the Anekdote. For this his mode of composition, as stated by him- self, bears analogy to that of the neo-classic dramatists: he takes a known story, his 'Stoff* (and therefore fertility of imagination is not to be expected), and restores the bare lines by stripping off all accretions till nothing remains but the decisive action ('die Ettt- scheidung}) which corresponds to the catastrophe in a tragedy; and this he heads and tails with the shortest possible approach to it and a hint of what is to follow, morally spiced either by way of introduction or dismissal of the theme. What is needed in such a genre is the power of swift characterization, so that not the event so much as the victory over the event by the character should remain as pattern and example in the reader's mind. The schoolmaster's determined inculcation of virtue is yet more glaring in Drei^ehn Bucher der deutscben Seek (1922), which (written in a period of national despondency) proclaimed a sturdy faith in racial excellence and proved this to exist in the great men and the great events that have shaped the destiny of the Germans from Nordic myth to the mistakes of the present. Schafer was a pioneer too in the field of the vie romancee\ but here his purpose is still educa- tional In Ubenstag ernes Menschenfreundes (1915) he quietly tells the story of Pestalozzi, while in Karl Stauffers Utensgang (1911; a fic- titious autobiography of the Swiss painter Stauflfer-Bern), WimM- 1 Dexfscbes Anekdotenbucb, edited by Paul Alverdes and Hermann Rinn (1938), is an anthology of short stories in the sense indicated. The first volume of Schafer's Anekdoten appeared in 190$; this and the following volumes were collected in Anekdoten (1926); a further volume is Wtndekrds neuer Anekdoten (1937). School edition, ed. Karl W, Maurer: Die Awkdetenvm WiMmSMfer (London, 1938).