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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

THE   NOVEL   OF   IMPRESSIONISM                  283

lie - in separation, even at the price of relinquishing Pierre. The
boy dies of meningitis, and the painter is free to go to the blazing
tropics (where there are lovely native women to paint - and
love . . . ) with his sun-burnt and happy friend. The problem -
whether love for a child should chain a man to a hard wife - is
the same as that of Ricarda Huch's Vita Somnium Breve, but there
is more verisimilitude in Hesse's picture of the suffering husband,
who, immured in loneliness, lives doggedly on in the hypnosis of
resignation, in illusory contact with a wife who has never had any
feeling for his needs. Domiciled now in Switzerland, a hotbed of
psycho-analysis, Hesse was himself treated by a pupil of Jung,
when he fell ill as a result of mental stress during the War; he then
wrote a series of typically psycho-analytical novels. Knulp (1915),
the story of a vagabond lover, ranks with its description of Wan-
derqual as closely related to the substance of the great novels and
reflects what may be interpreted as Hesse's own abandonment of
the masculine principle of Mrgerlich for the feminine principle of
the nomadic life and Bohemian freedom (see also his poem Auf
der Reise"). In Klein und Wagner (1919) the schoolmaster Wagner
murders his wife and children and Klein is conscious that in his
heart of hearts he approves the deed; Klingsor in KJingsors letter
Sommer (1920) is similarly convinced, as he goes his way ^u den
Muttern, that all feelings, even cruelty, are good because they are
stirrings that lead to a reversal of personality and a renewal of self.
In Demian (1919) - as in Friedrich Huch's Mao (1907) - there is a
minute delineation of states of adolescence as determined by the
uprooting which school life means and by the chemical changes
in the body before and after the shock of puberty; the psycho-
analytic probing through a blanket of occultism reveals the two
worlds of a boy's mind, the world of parents, home, and duty,
and the luring forbidden world of mystery which begins with the
servants in the kitchen and stretches out to drink and girls and
bold ideas that frighten at the first impact and then grow familiar
as friends; they who domineer in this other world are those with
the mark of Cain - this, as it turns out, is merely the sign of
superiority in strong faces which the inferior Abels fear. The
(Byronic) fascination of Cain is in the face of Demian ( ? =* demon),
the school friend of the hero Sinclair1; rumour has it that Demian

1 Hesse signed this novel with the name of Emil Sinclair. Sinclair is the
name of Holderlin's friend.