THE NOVEL OF IMPRESSIONISM 293 morbidity of subject he had scorched in his pamphlets. There is delightful humour in Wilhelm Brinkmeyers Abenteuer (1911), Alt- mdnnersommer (1925), and Humoristische Er^ahlungen (1936). Gener- ally speaking Rudolf Huch's aim was to educate the Burger to a realization of the vacuity of his existence; he is in this respect the most academically minded of a group to which belong Friedrich Huch, Heinrich Mann, Carl Sternheim, and Leonhard Frank. EDUARD VON KEYSERLiNG (185 5-1918) is an impressionist in the true sense of the word: there is in all his work a nervous refine- ment of style, and the goal of his characters is not a moral mastery of life but sensuous enjoyment of it. For him, when love ends, life is over. His affinity is with that master of sensitive Danish prose, Hermann Bang,1 whose works, with their subtle delineation of culture-worn aristocrats, had a great vogue in impressionist Germany; but it is inevitable that he should be compared with Friedrich Spielhagen, for both depict the junkers of north-east Germany. The region of Spielhagen's predilection is Pomerania, that of Keyserling is his native Courland, but the junker type is in the characterization of both essentially similar. There is, however, a difference which moves them worlds apart - while Spielhagen describes these landed gentry as an outsider of radical and even revolutionary views (though with a suppressed admiration for a socially superior class) Keyserling takes it for granted that their qualities are the prerogatives of their class. And these qualities - the most questionable to us are the right to adultery and the manorial right (exercised by all males of the family) to any girl on the estate - to Graf von Keyserling represent vitality ('Lebens- kraf?\ adventure, 'the pleasurable sensation of the beast of prey5 ^angenehmes ILaubiitrgefiih?}* These junkers have no morality, but they have HerrenmoraL However, - and this is the note of his work - the characters he chooses to depict are not the bold bad Baltic 1 Born in 185 8, Hermann Bang lived in Berlin. His first novel - Hoffniwgs- lose Gescblecbter in German — has for hero the last decadent scion of a noble race. In his later works he has Maeterlinck's conception of fate as a secret force which breathes around us. With the short stories otLebett md Tod his attitude to life moves to a naive hedonism: we can defy fate, and snatch what fleeting joys we can: 'esg'bt nicbts als den Trieb; der afkin ist Herr mdMeister*; *£/#/ ist Btut; das mil sieden, bis es matt ist oder halt ist" Keyserling's Hema- menschen have the frightful sensation of loneliness of Bang's characters, due to the tragic intensity of their feeling that there is nothing io life but this snatching at pleasure which must be shot with pain because it passes, and because in the face of fate, which ironically permits it, it is so mean.