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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

THE   WOMEN   WRITERS                             32;

such as, for instance, the suckling of children, $o offensive a spec-
tacle to men of artistic temperament; and in the novel the horror
reaches its height in the picture of hospital childbirth, where the
woman's head is covered while students watch, The total im-
pression is climaxed as: *das recbttose> ^um Halbtler kerxb.gdr;lck:e,
gehiberanbte>S€bmer^beladem Weibtumdkser Wei:\ The solution sug-
gested is that women should have the right both to children and
independent work, ^hittersebnsucbt^ one of the short stories of
Sttmmtrbtich (1902), defends a wife's claim to a child; here the
husband is an old scholar, and his young wife gets her child from
a single and unregretted union with a man of her own age. Das
Ha:ts ^iir Flamm (1908) is a plea for warmness of heart in human
relations: *das slni^jge> was auf Erden das Her% mhig und gluckiich
macbt) 1st: git nntdnander %ti sein\

GABRIELE REUTER (1859-1941) made a sensation with her novel
Aus guter Familie (1895), in which quite discreetly she shows the
devastating results of sex suppression in a girl who, because of
her good family, must uphold the pretence of decent ignorance
of what in the dark is stirring her senses; she ends, as some old
maids do, by using disgusting sex words in a nervous breakdown.
In her later novels Gabriele Reuter's heroines act as emancipated
characters; she is certainly miles removed from the traditional
point of view of Georg von Ompteda, who, in Cacilie von Sarryn,
sees no comfort for unmarried daughters except in ungrudging
service to the family they belong to. In FrauEfirgelm tmdibre SBbm
(1899) Gabriele Reuter takes up the cudgels for the suppressed
husband, and this time too for the son, who resists the formative
efforts of his mother. The heroine of Ellen von der MFeiden (1900)
marries in all decency - but the wrong man. Brought up in the
Har£ Mountains, she is a creature of fell and forest, a 'IFa/dmxi
scrambling about on the rocks, a ^rocksnhe^e9 untamed and full
of fun. Her husband is a Berlin doctor, a typical German husband,
who, moreover, has learnt from his patients that women's nervous
diseases are due to the desuetude of the husband's ancient right to
corporeal castigation. ^Vergiss die Pdtsvhe nkbt!*} But Ellen meets
the poets and artists of dk Modems - monstrosities to her husband;
and falls in love with a painter of wild new things splashed with
blinding colour (Bocklin ?). While on holiday at her father's home
in the Harfc Mountains her husband threatens to lock her in her
room; she jumps through the window, and allows herself, sprite-