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326                  MODERN   GERMAN  LITERATURE

mann Kurz1 (1813-73), with the shaping of her literary tastes and
style. Moreover, in the case of both these women writers the
influence of Paul Heyse cannot be missed; for instance, Ricarda
Huch's doctrine Schonheit ist vollkommenes "Leben is pure Paul Heyse.
It is also pure romanticism; and nothing is more certain than that
in the period of naturalism and impressionism these two ladies
are out-and-out romanticists. They have the finer nerves and the
more complicated psychology of our own day, but they have the
romantic rejection of reality, though they may in odd places be
sufficiently infected by the spirit of their time to see reality and to
romanticize it: the obvious instances are Ricarda Huch's fantastic
vision of the cholera epidemic in Hamburg in 1892 (by commoa
consent it is like a scar on the smooth lyricism otlLrmmrungen von
~Ludolf Ursleu dem Jungeren) and her approach to Armeleutepoesk in
Aus der Triumphgasse, where the pity seems pasted on to the delight
in picturesque violence and even the sufferings of a cripple have
the glinting lights of dream. Both writers lived in Italy: Isolde
Kurz had long made her home in Florence, and Ricarda Huch,
when she married her first half-Italian husband, Dr Ceconi, lived
with him in Trieste, where she wrote her tales of that city, Aus der
Triumphgasse. Isolde Kurz is actually less Italianate than Ricarda
Huch, though the latter is North German (she belongs to a Bruns-
wick merchant family); there is, it is true, a Swabian softness in
Isolde Kurd's love of beautiful people and landscapes as in her
easily flowing style, but she has a certain masculine ruggedness -
this is indeed the mark of her thoughtful lyric verse (Gedichte, 1899;
Neue Gedichfe, 1905) and of her book of aphorisms, Im Zeichen des
Steinbocks (1905). According to her own statement Isolde Kurz
preferred to depict Italians because they are less sicklied o'er than
the Germans; she loved their 'ungeschminkte und ungesgerte Mensch-
heifi that is, like Paul Heyse, she craved warm flesh tones and
passion on the boil. She is at her best in Florentiner Novelkn (i 890);
and one of the tales in this collection, Die Humanistm, is fit to
compare both for subject (Renaissance hunting in German monas-
teries for classical manuscripts) and quality with Conrad Ferdinand
Meyer's Plautus im Nonnenkloster (1882). The short stories of her
]?bantasien mdMarchen (1890), of her ItaUenisch Er^ahlungen (1895;
these have their scenes in the Italy of our own day), oiLebensfuten

1 His Sfkillers Heimatjabre, (1849) compares favourably with Walter von
Molo's Der Schillerromw (1912-14).