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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

THE WOMEN WRITERS                            333

in her verse is, rather than original fire of genius, what by the
nature of her imitative talent she is best qualified to do. Even the
general view of critics that she has a very masculine mind - she
certainly has a strong man's capacity for taking infinite pains -
needs qualifying by the admission that she has to the full those
feminine weaknesses - e.g. worship of man - which make women
so delightful to men. At all events any male scholar might be
proud of her great mass of critical work. Her literary criticism
(Die Elute^eit der Romantik, 1899; Ausbreitung und Verf all der Roman-
tik, 1902; Gottfried Keller, 1904) is academically accepted, though
rather brilliant than academic; and she even manages to make
theology interesting in Luthers Glaube (1916), To her historical
work she brings the sound academic training of her Zurich days;
it is nevertheless poet's history. Her Romisches Reich deutscher Nation
(1934), in which she traces the cultural and political development
of the Empire, did not find favour with Nazi critics because she
does not definitely reject the fascination for the German emperors
of Rome and all Rome implied. Where she does, perhaps, prepare
Nazi ideology is in her philosophical disquisition Entpersonlichung
(1921): she compares the medieval ideal (heidnisch-christlich-germa-
niscff] with the contemporary aim to be as comfortable as possible;
in the Middle Ages man strove to complete his personality and to
be god-like, but progress has been 'von der Personlichkeit %ur Ent-
personlichung*. The Germans are less able to resist this rotting of
personality because they are no longer racially pure.

LOU ANDREAS-SALOME (1861-1937) in her novels (R#//&, 1895;
Fenitschka, 1898; Ma, 1901) marks the transition from naturalism
to impressionism. Born in St. Petersburg as the daughter of a
Russian general, she was fond of German Russians for her charac-
ters, and the scene of her tales is often in Russia. One of her best
bits of work is the description of the steppes in Wolga (one of the
short stories of Im Zwischenland, 1902), in which, too, there are
studies of puberty considered daring at the time they were written.
She is intellectualized through and through (durchgeistigt\ and the
realism of her keenly psychological depiction is both tormentedly
Russian and ruthlessly Nietzschean. She is best known as the
friend of Nietzsche and Rilke; her Friedrich Nietzsche in semen
Werken (1894) and Rawer Maria Rilke (1929) are important be-
cause of the first-hand knowledge they convey.

VICKI BAUM (1888- ), a Viennese actress who turned to writing,