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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

THE  REGIONAL  NOVEL                           349

are Tenden^romane. In three books Rosegger is a forerunner of the
expressionist Gottsucher\ the intrusion of the 'modern spirit' into
the idyll of the rural world is discussed in Das ewige Ucbt (1897),
while Mem Himmelreicb (1901) and INRJ (1905) define Rosegger's
personal attitude to the dogmas of Christianity. INRI (the initials
represent In Not Raft Ihri) is really a Life of Christ presented as an
insertion (Frenssen repeats the device in HilKgenJefy the manu-
script has been written by a condemned criminal on the eve of his
execution. In Mem Himmelreich Rosegger had stated that any faith
is good so long as it comforts a potential doubter; but his inter-
pretation of Christianity follows the lead of the new criticism -
e.g. 'Virgin' to him means a girl without lust but not necessarily
intact. The view that any religion will serve we find again in
INEJ: Jesus is for any man just what this man needs; a Jesus we
can love is the right Jesus.

Graz, the capital of Styria, looms large in regional literature.
Here was born RUDOLF HANS BARTSCH (1873-1952), who glori-
fies his native town in his novel Zwolf aus der Steiermark (1908).
Regional too is Die Hamdlkmder (1908). Elisabeth Kott (1909) is the
story of an Austrian actress. The short stories of Bittersusse Uebes-
geschichten (1910) and Vom sterbenden 'R.okoko (1909) are popular,
but tend to be frivolous. [The excellent Grader Novellen (1898) of
WILHELM FISCHER IN GRAZ (1846-1932; the regional location mark
is to distinguish him from all the other writing Fischers) are
archaic rather than regional, though they have regional characters
such as the Styrian Minnesinger Ulrich von Lichtenstein.] The
regional writer of Vienna is EMIL ERTL (1860-1935), who wrote a
cultural cycle: Em Volk an der Arbeit (1906-26).

Passing from Austria to Bavaria we find Heimatkunst of Anzen-
gruber's type in full bloom in the works of LUDWIG GANGHOFER
(1855-1920). His intimate knowledge of forest life and hunting is
due to the circumstance that his father was an official in the State
Forestry Department. He wrote several Volksscbauspiek (the most
popular is Der Herrgottschnit^er von Ammergau, 1880; also popular
as a short story) and a long series of tales of the Bavarian High-
lands (]dger vomFall, 1883; Der Klosterjdger, 1892; Das Scbmigen
im Walde, 1899; Der ^obe Scbein, 1904). Ludwig Thoma's (1867-
1921) Bavarian peasant tales (Der Wittiber, 1911) we must allot to
naturalism because to him a peasant is a lousy peasant (see p. 65).

Switzerland and the Black Forest are the natural home of the