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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

356                  MODERN  GERMAN  LITERATURE

the Stone Age, the hero gives his people sun-worship in place of
their old moon-worship; the events symbolize the age-old urge
to the South and the sun of the Germanic race. In the tale the
worshipper follows the red sun-shield1 till he sees it rest on icy
mountains; he cannot capture it; and so the change between day
and night, life and death, must endure. Streitmitden Gottern (1925),
the novel of the Bronze Age, defaces the clean-cut legend of
Wayland the Smith by contaminating it with motifs from other
legends.

HERMANN LONS (1866-1914) is honoured as one of the heroes of
the War - he fell before Reims in September 1914. He had pro-
claimed that Nazi doctrine which we see foreshadowed in Blunck's
weltering trilogies: 'We Germans', he writes, 'make out that we
are Christians, but we are nothing of the sort, and never can be.
For Christianity and race-consciousness are as incompatible as
Socialism and culture are.' Since the War Hermann Lons has been
idolized in Germany much as Rupert Brooke has been in England;
and the culmination of the cult was his re-burial, twenty years
after his death, on the Liineburg Heath, the region he so lovingly
described. As a lyric poet (Der kleine *Kosengarten> 1911) he wrote
songs which have the freshness and sometimes the vogue of Volks-
lieder, but he is best known for his descriptions of the heathlands
he loved (Meingrunes Buch> 1901; Mem brames Buch, 1907), for his
descriptions of animal life (Mummelmann^ 1909), and for his peasant
novels: Der let^te Hansbur (1909); Da hinten in der Heide (1910);
Die Hauser von Oblendorf (1917). His most famous novel is Der
Wehrwolf (1910), which combines regionalism and history in the
way of Lulu von Strauss und Torney, another Westphalian region-
alist. Actually Der Wehrmlfis more regional than historical; for,
though it gives a vivid picture of the whole course of the Thirty
Years War, it limits the scene of action to the Liineburg Heath
with Celle, the old capital of the Dukes of Brunswick; and the
intention is obviously to show the sterling qualities of the heath-
dwellers (^Haidjer^} through the ages: we see these blond Nordics,
'tough as eel-leather*, displacing the scattered aborigines, helping
their neighbours of the Teutoburger Wald to defeat Arminius,
helping Weking (=Widukind) to make mincemeat of the Franks,
and finally turning Christian, though the horse's head sacred to
Wodan still stands out on the gables of their farm-houses. The
1 Represented by the swastika; see p. 366.