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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

362                   MODERN   GERMAN  LITERATURE

of emotion as permanent) dauernde Erregung; i.e. a work of art must
be one whole ferment of ecstasy; and this fever of excitement is in
his tales; his aim, expressed in a passionate image, is: 'das Leben
furchtbar packen me eine unendliche Geliebte'. These words occur in
his collection of short tales Das rasende Leben (1916). There is the
same ferment of ecstatic feeling and style in another collection of
tales, Die serfs Miindungen (1915) - actually the pioneer work of ex-
pressionistic prose -, and in the novels Die achatenen Kugeln (1920),
with their scabrous eroticism, and Die gespenstischen Abenteuer des
Hofrats Brustlein (1926; title later Pourtales Abenteuer, 1947), while
Lord Byron; Rowan einer Leidenschaft (1929) probes into the poet's
passion for his half-sister. Edschmid began to free himself from
expressionism in Die Engelmitdem Spleen (1923), anovelinE. T. A.
Hoffmann's manner. The reversal is complete in the novel Sport
urn Gagaly (1927), a glorification of the sportsman's life, and in
Edschmid's numerous travel books from Dasgrosse Reisebttch (1926)
and Basken, Stierey Araber (1926) to Bunte Erde (1948). The tales of
Hallo Welt (1930) and the novels Deutsches Schicksal (1932) and
Das Sudreich (1933) have this multi-racial texture, while Feme Leute
oder die Grossen dieser Erde (1930) with its pitiless exposure of inter-
national high finance on the Lido, interweaves geographical en-
lightenment with its portraiture of scamps and their loosely living
women of the haute elite. In his later work this gesundeter Expres-
sionist stands out as an inveterate globe-trotter, and his matured
philosophy of existence is a sane and practical internationalism.
He is at his best in his books of Italy: Italien - Lorbeer, Land und
Ruhm (1935), Garten, Manner und Gescbichte (1939), and in his des-
cription of tropical lands: Afrika - nackt und ange^pgen (1930),
Glan^ und Elend Sudamerikas (1931). Some of the best of his work
is his latest: the four short stories of Im Diamantental (1940); his
biography of Albert Schweitzer (1949); his novels Das gute Recbt
(1946), which has an autobiographical substratum, Der Zauberfaden
(1949), a chronicle of the Rhineland silk industry, and Wenn es
Rosen sind, werden sie blubn (1950), the hero of which is Georg
Biichner, whose works he edited.

KLABUND (1891-1928), a native of Crossen on the borders of
Silesia and the March of Brandenburg, devised his exotic-looking
pen-name - his real name was Alfred Henschke - by a shortening
of Kla(bautermanri) and (Vaga)bund, He was the type of vagrom,
never-satisfied poet sketched in Rilke's poem DerFremde> collecting