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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

THE  NOVEL  OF  EXPRESSIONISM                  365

ian pattern of MusiPs Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften. Flake's most
personal novel is Montijo oder die Suche nach der Nation (1931), the
tale of a German Spaniard who opts for German culture. Flake
himself is a cosmopolitan who roams the wide world over for
scene and characters: his novels Roland(1922), Villa USA (1926),
etc., range from Alsace to Petersburg. He had begun with a de-
nunciation of the tyranny of the school: Freitagsktnd(i<)i$; in later
editions Eine Kindheif), but passed over to a strikingly masculine
handling of erotic problems in (particularly) Der gute Weg (1924):
the men, coldly calculating, dominate the women. Nem und Ja
(1920), with its scene in Zurich, has a curious interest for its por-
trait of the dadaist Hans Arp.

LEONHARD FRANK (1882- ), a Wiirzburg man, has been classed
as a Vulgarisator of expressionism', and he is at all events an easy
approach to the expressionist style, but only because he tells a
story which is plain and often exciting in spite of the tricks of
discontinuity of the new manner. The son of a journeyman car-
penter, he began as a factory worker, and in all his work he is on
the side of the proletariat, to him the salt of the earth. His first
success was Die ULauberbande (1914); it describes with uproarious
humour the escapades of a band of youths whose heads have been
turned by the Wild West stories of Karl May; sexual awakening
and Red Indian pranks make a brand of natural filth and Romantic
idiocy. In Die Ursache (1915), an attack on capital punishment, a
teacher is murdered by a former pupil in revenge for the damage
done to his character at school, which unfitted him for life. Der
Mensch ist gut (1917) constitutes in substance an anti-war tract,
ghastly in its exhibition of suffering, which was credited with
having very seriously weakened German morale on the home front;
it was one of the miracles of the war that, in spite of its message,
it found its way all over Germany. In Der Burger (1924) a human
soul is damaged by existing society ('die bestehende Seelenmord-Gesell-
schaftsordnung*}: a man is paralysed in youth by his father, his
teachers, and finally by the social community, for which he has
been unfitted by his training; he may, by conforming, accept the
conventional moulding, but he is then merely a standardized pro-
duct of the social machine, not a shaping spirit with the daring
zest of his own native originality. In Das Ochsenfurter Manner-
quartett (1927) we meet the old JLauberbande once again in Wxirz-
burg, middle-aged men now, impoverished by the war, and with