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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

THE  NOVEL   OF  EXPRESSIONISM                   369

vast South American trilogy which in its moods and pitiless prob-
ing of racial domination is largely the fruit of the author's suffering
in exile. In the historical sense the trilogy is an epilogue to Eduard
Stucken's Die weissen Goffer (p. 273) and Gerhart Hauptmann's
Der misse Heiland(g. 33); these describe the conquest of Mexico,
while Das Land ohne Tod (1936), the first volume of Doblin's tri-
logy, is a panorama of the conquest of Peru. Just as the Aztecs in
Mexico welcome Cortes as the 'White Saviour*, so the Incas see
in the Spaniards the fulfilment of age-old prophecies of the coming
of strange gods: this they see realized in the pale skins and the
bearded faces of the invaders, in their horses, and their fire-spitting
tubes laden with death. There is a stark contrast of these happy
and innocent 'pagans' with the 'religion' of the Christians; actually
there is only one true Christian among them - Las Casas (p. 496).
In the second volume, Der blarn Tiger (1936) - the blue tiger is the
beast of destruction of Indian saga - the Jesuits make their historic
attempt to institute humane colonization, but are thwarted by
secular policy. The third volume, Der neue Urwald (1936), applies
a parallel to the conditions of today, and drives home the lesson
that the barbarians are the whites. The tetralogy November 1918
(i939fF.) chronicles happenings in Berlin from 22 November to
7 December 1918; the series runs: Der Zusammenbruch ; Verratenes
Volk; Heimkehr der Fronttruppen; Karl und Rosa. The revolution is
a failure; inevitably so, for individual action is motivated by illu-
sion and self-deception.

The chiliastic dream of the New Jerusalem or das dritte Reich in
the ideal sense is another obsession. In JOSEF WINCKLER'S (1881- )
Der chiliastische Pilger^ug (1922) it is shown up as mania. A rich
Indian king leads those who are weary and heavy laden on a pil-
grimage to Paradise; on the way the poor wretches lose what
shreds of humanity they had on starting out. They discover the
utter avarice and selfishness of the Christian kingdoms. Their
numbers are much reduced by an experiment at the North Pole,
but at last they found the city of Paradise in the centre of Asia,
the cradle of the human race, which finds itself again, stripped of
the illusions of the ages, where it began. The essence of the novel
is the satiric handling of expressionistic Communism and the dream
of the common brotherhood of man. Winckler then in Trilogie der
Zeit (1924) girds at the mechanization of the cosmos; this too is
a true expressionist theme (Doblin's novel of the giants, Toller's