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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

THE  NOVEL  OF  EXPRESSIONISM                  375

anthology of his own verse, rings with the real reality of the new
school; the poems are from his collections Em Mann gib t Auskunft,
Her% aufTaille (1928), Larm im Spiegel (1929), Zmschen <%wei Stuhlen.
His novel Fabian, die Geschichte eines Moralisten (1932) is utterly
sceptical and cynical: the hero is a Nihilist who, while Com-
munists and Nazis are shooting one another in Berlin, cannot wait
for the inevitable revolution; Fabian, with nerves quivering to
the sense of reality, afraid of life, is a true type of the generation
he represents. Kastner's later work has won world-wide popu-
larity, particularly his Emil und die Detektive and Em/ und die drei
Zwillinge (1936); Das fliegende Klassen^immer (1933), with its picture
of life in a German secondary school and Drei Manner im Schnee
(1934), a tale of simple people who win prizes entitling them to
spend a period at a Grand Hotel in the Alps, have that boisterous
humour which wins the quick reader.

HANS FALLADA (1893-1947), too, has this surprisingly juvenile
bent of mind; he reproduces the atmosphere of the traditional
Mdrchen in A.ltes Her% geht auf die JLeise (1936): there is a group of
village boys led by a girl in conspiracy against a tyrannous foster-
father (who in this realistic setting of an old Mdrchen stands for the
ogre). Stories for children are Hoppelpoppel - wo bist du? (1936)
and GeschichtenausderMurkelei(i<:)5$). But the majority of Fallada's
novels are very seriously purposed; in the main they concentrate
on the difficulties of earning a living in the days he lived in. In
Kleiner Mann, was nun? (1932) we have the post-war problem of
what the morrow will bring. Wolf unter Wolf en (1937) has for
theme the inflation before the war. In Der eiserne Gustav (1938) the
difficulty of earning a living is due in the first place to social
changes; a Berlin cab-driver is forced out of business by the advent
of taxis and in the end follows his son into the Nazi camp. This
struggle for life plays a great part in Fallada's own life and is re-
flected in his novels. Wir batten mal ein Kind (1934) gives a picture
of peasant life, and Fallada himself during the Hitler period with-
drew to his farm in Mecklenburg, and here he wrote Heute bei uns
%u Haus (1943), his autobiographical tale of the life of an author
turned farmer; this had been preceded by his book of memories of
childhood and youth, Damals bei uns daheim (1942). Der Alpdruck
(1947) has also an autobiographical element in so far as the author
who is the hero lays bare his own share in the guilt which led to
the debacle of 1945. There is the same laying bare of moral weak-