(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

XVII
THE HISTORICAL NOVEL

In the new historical novel we get a symbolic interpretation of
history, Whether-except, perhaps, in the scholarly handling of
Ricarda Huch - there is always the advance which is claimed
on the archaic Professorenroman of Dahn and Ebers is open to
question: MAX BROD'S (1884- ) TychoBrakes Weg^u Gott (1916) for
instance - probably the most morally satisfying and philosophical
of them all - is in style hardly less naive than that of Ebers. A
difference in the problem there certainly is: whereas the archaeo-
logical novel made a show of erudition, the new historical novel
illuminates, in intention, the state of mind or the character of
people famous in history. Moreover, whereas the archaeological
novel portrayed the hero and his period as chronologically isol-
ated, the new historical novel interprets the present by shifting its
problems to past times. In Tycho Brakes Weg %u Gott there is a con-
trast of two types of intellect: the onrushing Danish astronomer
and the cool and patient Kepler; it is a history, not of stirring
events, but of Tycho's brain-storms ending in a moral victory by
complete abnegation of self (Wandlun^\ it is the seeking of God
that matters, not the scientist's seeking of truth. This is the aim
and purpose, too, ofReubmi, Furst der Juden (1925) and Galilei in
Gefangenschaft (1948), two novels which the author groups with
the Tycho Brahe novel as a trilogy. In 1939 Max Brod emigrated
to Palestine as a Zionist and was appointed director of the Hebrew
theatre in Tel Aviv. Here he devoted himself to editing the great
edition of Kafka (pp. 452-3). The background of his novel Unambo
(1949) is the recent Arab-Jewish war. There is symbolical inter-
pretation of biblical history in DerMeister (1952); the hero of the
novel, Jeschua (that is, Jesus), rebels against Roman rule and,
betrayed by Jehuda (Judas), dies for love of his native land. In
Armer Cicero (195 5) the Roman orator, after his divorce from his

381