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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

THE  HISTORICAL  NOVEL                        383

Viennese student (self-portraiture is assumed) struggles with forces
that might drag him down; in the latter an artist's family life helps
him to resist the debasing influences of milieu. A later novel, Reps,
die Personlichkeit (1932), shows the German Bildungsphilister on
shaky ground in a small town.

The historical novels of WALTER VON MOLO (1880-1958) have Kol-
benheyer's heroic conception of German character as exemplified
in the great men of the race. He drew energetic pictures of Schiller
in Der Schiller-Roman (4 vols.; 1912-16) and of Frederick the Great
in Der Rowan meines Volkes (Fridericus, 1918; Luise, 1919; Em Volk
wachtauf, 1921), of the Protestant Reformer in MenschLutber (1928),
of the famous economist in Em Deutscher ohne Deutschland: der
Friedrich List-Roman (193i), of Prince Eugene in Eugenio von Savoy
(1936), and of Heinrich von Kleist in Geschichte einer Seek (1938).

An Austrian historical novel with the old romantic hero wor-
ship is Radet^kymarsch (1932) by JOSEPH ROTH (1894-1939), who in
DieFluchtohneEnde (1927) had written the most terribly hopeless and
cynical of the Heimkebrerromane. Radet^kymarsch glorifies Austria
in the person of the Emperor Fran2 Joseph with his officers and
executives; a Lieutenant Trotta saves the Emperor's life at Sol-
ferino by throwing himself on him and forcing him to the ground
when bullets begin to whizz in his direction. Trotta is given the
rank of Baron and the picture is filled out by the experiences of
his son and grandson. In spite of the patriotic heroifications of
Franz Joseph in white uniform and red sash - with a drip at the
end of his nose - the general tone is anti-royalist, if only because
the officers are of poor intelligence. The Trotta saga is continued
in Die Kapu^inergruft (1939), which ends with the coming of Hitler
and the Anschluss^ there is the note of utter hopelessness as the
tale fades out with the march of the Germans into Vienna, while
Trotta walks away from the sordid pub he was sitting in - and
goes through empty streets, alone, except for an ownerless dog
that follows him.

The reverse of hero worship is the rule in those German his-
torical novels and vies romancees which have an international market.
It is perhaps because they are written mostly by Jews that they
have this tendency to de-bunk (to use the Yankee rendering of
entheroisieren); and this fact is one of the reasons why a public
holocaust was made of such stories in 1933. Psycho-analytical
inquisitiveness is of course the chief means of revealing reality by