Skip to main content

Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

See other formats

THE   DRAMA  OF  EXPRESSIONISM                  411

lyric verse (Die Gewalten, 1912; Der Dolch unddie Wunde, 1918; Das
schwar^e Schiff^ 1944) is available in a collected edition, Immer ist
Anfang (1951). The most important section is Historische Balladen*,
by their choice of theme and their illumination of character these
ballads prove that Csokor is first and foremost a dramatist; Kam is
the murderer who cannot be anything else, and there is a modern
Freudian interpretation of old themes in such poems as David und
Abisag (how different from Rilke's poem!), Konig Salomon verfallt
dem Weibe, while Karl Stuarts Todesgesang reflects Csokor*s deter-
mined devotion to the royal house of his own land. The explor-
ation of sex feeling gives a morbid thrill to the lyrics generally;
the loveliest is perhaps Grabmal ernes Poeten with the lurid light it
sheds on Baudelaire's inspiration.

HANS josi REHFISCH (1891- ) was at one time dubbed 'der Suder-
mann der neuen Dramatiker'\ During the Second World War he was
a lecturer in sociology in New York and edited the emigrants'
journal In Tirannos. He began with the neo-romantic drama Die
goldemn Waffen (1913), the theme of which is the fight of Ajax with
Ulysses for the golden weapons of Achilles. Plays which followed
were Die Heimkehr (1918); Das Paradies (1919); and Deukalion
(1921), in which the hero with his wife survives the Deluge. A
great success was Chauffeur Martin (1921), the hero of which revolts
against God because in complete innocence he has run over a man*
The comedy Die Er^tehmg durch Kolibri (1921) was in 1924 re-
christened Die Libelle. The tragi-comedy Wer mint um Juckenack?
(1924) had international success. Typical of Rehfisch's touch on
the pulse of theatre-goers is Hande weg von ~H.elena (1951); the
heroine is highly tickled by attempts at artificial insemination.
More solid than the ruck of these plays and based on historical
study is the novel Die Hexen von Paris (1951), the story of the
Marquise de Montespan.

BERNT VON HEISELER (1907- ), the son of the Russian born
dramatist and translator of Puschkin Henry von Heiseler (1875-
1928), began with one-act plays which are collected in Kkines
Theater (1940). His first full drama, Sdntt (1954), presents the Prus-
sian patriot Ferdinand von Schill, who raised a rebellion against
Napoleon. Das laute Geheimnis (1931) uses motifs of Calderon,
while Des Konigs Schatten (1939) is modelled on one of Goldoni's
plays. Von Heiseler was forbidden to publish after his tragedy
Cdsar (1941) had shown open conflict between dictatorship and