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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

THE  LITERATURE  OF   RACE  AND   SOIL            429

Gelstes\ with the Nazis Geist is as mechanized as modern armies
are. Expressionism stands for ethic ideals, National Socialism for
State ideals; the ideal of the one is Erneuerung der Menschheit\ that
of the other Erneuerung der Rasse.

The second principle is that, since the health of the race springs
from the soil of the country, the finest racial types will be found,
not in the city, but on the land. The result of this doctrine is that
approved literature is for the most part Heimatkunst or Scholhn-
dichtung\ or, to use the term now preferred, /#/- undBodenliteratur.
The ideal German is the German l&amr\ and the task of the poet
or novelist is to show how this peasant's qualities derive from the
land he tills. The difference between Heimatkunst and the new Bfat-
und 'Rodenliteratur is that the Nazi movement attaches more value
to "Blttt than ~Boden\ and J$lut means race. Race in two senses; firstly
it means the Nordic or Germanic race; and secondly the Stamme
that make up this race in Germany. Idealization of the Nordic
type occurs mainly with the KulturphiJosophen, while sub-racial
idealization is the affair mainly of the new regional novelist. But
the 'Boden or landscape, too, is differently glorified than it was by
the HeimatMnstler of pre-War days, and takes on more mythical
tints: what the Nazi novelists are set to evoke is not the surface
but the very soul, the mystic and fateful soul, of the landscape. In
H. F. Blunck's tales, for instance (even those which are in period
historical), myth and symbol rather than description serve to evoke
the landscape and to give it magical radiance. This splitting of
literature into provinces had for result that Josef Nadler's Uteratur-
geschichte der deutschen Stamme was now the approved History of
literature.

The third principle is that, since the race is by its very blood
heroic, literature, too, must be heroic and confident of the coming
glory of the race; any other mood is treason to the race.

The ideals of the Blut- und~&odenliteratur were expounded by the
Minister of Agriculture, Walther Darre, in his two books Das
'Qamrntum als ILebensqmll der nordischen Rasse (1930) and Neuadel aus
T&lut und'Eoden (1930), which gave such currency to the term that it
had its convenient abbreviation -Blubo. This to an outsider seems
irresistibly hilarious; particularly in the light of Karl Kraus's ir-
teverent witticism: 'Erne Verbindungvon Jttut md'Boden ergibtimmer
nur Starrkrampf?

There were of course peasant tales still being written which in