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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

430                  MODERN   GERMAN   LITERATURE

spirit differed radically from the Blubo tales; for instance, DerKopf-
khn by Anna Seghers (p. 493). We must take it that a tale of
country life cannot be ranged with the Blubo literature unless,
before or after 1933, it rings true to Nazi ideals. After 1933 such
totalitarian tales were stamped out of holy earth like the bristling
German army. Only a few of those which project above the ruck
can be dealt with here, and the very nature of Blubo literature
exacts a geographical classification; the most convenient arrange-
ment will be that of the three parallel belts of north, centre, and
south which roughly coincide with the sub-racial division into
Low Saxon, Franconian-Thuringian-Upper Saxon- Silesian, and
Allemannic-Bavarian-Austrian, to which must be added the Ger-
mans without the Reich (Auslandsdeutsche).

The true home of the Bfabo tale is the rich farmland of the
North; if one can speak of classics of the movement they are
Friedrich Griese in Mecklenburg and Ernst Wiechert in East
Prussia.

FRIEDRICH GRIESE (1890- ) was an elementary schoolmaster in
East Mecklenburg and then in Kiel Critics stress his early deaf-
ness : this gave him his close perceptions of the processes of nature
- he heard the grass grow, as the saying goes. His conception of
man's native soil as fate gathers intensity from tale to tale (Feuer,
1921 ; Ur, 1922; Alte Glocken, 1925) and reaches a climax in Winter

ERNST WIECHERT (1887-1950) is the novelist par excellence of
East Prussia, the laureate of the vast forests and heathlands in
which he grew up as the son of a forest ranger. The very best of
him is in his evocation of the magic and mystery of these en-
chanted woodlands and the rough-hewn or moonstruck folk who
are moulded to their environment. At the Oberrealschule and Uni-
versity of Konigsberg he was disillusioned; here, he says, he re-
nounced God, Christ, the Kaiser, State, parents, teachers, women.
Formative influences which can be traced in his work are, above
all, the Danish novelist Jens Peter Jacobsen, Wilhelm Raabe, the
East Prussian Graf Eduard von Keyserling, and the Russian novel-
ists. He was a secondary teacher for thirty years; he served in the
First World War from start to finish, and then returned to his task
as teacher at Konigsberg and later in Berlin, Here the Board of
Education were informed that 'every class that Wiechert takes is
lost to National Socialism', and in 1933 he found it convenient to