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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

434                  MODERN   GERMAN   LITERATURE

throughout is austere and noble. The manuscript, written after
the Buchenwald experience, was recovered from the tin box buried
in the garden. It is ostensibly a post-war novel, and the aim is
rehabilitation after the First World War; but the war that is coming
is foreshadowed, although Nazi activities are for discretionary
reasons kept out of the picture, while Communists and Stahlhelm
are episodically in the foreground. Very effective is the scorn
poured on the cruel God of the Germans, who after murderous
battles intone the hymn: Ntm danket alle Gott! There is the same
spirit of redemption by love and labour in Die Jerowmkinder (2 vols.,
1945 and 1947), in which there is again a delightful evocation of
life in a lonely East Prussian village. Wiechert's last novel, Missa
sine nomine (1950), yet another Heiwkehrerroman> describes the fate
of three brothers of the old nobility during and after the war.
One of the three is obviously a self-portrait; on his release from a
concentration camp he gradually, in the loneliness of nature, finds
his Christian fate and realizes that God created good and evil for
man to choose between them.

BENNO VON MECHOW(I 897- ), thoughborn in Bonn, was brought
up in Baden-Baden and Freiburg im Breisgau; he is, however,
reckoned with the writers of the hard North. He began with Das
landliche Jahr (1930), a chronicle of bucolic life; the hero is a young
Gutsinspektor who learns that he must face life on his own. Vor-
sommer (1933) is obviously modelled on Stifter's Nachsommer: it
shows that subtle interweaving of nature and human life which is
Stifter's theme. Von Mechow was associated with PAUL ALVERDES
(1897- ) as joint editor of Das Inmre JLeich, a journal which boomed
the Blubo literature. Alverdes, an Alsatian, born in Strassburg,
counts in Nazi literature for his War tales (Reinhold oder die Ver-
wandelten,> 1931; Die Pfeiferstube^ 1934). Alverdes here coins one of
the winged words of the day: all the heroism is for love of 'Jos
unsichtbare DeutsMand\ WILL VESPER (1882- ), a native of das ber-
gische Land, was one of the Nafci coryphaei; he proclaimed their
doctrines in his popular review Die new 'Literatur, His most im-
portant original work is the novel Dor harte Geschkcht (1931); it
retells, from the Old Norse sagas of Greenland, the story of Lef
the Cunning, who sails to Greenland, is converted to Christianity
in Denmark, and dies on a pilgrimage to Rome.

FRIEDBJCH SCHNACK (1888- ) describes his native district, the
land round the river Main; he hails from the Rhon. He served