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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

438                   MODERN   GERMAN   LITERATURE

Der Gigant was filmed as Diegoldene Stadt^ Gabriek Dambrone as Am
bohen Meer. In his peasant tales too there is the same submission to
Church doctrine offset by the animal urge away from it. In Die
Ascbe des Fegefeuers (1931) he tells the story of his upbringing as a
village Heiligenbublehr, murders abound. A farmer's obstinate cling-
ing to his farm - as in Schonherr's Hrde - and the relinquishment
to his heir of farm and the girl he desired for himself is the theme
o£Leben aus Gottes Hand (193 5). In Das verscbenkte Leben (1936) the
circus rider Pedro Klingsor1 returns to the quiet village he left as
Peter Klinger, and, to save his dying mother, sells his soul to the
devil, who tempts him in the shape of a gipsy. His mother re-
covers, but Peter dies of consumption ~~ after a last violent effort
to recover for the sake of his passion for a woman. Billinger's
early poetry (Lob Gottes, 1923; fiber die Acker, 1923; Gedichte, 1929)
was collected in Sichelam Himmel(i$$i)\ then followed DerPfoil
im Wappen (1932), Die Nachlmche (1935), Holder Morgen (1942),
The pith of this lyric outpouring is symbolization of Catholic
ritual flanked by vignettes of farming life and age-old village
custom, with here and there a flash of Communistic revolt, as in
Gebet der Kmchte und Magde, and there is the crude criminal passion
of the peasant plays in such a poem as Knechtsballade.

KARL HEINRICH WAGGERL (i 879- ), who was born in Bad Gastein
as the son of a carpenter but has made his home at Wagrain in the
Salzburg country, found his feet with his novel Brot (1930), which
shows the influence of Knut Hamsun's Segen der Erde. Village life
forms the staple otSchweresftlitt (1931), Das Wksenlwch (1932), and
Du und Angelika (1933), while Das Jabr des Herrn (1934) has auto-
biographical elements - it was filmed with Waggerl himself as
village schoolmaster (one of the half a dozen trades he has lived
by, from lift-boy to Alpine guide). Unmarried mothers and a mid-
wife - a finely drawn figure - come into the texture of Mutter
(Z93 5)> a&d the two wars into Und rnnn du willst, vergiss (1950). His
Novellen have their scenes in the Salzburg localities of his home-
land, which he describes in Wagmimr Tagebuch (1936). His legends
- Kahndergeschichten (1937), etc. -, more or less in the manner of
Gottfried Keller's Siebenl^egenden, are naive rather than subtle; for
the most part they assume the possibility of miracles in the life of
today and for this reason tend to be foolish to non-Catholics; but

1 Klingsor is a magician in the M.H.G, poem Der Wartburgkrieg, Novalis
in Heinricb von Qfterdingen changes the spelling to Klingsohr.