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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

PHILOSOPHERS   AND   SOPHISTS                   447

sopher (he detests the term), but a Pbysiognomiker, and he classes
his system as Physiognomik. The meaning is that he takes into his
vision all the things of the world, including man but with flora
and fauna and all else equally graded as parts of a whole; in their
outer appearances and in all he sees an inner and mystic meaning.
Physiognomy in this sense replaces doctrine (Lehre). Like his con-
temporaries he sees German 'physiognomy' as distinctive and
markedly diiFerent from that of other nations; it is 'ein Ausdruck
der deutschen Einsamkeit oder, da dieser Einsamkeit nichts ^Lomantisches
mehr anhaftet^ der deutschen All-Einheit. Strange to say, though he is
not a Christian, he accepts Christianity as a positive value, but the
one philosophical system which he acknowledges as valid is exis-
tentialism, and this no doubt because he feels himself akin to
Pascal and Kierkegaard. He has a vast variety of interests, enriched
as much by his travels as his reading; although he was crippled
and had to be wheeled about in a chair he saw much of England,
travelled in North Africa and India, and in 1912 in Russia. His
works which have most influenced his contemporaries are Die
Moral der Musik, 1906 and 1922; Melancholia. Erne Trilogie des Geistes,
1908 and 1953; Zahlund Gesicht, 1919 and 1925; Die Grundlagen der
Physiognomik,, 1922 (secondedition VonderSignaturderDinge, 1951);
Die Verwandlung. Physiognomische Studien, 1925; Versuch einer Physio-
gnomik der Ideen.> 1953; Der Gottmensch. Gesprdch und Gleichnis, 1938.
A good way of approach to this most difficult writer is by way of
his autobiographical works: Buch der Erinnerung, 1938 and 1945;
Die syveite Fahrt, 1946; and Umgang der ]ahrey 1949, which includes
his Erinnerungen an England.