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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

462                  MODERN   GERMAN   LITERATURE

society (Geheimbtmd] to fight the silliness which comes from starved
imagination and in the grip of which men are crushed by the
leaden load of day-to-day existence. Die Unauffindbaren records the
doings of a band of anarchists who live in an America of imagin-
ation everywhere and nowhere in a land of dreams. There is again
juggling with space and time and reality fused with dream in
the poetry (Gedichte, 1947), dramas (the action of Die Rotte Kain,
1 949, takes place 'mindestens ^ebntausend Jahre vor dem bekanntenKbel-
ereigntf\ and in the fiction (Ne&ya, 1 947) of ERNST NOSSACK (i 901- ),
Something of Kafka's depiction of life as a nightmare occurs, too,
in the fiction of HEINX RISSE (1898- ). His novel Wenn die Erde
bebt (1950) has guilt and atonement for its basic problem; but
there is a note of hope for a world rocked and shattered by wars
in the motto of Novalis to which it is shaped : 'Unser Leben ist kern
Trauw, aber es soil und nnrd vielleicht einer mrden? The theme is
carried on in the Novellen Sofrd von Schuld (195 i) and Feldmawe

In the later work of ERNST JUNGKR (1895- ) there is something

of the mystic idealism of Ernst Kreuder's questing of the ideal city

or of the ideal State, but the heart of his work is 'heroic realism'.

And this holds good even of the dream imagery of his later mytho-

logical allegories. Indeed the whole of his work can be classed as

heroic realism, but only in the sense that in his conception of it

heroism is real; it is the age-old mark of the German character;

it is cruel because it is real. And also: heroic leadership is the

prerogative of the higher and the cultured classes; in other words

Ernst Junger is an aristocrat to his finger-tips ; his sum and sub-

stance is the recovery of conservative supremacy and domination

in the face of the democratic uplift of our days. At sixteen he ran

away from school, made his way to Marseilles, and enlisted in the

Foreign Legion, from which he was in due course released by

family efforts; this escapade he describes from the mellow retro-

spect of maturity in his Afrikamsche Spiek (1936). In 1914 he joined

up as a volunteer, was frequently and seriously wounded in trench

warfare, and was awarded the Ordn pour k mtrite for his fearless

leadership of his men. During the Nafci regime he was in contact

with resistance circles, but escaped arrest It Is significant that after

the Second World War he was forbidden to write; in public esti-

mation he was still the fervent militarist who had made his repu-

tation by his war diary In Stahlgewittern (1920; in 1942 the title