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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"


conflict with Carossa jfr?n?, because, for one thing, the son neglected
the Ar^tliche Rundschau for the miasmic labyrinths of Goethe.
There are erotic experiences; and the contrasting types of girls as
they succeed each other have shaping significance. Aufyeicbnungen
aus Italien (1948) makes no show of multifarious information or
guide-book enumeration, as Goethe's Italienische Reise does; the
bulk of the book is made up of highly sensitive impressions, rather
than notes, of travel. The Aufaeichnungen begin in Verona and end
in Munich with the description of a day spent there after a bomb-
ing raid which had rocked the city just before Carossa arrived
home. Tag in Munchen is a terrible picture of devastation. This
chapter is followed by Abendldndische Elegie, which, written in
1943, was passed from hand to hand during the Nazi period. It is
the poem of a seer; behind the shifting pictures we sense, though
dimly, the outlines of the Voluspa, that old Eddie poem which
foretold the darkness of the gods - and the fields growing green
again when all the splendour that had been had sunk in ashes.
Ungleiche Welten (1951) falls into two parts: the first, Lebensbericht,
written 1945-48, deals with the whole period of Nazi rule and the
three years after it; i. e. Nazi tyranny and its aftermath; and the book
closes with Ein Tag im Spdtsommer 1947. But the two sections are
essentially one: they again exemplify Carossa's technique of double
relation or double phenomena. The first part is the record of
events, the cstory of my life literally reported', but illuminated by
a commentary that pierces deep into the events of history and the
mentality of the German people; and these are shown to be cause
and effect. In Ein Tag im Spatsommer 1947 we have a symbolic
interpretation of the whole sense and purport of the first part of
the book. The form is roughly that of the South German or Aus-
trian Dorfnovelh*, the figures are rough-shaped woodcuts; and they
have the religious significance of the genre; the crass realities of
the present are set against a mythical and a mystical background,
and the tale is unfolded with the slow meditative precision which
we expect from Carossa.

Der Tag des jungen Aretes (1956) is the closing volume of the
autobiography proper; it comes between Dasjahr derschomn Tau-
schungen and Der Ar^t Gion. It had been expected that it would
deal in the main with the relations of son and father, but what
conflict there is is dimly limned; actually what emerges is a recon-
ciliation and on the son's part a feeling of filial affection for the