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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

482                   MODKRN   GKRMAX   LITER ATl'RK

aftermath of war are seen as they impress themselves on the minds
of two schoolboys whose fathers were killed at the front. Martin's
mother, a film tan, lives bemused by the make-believe of Holly-
wood, while Hcinrich's mother depends on shifting relationships
with men,

Of the novelists who made the Second World War their main
theme none reaches the heights of Hrnst Jungcr. Of the influences
discernible Uhowm revolt? of Camus and Hemingway's novels
stand out; Krnst Junger's Strahltrngpn also counts. The first of these
novels to appear, often / Icimk^hnrrowanc^ were by writers who for
the most part had fought as privates and who, to begin with at
least, were Communists - Theodor Plicvicr, Hans Werner Richter,
Walter KolbenhofT in particular. The representative novel of this
AnkleiffiiteratHrh Plievier's .V////;flj/W. THKODOR PUKVIER (1892-),
born in Berlin, was a sailor and then a rancher in South America,
From 1914 to 1915 he served in the (jerman navy and was one of
the leaders of the sailors* revolt at Wilhelmshaven. In 1933 he fled
to Russia, and in World War II he was a member of the committee
Jvmr Dwtschland* In 1945 he returned to Germany with the Red
Army, He had made his reputation with Des Kaisers Kalis (1929),
the theme of which is a revolt of sailors after the surrender of the
German fleet at Skagerrak and in which he gives vent to his per-
sonal resentment, as he does too in his Dtr Kaiser &m& die Generate
blieben (1932). Stalingrad (19$*$} was written in Russia during the
war; it was finished a year after the battle. Since his conviction
then was that to be a prisoner of the Russians was to be saved the
main tenor of the book is shot with illusion. Stalingrad relates the
fate of an army and Is made up of information collected on the
battlefield, from diaries and letters, and from conversations with
prisoners of war. It gives a credible description of the actual battle,
but in intention and effect it is a symbol of the destruction of
German military power. In form it is a series of pictures with the
horror of happenings so heightened as to produce the maximum
effect of shock on the reader's nerves. The language is sometimes
ungrammatical - Kolportajtfstil is not an unfair term; and generally
it is sensational - e.g, Brulten is a favourite word* For the critic
the problem is whether it is a novel or just journalese reporting
CR^orAagp*); the author dubs it both 'novel* and Chronicle'. If it
is to be judged by construction (Aufbatt) and form it is hardly a
novel, not so much so as Tolstoy's War and Peace, It is the raw