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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

EXISTENTIALISM   AND   SURREALISM                485

a farmer of gentry class who comes into close contact with both
James II and Monmouth. His estate is by name Jewel; and the
assumption may be that with his sterling qualities he represents
'this precious stone set in the silver sea . . ., this England5. A king
must have his queen; and there is a wealth of poetry dreamt into
the depiction of Jane, whom Flint, after an incredible opening
with a display of Fensterln in the Bavarian style, marries with yet
more ancient English ceremonial, which is entertaining because
it is on the face of it apocryphal. But woman is congenitally prone
to give way physically to the gilt and glamour of royalty; Jane
remains faithful, but there is throughout the thrill of the sensation
that no woman, however devoted to her husband she may be, can
refuse a king. In the later stages of the novel the Mermaid Tavern
fills the scene; it is the favourite haunt of James II, a brothel to
which he brings Monmouth when the rebellion has failed. From
a window Tower Hill is seen; and Kneller, who has his abode in
the tavern, is ordered to paint for the delectation of the king a
portrait of Monmouth after the severed head has been stitched on
to the trunk. Here, too, Daniel Defoe functions dangerously as
court fool, and represents an intrusion of sound sense and poetic
pathos into the filth and folly of the closing scenes. In the epilogue
there is a reference to the present Earl of Dalkeith as the direct
descendant of Monmouth, with the assumption that he narrowly
missed the royal rights to which Monmouth was legitimately en-
titled. There is still more of a welter of allegory in Bekner's last
novel Der Safranfresser (1953); the background is the earthquake
of Messina in December 1908.

Hermann Hesse's utopistic Glasperlenspiel, Josef Winckler's Der
Mliastische PUger^ug, Alfons Paquet's Die Prophesyiungen, and Franz
WerfePs Stern der Ungeborenen are followed by Ernst Jiinger's Hdio-
polis, the archtype of a series of novels which have for their pur-
pose to interpret in symbol the events of our own time; they show
as logically possible the existence of States which are the direct
contrary of what we have experienced in the outcome of Wilhel-
minismus and the nightmare of Nazism. If instead of such an ideal
State they give, still in symbol, a close depiction of what we have
experienced (as Stefan Andres does in Die Sintfluf) we may call
them Utopias reversed. The Utopia proper generally follows the
normal pattern of the genre by projecting its period into the far
future (Zukunfts- und Staatsrowari) while the Utopia reversed, in-.