Skip to main content

Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

See other formats


evitably more or less a rowan a clefs, keeps to the recent past. In so
far as these Wellsian tales of times to be build up their systems on
the marvels of technical science their immediate progenitors are
Bernharcl Kellermann's Der Ttmwl and Doblin's Berge, Meere und
Giganten, though ultimately they derive from the British, French
and American Utopias - William Morris's News from Nowhere,
Blatchford's Merry Eqe/aMl, Bellamy's Looking Backwards; in par-
ticular the influence of George Orwell's i$i$ and of Aldous Hux-
ley's Brave Nw World cannot be missed. And of course some of
them are likely to be rooted on the solid ground of Oswald
Spengler's Der Unterfpng des Westens.

The Rhinelander STKI-AN ANDRKS (1906- ), born near Treves as
the son of a miller, was destined for the priesthood^ but deserted
his convent school to study GerwtMtstik at the universities and
then turned to literature. He travelled extensively, and from 1937
to 1949 lived in Italy. His love of southern climes plays a great
part in certain of his novels: Greece is the scene of Der Mann von
Asleri (1940) and of his short story Das Crab des Neides (1940),
Italy that of Der gefrorem Dionysos (1941; rechristened Die Liebes-
schaukel in the 1951 edition), of Rit/er der Gerechtigjkeit (1948) and
of Dasgpldem Git tor (195i). But the continuously recurring theme
of his best work is that of the conflict between devotional con-
templation and the call to the rough and tumble of life outside
the cloister. We have it in his first novel Bruder Lucifer (1932),
which is clearly autobiographical; it is the tale of a novice in a
Capuchin monastery who is lured away by the wiles of the world.
In Der Knabe im Jbrwnen (*95?) we have the same story as auto-
biography; it is one more Eine Kindhiit in the wake of Carossa;
the boy Steff dreams himself into a world in which he cannot
reconcile the loving Creator with the angry God of the Old Testa-
ment. Other novels are Ewtwicklxnffromane with heroes of peasant
stock who make their way by study: Eber&arJ im Kontrapunkt
(1934), Die unsichtbare Mamr (1954)* The author's dominating
theme shapes itself in El Gnco malt den Gmsinquisitor (1936), in
which we have the contrast of an Inquiring and independent mind
with rigid orthodoxy, and is climaxed in Wir sind Utopia (194*)'
The scene of the latter is in Spain in a Carmelite monastery which
is now used during the Civil War as a prison for captured soldiers,
One of them is a renegade monk who by a miracle of chance finds
himself lodged in the very cell which had been his twenty years