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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

5T2                    MODKRN   GERMAN   LITERAl'TRU

the .'iHscblttss. Vienna is once more intimately depicted. But, since
the actual life of the period is the mutter of the novel, the garden
suburbs and health resorts in the wooded highlands come into the
picture, The ideas which go to the making of the Strudelhofstieg^
being permanent truths in the illumination of the social structure,
are taken over; here one only needs to add several moral or meta-
physical concepts which are stressed. Of these the unity of time
gathers force by the continuous references to das Diesseitso& iden-
tical with das jenseits and vice versa; this doctrine blends with the
lesson to which the action converges that every human being is
double (dichotomy) and that if there is transformation (in the old
sense of Wandhm^ by experience it is because there is a ripening
to a new reality. The manifestations of an individual's craze may
run through the whole warp and woof of his life; and thus indi-
viduals can be classified and ticketed just like butterflies; but if
experience serves its moral purpose then this outer casing of illu-
sion may scale off and the inner man be revealed; what was within
(das Inmre, the inner man) is then without and in the light of day.
The most striking instance of this finding of a new self (Mensck-
werdtmg) is the working man Leonhard Kakabsa; he is determined
to remain a working man in his outlook and predilections, but he
attains culture by studying Latin and Roman history and by social
contacts, and in the end is appointed librarian to a nobleman and
marries the Mary K. who is one of the few attractive characters of
Die $truddh&f$tiege\ she has lost a leg by being run. over in the
street, but she fights her disability, gets accustomed to the wooden
leg, and there is a "happy ending' when she marries Leonhard
Kakabsa, though she is a widow with two children, a Gymnasiast
and a somewhat younger girl who has an eye on Leonhard herself,
This is a problematic ending; but so too is the ingeniously con-
trived crowding of happy endings, almost in Dickcnsian fashion,
to close the novel; the Strwklkofstiegf has ended with a problematic
marriage which disposed of Meker; in the second novel there are
engagements, as the Justixpalast bums, followed by marriages all
round; even Rene Stangeler, now by a miracle of chance (situations-
gemass] fixed up in a remunerative post, marries his ewiff *Braut, To
the reader who has familiarized himself with the mental make-up
and the way of life of these people this glaringly novellistic con-
trivance is obviously part of the all-embracing satire. But there are
characters who could not be so happily disposed of: in the plan of