Skip to main content

Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

See other formats

Jl8                   MODEHN   <;r.RM\N   LITERATURE

coast, A German author steeped in classical lore meets, as he
climbs a mountain-side, a girl coming down with a pitcher poised
cm her head    water for her cottage from a distant well -, and as
.she paces spinning with both hands from a spindle; this is ancient
Greece with amphora and the sletuler grace of perfect female form,
Day by day he meets her at the same spot; she is married to a man
who is nothing to hen She hears her lover from another world a
hoy; and when, some years later, he returns mother and child are
lost to his quest. In the doMng Novelle, a chronicle of two gener-
ations, there is double illegitimacy,, of mother and daughter; 'they
had only quite simply tli me what came in their way to do' - yield-
ing to a lad on a summer night* doing nature's will, and dying
worn and wasted by work without end. Sicily, "the island under
the eight winds", is again the scene of ,V/Ww I land veil Safy (1958),
and there is again the contrast, in the character of a German who
inherits a Sicilian farm, with the natives who are as hardened as
the volcanic rocks that tome their soil

Since 1920 there has been a striking revival of Roman Cathol-
icism in Austria as a literary ferment, and it has gained momentum
since the end of the Second Work! War, The most notable of the
converts whose ardour of faith is the inspiration and almost the
sum and substance of their new work in I-KUX BRAUM (1885-),
a Jew by race and in days gone by a close friend of the galaxy of
•writers, mostly free-thinking, who made the Austrian literature of
their period world-famous - * Ritke* I iofmannsthal, Stefan Zweig,
Schnitzlcr, and the rest. From 1928 to 1957 he was Privatfoyntto
German literature at the University of Palermo and then at the
University of Padua until, in 1939, he emigrated to England,
where he lectured on art at evening Institutes, He distinguished
himself by lyric verse in the taste of the day: Gtdicbto (1909), Das
mm Lebtn (191 j)» Das Jlaar der Berenikt (19x9), Das inmn Lefon
(1915), Viola d*Amre (195$) is the final selection of his verse. He
is a determined traditionalist; his modernity lies rather in his sen-
sitive linking of symbol, as, for instance, in D*r Frtmd* in krkgm-
stfer Stadt, in which the desperate pain of war-time in an exile's
heart is conveyed by glimpses of harbour lights and the victorious
tricolour fluttering in the wind that carries the newsvendor's
raucous cry, but with, in the distance, the glimmer of the light-
house (Ar F«r«uflSw»sr), the spark of love burning like the star, far
in the firmament over the roof yonder. Here, as in all that Felk