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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

526                    MODERN   GF.RNfAN   LITERATURE

kottiponist (with rhymes such as Stoh^ - Colts, Pels - Hotels); this
poem and the soft-footed, low-voiced Die Ersyblmg des Redienten
show in masterly fashion how murder can be callously brought
up to date. Indeed the most memorable of these new-toned poems
are elegantly sensational, and this holds good of Biblical poems -
Der Be//j/cM/tisefje KinderMord for instance, which converts the
Gospel text into the plain reporting of a newspaper correspondent
Indeed in all the lyric verse of this 'most Austrian of Austrian
poets* there is this striving for a new poetic notation of ultra-
modern concepts and conceits. In Die Tihtnen (1945) we once again
find the long lines and heavy rhymeless rhythms of the neo-classical
school; the sense of the titular poem is that we are returning, as
our ultra-refinement decays and science takes the helm, to pre-
civilization, to the life of the Titans; the world is to be re-created
because all that was revered has crumbled. This mastery of moods
playful or pseudo-solemn runs through the rest ofLernet-Holenia's
lyric work: Km^omiair (1923), Das Gchehmis Sankt Michaels (1927),
Nexe Gedichte (1945), Dh TropbS* (2:946), Gerwankn (1946), Das
Feuer (1949)* He is a fine craftsman, but he is contriving and con-
structive, not swept by feeling,

The most important work of BRI :NO BRKHM (1892- ), an Austrian
from Gambia, is a trilogy of novels which describe the break-up
of the old Austrian Empire with the defection of the South Slav
States: Apis md fir/*, 1931; Das war das Ewte, x 9} 2; Weder Kaiser
nocbK3ni& 1932; these were published in 1952 in one volume with
the title Die Throw stBrsyn. Of his lighter fiction DerL&gw (1949),
the life story of a successful liar,, reads like a preliminary study of
his problematic Schattm der Nacht (*949)> &n anthological roping
together of examples from world history over 3*000 years of the
abuse of power; this is inevitable, funs the lesson; the whole range
of history is a chroniqw scandafeyse. Apparently Brehm's purpose is
to show that the atrocities of the Nazis pale by comparison with
what has gone before.

OSCAR MAURUS FONTANA (1889- ) &om in Vienna as the son of
a Dalmatian, ranks as one of the pioneers of expressionism in
Austria, He came to the fore with his novel Rrweckung (1918; in
1946 rechristened Die lurme des$egJ%egottja)t & novel which sympa-
thetically describes the life of the lower classes in Serbia, The
characters of his novel Insel Elephantine (1924; in 1947 rechristened
Catastrophe am Nil) are a motley collection of international adven-