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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

POST-WAR  AUSTRIAN WRITERS                   527

turers, and the action is climaxed with the bursting of the Nile
dam and a revolt of the Nubians, but Europe is intended with the
breaking through of a new epoch. There is the same clash of two
periods in the sensational action otGefangene derErde (1928) before
and after World War I. Der Wegdurch denBerg (1936) centres round
the breaking through of the St. Gotthard tunnel; thematicaUy it
belongs to the genre of novels which celebrate the triumphs of
science (pp. 69, 368), as does also Atem desFetters: Roman der Gas-
Energie (1954)- The heroine of Der Engel der Barmher^igkeit (10^6)
is Florence Nightingale; in his sufficiently authenticated chronicle
of her life from childhood right to the end she is not so much
an angel as a problematic figure with, in her mature stages, an
emphasized leaning to Roman Catholicism. With the exception of
Florence the characters of all grades suffer from a frustration which
can hardly be classed as British. And common soldiers, who kiss
her shadow as she passes along the wards, are grateful to her for
restoring the afternoon tea of their civilian life.

CARL PIDOLL (i 8 8 8- ) - in full Carl Freiherr von Pidoll - is a
typical Austrian of mixed race: his mother was a native of Luxem-
burg, while his father was the scion of an old military family in
Austria. He is a composer and conductor as well as a novelist.
There are autobiographical reminiscences in the family ramifica-
tions of the hero of his novel Augustinus Duroc (i 948), a tale written
in the first person (Ichromari) during the debacle of 1945 and looking
back over sixty years of a life spent as performing musician, com-
poser, business man in the United States; it is Pidoll's own life of
a far-travelled man, with intimate experiences of Chinese life and
with a keen perception of whatever may be regarded as good
in Chinese religion and philosophy. The novel has experimental
interest: life on two planes is contrived by the simple device
of interlarding chapters: the life-story from its beginnings runs
through one series of chapters each of which is followed by one
with the physical experiences and the mental reactions of the post-
war years. But the narration of facts is not the main purpose of
the book; this is to ventilate the problems of today, principally
those of religion and politics. The book is thus rather a potpourri
than a Musikerroman, which is the title claimed for it, as it is for
the previous novel, Boewo Divino (1945)- The narrator's religious
faith has itself a reasoned acceptance of life (^Ja-Sagen %um Lebez'),
and this, in still greater measure, is the mood and meaning of