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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

528                   MODERN   GERMAN   LITERATURE

PidolPs best-known work Verkltmffnes Spiel (1950), a vie romances
with more truth than romance and basically a masterly interpre-
tation of Beethoven's character, music, thought, and religious
feeling, flanked by a telling presentation of Austrian life during
the period of the composer's heroic life and with side-lights on
other contemporary musicians. "Not the least interesting section
of the book is that in which Beethoven's sturdy independence in
the social sense is contrasted with Goethe's comparative subser-
vience to ruling princes. Beethoven stands out from this book
as one of the finest characters of history and as a freethinker - of
a sort - with a deep religious faith in a God firmly fixed by ele-
mental logic beyond the world of appearances. Another Austrian
Beethoven novel is Zthnte Symphonh (1952) by the well-known
Viennese music critic and dramatist OTTO FRITX BFJKK (1910- ); the
interest lies mainly in the description of the composer's physical
exhaustion and embittered state of mind after completion of the
Ninth Symphony.

After Carossa's Kindhnt und J/#j*w/JOSKF LKITGKB'S (i897-i95z)
Das tmversehrte Jahr (1948) is the loveliest story of childhood and
youth in recent literature. This Chronik finer Kindbtit (as the sub-
title reads) records, like so many German autobiographies, the
thrill of first communion and the evolving experiences of school
life, and runs on to the school-leaving age; the outbreak of the
First World War is imminent. The district lies near Innsbruck,
where Leitgeb lived, and Tyrolese life is described with intimate
realism tempered with fine poetic feeling and relieved by a delight-
ful humour that never descends to coarseness and brutality. The
book is hardly to be classed with the South German ftawrnnovelle:
the boy's father is a railway official, and the contacts are rather
with cultural avocations, the outlook being that of a lyrically
attuned youth with feelings quivering forward to the most delicate
expression of colouring and symbol There are the same subtle
rhythms and the same delicately toned response to the shifting
moods of nature in Leitgeb's book of essays Von Bau/wn, IMumw
und Musik (1947) and in the prose of Trinkt, 0 AttgM (1942).
There is a considerable autobiographical fundament in the novel
Christian und'BrigttU (1938); a teacher who has served in the war
(Leitgeb was a teacher after the war and rose to be StadtscM-
inspektor) comes to an Alpine village and here finds love and his
true self. Kindtrlegende (1934) is the tale of another Tyrolese boy