Germany Literature Part 2

Germany Literature Part 2

Faced with this “continuity” of the more conscious classical tradition “- albeit of a” classicism “which matured in the adventurous climate of the years between 1920 and 1930 – the sensational innovations and enthusiastic discoveries of the post-war period end up acquiring a more normal and reasonable dimension. In the drama of personal tragedy, Wolfgang Borchert’s solitary experiment, a phenomenon of “return expressionism” destined, despite the frankness of the intentions and in part, also of the poetic results, to remain a voice without echo; now cleared the field of misunderstandings to Forestier or to Hagelstange,which he has never been able to repeat – in the Meersburger Elegie (1950) or in the Ballade vom verschütteten Leben (1952) – the happy exploit of the Venezianisches Credo (1945); finally resized within its proper limits the numerous ranks of decent artisans of the word very often endowed with a shrewd technique and broken to modern avant-garde experiences but with an often poor ideal heritage, some writers and poets with more robust lungs and definitely European format. Heinrich Böll is perhaps the surest discovery of German fiction in recent years: in the novels Der zug war pünktlich (1949), Wo warst du Adam? (1951), Und sagte kein einziges Wort (1953), Haus ohne Hüter (1954), Billard um halbzehn (1959), and in the Wanderer stories, kommst du nach Spa… (1950), So ward Abend und Morgen (1956), Im Tal der donnernden Hufe (1957), etc. it reflects a painful, but not pessimistic and resigned vision of today’s human condition against the backdrop of war and post-war Germany. In the long story Das Brot der frühen Jahre (1955) the environment is no longer that of the conflict and the material and moral disarray that followed it, but a Germany that has risen from the ruins and is on its way to new prosperity; and precisely the German “economic miracle” as a symbol of a world entirely dominated by technology, in which human alienation has now reached dangerous peaks, is the more or less secret theme of some significant recent novels: Spätestens in November (1955) by Hans Erich Nossack, whose surrealist technique can also be explained in Interview mit dem Tode (1948), SpiraleRoman einer schlaflosen Nacht (1956), Der jüngere Bruder (1958); and Schlussball (1958) by Gerd Gaiser, who uses analogous means of expression, indeed with a more marked experimental accent (and here the reference to two Austrian writers would fall into place: Ilse Aichinger, with the lucid surrealism of Die grössere Hoffnung [1948] and Der Gefesselte [1953], and Ingeborg Bachmann, to whom we owe the remarkable lyrical collections Die gestundete Zeit [1953] and Anrufung des grossen Bären [1956], as well as the phantasmagorical and ballad radio drama Der gute Gott von Manhattan [1958]). Surrealism, in general, is one of the most striking stylistic constants in post-war German literature, starting with the two novels by Hermann Kasack Die Stadt hinter dem Strom (1947) and Das grosse Netz (1952), and is a counterpart to the documentarism of another area of ​​this literature, visible for example in the novels by Hans Werner Richter Die Geschlagenen (1949), Sie fielen aus Gottes Hand (1951) and Du sollst nicht töten (1951). Alfred Andersch’s technique is more lucid and brilliant, which he seems to use above all in Sansibar oder Der letzte Grund (1957), Die Nacht der giraffe (1958) and Die Rote (1959) the typical cut of the cinematographic story: with effects of poetic intensity in the first book, which, moreover, in subsequent tests seem to incline in the manner. Less striking, by comparison, is the particular tonality of Heinz Piontek, who is also a poet with a clear vein (Die Furt, 1952; Die Rauchfahne, 195i; Wassermarken, 1957): but in the short stories and apologues by Vor Augen (1955), which recall – albeit in a very different poetic climate – the Cassola del Cutting of the forest, his writing reveals a frank and intense grain, even if linked to an apparently “minor” vision of reality.

According to, it is obviously impossible to make clear cuts and distinctions: but it is certain that the theater offers one of the richest and most interesting fields of observation. In the wake of Brecht, the German Peter Hacks, author of some dramas (Eröffnung des indischen Zeitalters, 1955; Das Volksbuch vom Herzog Ernst, 1957; Die Schlacht bei Lobositz, 1957; Der Müller von Sanssouci, 1958) took place in an epic key. sociological and with an intelligent, imaginative mastery of stage technique; and in some ways the Swiss Friedrich Dürrenmatt is also connected to Brecht, although his comedies (Es steht geschrieben, 1947; Der Blinde, 1947; Romulus der Grosse, 1949; Die Ehe des Herrn Mississippi, 1952; Ein Engel kommt nach Babylon, 1953; Der Besuch der alten Dame, 1956), not unlike his novels (Der Richter und sein Henker, 1952; Der Verdacht, 1953; Grieche sucht Griechin, 1955; Das Versprechen, 1958; Es geschah am hellichten Tag, 1958), are informed by a substantially nihilistic and pessimistic vision of reality, which, within the framework of a “negative theology”, sees modern man abandoned to chaos and relieved, by virtue of a “reverse predestination”, by any moral responsibility. Also of considerable stature is the Swiss Max Frisch, for whom the name of Brecht was mentioned in connection with the drama Biedermann und die Brandstifter (1953): after Nun singen sie wieder (1945) he wrote for the theater Die chinesische Mauer (1946)), Als der Krieg zu Ende war(1949), Graf Oederland (1951), Don Juan oder Die Liebe zur Geometrie (1953), but has also established himself as a robust novelist with Stliler (1954) and Homo Faber (1954). Next to them, then, are the Austrians Max Mell (the stories Verheissungen, 1954, the drama Kriemhilds Rache, 1951, second part of the cycle Der Nibelunge Not) and Fritz Hochwälder, who after the worldwide success of Das heilige Experiment (1941) has brought, with a series of works of different quality (Esther, 1941; Hotel du Commerce, 1945; Der Flüchtling, 1945; Der öffentliche Ankläger, 1948; Virginia, 1951; Donadieu, 1953; Die Herberge, 1957), a very personal note in the context of contemporary dramatic literature.

In the context of poetry, while Wilhelm Lehmann confirmed in Überlebender Tag (1954) the meaning and value of a now “classic” “Naturlyrik” (and the same can be said of Unter hohen Bäumen ‘s Britting, 1951); while on the other hand Peter Huchel was able to insert himself with his Gedichte (1948) among the most authentic voices of contemporary German lyricism; Karl Krolow and Paul Celan are the real revelations of recent years (even if names like Walter Höllerer, Günter Eich, etc. should not be overlooked). Krolow, of which it should be remembered Hochgelobtesgutes Leben (1943), Gedichte (1948), Auf Erden (1949) Die Zeichen der Welt (1952), Wind und Zeit (1954), Tage und Nächte (1956), Fremde Körper (1959), is placed on the line of the most complex European poetic experiences, from Rilke to Lorca, from Auden to the surrealists; Celan’s expressive research, on the other hand, documented by the collection Der Sand aus den Urnen (1948), Mohn und Gedächtnis (1952), Von Schwelle zu Schwelle (1955), Sprachgitter (1959), is isolated in the panorama of the young Germanic lyric, and moves parallel to the most daring attempts of some modern, informal and abstract music and painting, in the framework of that “discontinuous poetry” (W. Höllerer) which represents a supreme effort to adapt linguistic modes to the polidimensionality of today’s vision of reality.

Germany Literature 02

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