Introduction to German Literature, 1871–1990 by Malcolm Humble;Raymond Furness

By Malcolm Humble;Raymond Furness

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Extra resources for Introduction to German Literature, 1871–1990

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Both the dramatic techniques used by Strindberg (the characters as emanations of a soul) and the ultimate message of the later plays (the need for self-transcendence) will later dominate the German stage: Strindberg is of great importance in any study concerning the roots of those anti-Naturalistic tendencies which appeared at the turn of the century. The predilection for extreme psychic states, ecstatic or desperate, came to be identified with these tendencies and also termed Expressionistic; here Dostoyevsky is of importance.

Alfred Doblin's Berlin Alexanderplatz. Die Geschichte vom Franz Biberkopf (1929) is now recognised as the archetypal metropolitan novel of the twentieth century, although its skeletal plot, conveyed with remarkable fidelity in twelve of the thirteen parts of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's television film, is a squalid tale of an exconvict who tries to go straight, alone or with others' help, but is sucked into the Berlin underworld until the murder of his mistress and his physical and mental breakdown lead to a transformation of his personality and prospects.

From the Jahrhundertwende to Weimar 23 ature. Hesse achieved early fame with the melancholy lyricism of his Romantische Lieder (1898) and the diluted romanticism of his Bildungsroman Peter Camenzind (1904); Unterm Rad (1906) endeared Hesse to many adolescent readers with its anti-intellectualism and sympathy for those who fail and who reject the adult world. Hesse's later work, particularly Der Steppenwolf (1927), will ensure a very wide readershiu; the novels before the First World War, for example Gertrud (1910) and Rosshalde (1913), deal with problems of artistry and marriage in an undemanding manner; the psychoanalytical preoccupations of Demian (1919) and the pseudoorientalism of Siddhartha (1922) are pretentious rather than intriguing.

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