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A. Forster (1754-1794), who had accompanied Cook round the Weimar, with which its leaders were in essential sympathy, world, and Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), gave Germany but against the shallow, utilitarian rationalisin of Berlin. models of clear and lucid descriptive writing. In practical Ludwig Tieck (1773-1853), a leading member of the school, politics and economics, when once the unbalanced vagaries of was in reality a bclated Stürmer und Dränger, who in his early undiluted Rousseauism had fallen into discredit, Germany pro- years had chased under the unimaginative tastes of the Prussian duced much wise and temperate thinking which prevented the capital, and sought for a positive faith to put in their place. spread of the French Revolution to Germany, and provided Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843), one of the most gifted poets of a practical basis on which the social and political fabric could this age, demonstrates no less clearly than Tieck the essential be built up anew, after the Revolution had made the old régime affinity between Slurm und Drong and Romanticism; be, too, impossible in Europe. Men like Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-forms a bridge from the one individualistic movement to the 1835) and the philosopher J. G. Fichte (1762-1814) were, in other. The theoretic basis of Romanticism was, however, (wo widely different spheres, representative of this type of established by the two brothers, August Wilhelm and Friedrich intellectual eminence.
Schlegel (1767-1845 and 1772-1829), who, accepting, in great Meanwhile, in 1794, that friendship between Goethe and measure, Schiller's aesthetic conclusions, adapted them to the Schiller had begun, which lasted, unbroken, until the younger needs of their own more subjective attitude towards literature. poct's death in 180s. These years mark the summit of Goethe While Schiller, like Lessing before him, insisted on the critic's and Schiller's classicism, and the great epoch of Weimar's history right to sit in judgment according to a definite code of principles, as a literary focus. Schiller's treatises had provided a theoretical these Romantic critics maintained that the first duty of criticism basis; his new journal, Die Horen, might be called the literary was to understand and appreciate; the right of genius to follow organ of the movement-although in this respect the subsequent its natural bent was sacred. The Herzensergiessungen eines Musenalmanach, in which the two poets published their magnifi- kunstliebenden Klosterbruders by Tieck's school-friend W. H. cont ballad poetry, had more value. Goethe, as director of the Wackenroder (1773-1798) contained the Romantic art-theory, ducal theatre, could to a great extent control dramatic production while the hymns and fragmentary novels of Friedrich von in Germany. Under his encouragement, Schiller turned from Hardenberg (known as Novalis, 1772-1801), and the dramas philosophy to poetry and wrote the splendid series of classic and fairy tales of Tieck, were the characteristic products of dramas beginning with the trilogy of Wallenslcin and closing Romantic literature. The universal sympathies of the movement with IFilhelm Tell and the fragment of Demetrius; while to were exemplified by the many admirable translations--greatest Goethe we owe, above all, the epic of Hermann und Dorothea. of all, Schlegel's Shakespeare (1797-1810) --which were produced Less important were the latter's severely classical plays Die under its auspices. Romanticism was essentially conciliatory in naiürliche Tochter and Pandora; but it must not be forgotten its tendencies, that is to say, it aimed at a reconciliation of poetry that it was chiefly owing to Schiller's stimulus that in those with other provinces of social and intellectual life; the hard and years Coethe brought the first part of Faust(1808)to a conclusion. fast boundaries which the older critics had set up as to what
Although acknowledged leaders of German letters, Goethe poetry might and might not do, were put aside, and the domain and Schiller had considerable opposition to contend with. The of literature was regarded as co-extensive with life itself; paint. Stierm und Drang had by no means exhausted itself, and the ing and music, philosophy and ethics, were all accepted as conrepresentatives of the once dominant rationalistic movement stituent elements of or aids to Romantic poetry. Fichte, and to were particularly arrogant and overbearing. The literature a much greater extent, F. W. J. von Schelling (1775-1854) associated with both Sturm und Drong and rationalism was at were the exponents of the Romantic doctrine in philosophy, this period palpably decadent; no comparison could be made while the theologian F. E. D. Schleiermacher (1768-1834) between the magnificent achievements of Goethe and Schiller, demonstrated how vital the revival of individualism was for or even of Herder and Wieland with the "family” dramas of religious thought. Imand, still less with the extraordinarily popular plays of A. von The Romantic school, whose chief members were the brothers Kotzebue (1761-1819), or with those bustling medicval Riller- Schlegel, Tieck, Wackenroder and Novalis, was virtually founded dramen, which were especially cultivated in south Germany. in 1798, when the Schlegels began to publish their journal the There is a wide gap between Moritz's Anton Reiser or the philo-Athenaeum; but the actual cxistence of the school was of very sophic novels which Klinger wrote in his later years, and Goethe's short duration. Wackenroder and Novalis died young, and by Meister; nor can the once so fervently admired novels of Jean the year 1804 the other members were widely separated. Two Paul Richter (1763-1825) take a very high place. Neither the years later, however, another phase of Romanticism became fantastic humour nor the penetrating thoughts with which associated with the town of Heidelberg. The leaders of this Richter's books are strewn make up for their lack of artistic form second or younger Romantic school were K. Brentano (1778and interest; they are essentially products of Sturm und Drang. 1842), L. A. von Arnim (1781-1831) and J. J. von Görres (1776Lastly, in the province of lyric and epic poetry, it is impossible 1848), their organ, corresponding to the Athenaeum, was the 10 regard poets like the gentle F. von Matthisson (1761-1831), Zeitung für Einsiedler, or Trösl-Einsamkeit, and their most or the less inspired G. L. Kosegarten (1758-1818) and C. A characteristic production the collection of Volkslieder, published Tiedge (1752-1841), as worthily seconding the masterpieces under the title Des Knaben Wunderhorn (1805-1808). Compared of Goethe and Schiller. Thus when we speak of the greatness with the earlier school the Heidelberg writers were more practical of Germany's classical period, we think mainly of the work of and realistic, more faithful to nature and the commonplace life her iwo chief poets; the distance that separated them from of everyday. They, too, were interested in the German past their immediate contemporaries was enormous. Moreover, at and in the middle ages, but they put aside the idealizing glasses the very close of the 18th century a new literary movement of their predecessors and kept to historic truth; they wrote arose in admitted opposition to the classicism of Weimar, and historical novels, not stories of an imaginary medieval world to this movement, which first took definite form in the Romantic as Novalis had done, and when they collected Volkslieder and school, the sympathies of the younger generation turned. Just Volksbücher, they refrained from decking out the simple tradition as in the previous generation the Sturm und Drang had been with musical effects, or from heightening the poetic situation obliged to make way for a return to classic and impersonal by Romantic irony." Their immediate influence on German principles of literary composition, so now the classicism of Goethe intellectual life was consequently greater; they stimulated and Schiller, which had produced masterpieces like Wallenstein and deepened the interest of the German people in their own and Hermann und Dorothea, had to yield to a revival of individual past; and we owe to them the foundations of the study of ism and subjectivity, which, in the form of Romanticism, pro- German philology and medieval literature, both the brothers foundly influenced the literature of the whole 19th century. Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm (1785-1863 and 1786-1859) having
(c) The Romantic Movement.--The first Romantic school, been in touch with this citcle in their early days. Again, the however, was founded, not as a protest against the classicism of Heidelberg poets strengthened the national and patriotic spirit
of their people; they prepared the way for the rising against poet. But, on the other hand, he was too liberal-minded a Napoleon, which culminated in the year 1813, and produced thinker and critic to be oblivious to the fruitful influence of the that outburst of patriotic song, associated with E. M. Arndt new movement. Almost without exception he judged the young (1769-1860), K. Th. Körner (1791-1813) and M. von Schenken poets of the new century fairly, and treated them sympathetically dorf (1783-1817).
and kindly; he was keenly alive to the new-and for the most The subsequent history of Romanticism stands in close part “unclassical ”-development of literature in England, relation to the Heidelberg school, and when, about 1809, the France and Italy; and his own published work, above all, the Latter broke up, and Arnim and Brentano settled in Berlin, first part of Faust (1808), Die Wohlverwandtschaften (1809), the Romantic movement followed two clearly marked lines of Dicklung und Wahrheil (1811-1814, a final volume in 1833), development, one north German, the other associated, with Weslöstlicher Divan (1819), Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre Württemberg. The Prussian capital, hotbed of rationalism (1821-1829) and the second part of Faust (published in 1832 as it was, had, from the first, been intimately associated with after the poet's death), stood in no antagonism to the Romantic Romanticism; the first school had virtually been founded ideas of their time. One might rather say that Goethe was the there, and north Germans, like Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811) bond between the two fundamental literary movements of the and Zacharias Werner (1768-1823) had done more for the develop- German classical age; that his work achieved that reconciliation ment of the Romantic drama than had the members of either of “classic” and “ romantic" which, rightly regarded, was the Romantic school. These men, and more especially Kleist, supreme aim of the Romantic school itself." Prussia's grcatest dramatic poet, showed how the capricious
VI. GERMAN LITERATURE SINCE GOETKE (1832-1906) Romantic ideas could be brought into harmony with the classic tradition established by Schiller, how they could be rendered (c) Young Germany. With Goethe's death a great age in serviceable to the national theatre. At the same time, Berlin German poetry came to a close. Long before 1832 Romanticism was not a favourable soil for the development of Romantic had, as we have seen, begun to lose ground, and the July revoluideas, and the circle of poets which gathered round Arnim and tion of 1830, the effects of which were almost as keenly felt in Brentano there, either themselves. demonstrated the decadence Germany as in France, gave the movement its death-blow. of these ideas, or their work contained elements which in sub- Meanwhile the march of ideas in Germany itself had not been sequent years hastened the downfall of the movement. Friedrich favourable to Romanticism. Schelling had given place to G. de la Motte Fouqué (1777-1843), for instance, shows how easy W. F. Hegel (1770-1831), now the dominant force in German it was for the medieval tastes of the Romanticists to degenerate philosophy, and the Hegelian metaphysics proved as unfruitful into mediocre novels and plays, hardly richer in genuine poetry an influence on literature as that of Fichte and Schelling had been than were the productions of the later Sturm und Drang; and fruitful. The transference of Romantic ideas to the domain E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822), powerful genius though be of practical religion and politics had proved reactionary in its was, cultivated with preference in his stories, a morbid super- cffects; Romanticism became the cloak for a kind of Neonaturalism, which was only a decadent form of the early Romantic catholicism, and Romantic politics, as enunciated by men like delight in the world of fairies and spirits. The lyric was less F. von Gentz (1764–1832) and Adam Müller (1779-1829), served sensitive to baleful influences, but even here the north German as an apology for the Metternich régime in Austria. Only at Romantic circle could only point to one lyric poet of the first the universities-in Göttingen, Heidelberg and Berlin-did rank, J. von Eichendorff (1788-1857); while in the poetry of the movement continue, in the best sense, to be productive; A. von Chamisso (1781-1838) the volatile Romantic spirituality German philology, German historical science and German is too often wanting. Others again, like Friedrich Rückert jurisprudence benefited by Romantic ideas, long after Romantic (1788–1866), sought the inspiration which Romanticism was no poetry liad fallen into decay. The day of Romanticism was longer able to give, in the East; still another group, of which clearly over; but a return to the classic and humanitarian spirit Wilhelm Müller (1794–1827) is the chief representative, followed of the 18th century was impossible. The social condition of Byron's example and awakened German sympathy for the Europe had been profoundly altered by the French Revolution; oppressed Grecks and Poles.
the rise of industrialism had created new economic problems. Apart from Eichendorff, the vital lyric poetry of the third the march of science had overturned old prejudices. And in a and last phase of Romanticism must be looked for in the Swabian still higher degree were the ideas which lay behind the social school, which gathered round Uhland. Ludwig Uhland (1787- upheaval of the July revolution incompatible with a reversion 1862) was himself a disciple of the Heidelberg poets, and, in his in Germany to the conditions of Weimar classicism. There was, lyrics and especially in his ballads, he succeeded in grafting the moreover, no disguising the fact that Goethe himself did not lyricism of the Romantic school on to the traditions of German stand high with the younger generation of German writers ballad poetry which had been handed down from Bürger, Schiller who came into power after his death. and Goethe. But, as was the case with so many other disciples “ Young Germany" did not form a school in the sense in which of the Heidelberg Romanticists, Uhland's interest in the German the word was used by the early Romanticists; the bond of union past was the serious interest of the scholar rather than the purely was rather the consequence of political persecution. In December poetic interest of the earlier Romantic poets. The merit of the 1835 the German “Bund" issued a decree suppressing the writings Swabian circle, the chief members of which were J. Kerner of the " literary school " known as “Young Germany," and (1786-1862), G. Schwab (1792-1850), W. Waiblinger (1804-1830), mentioned by name Heinrich Heine, Karl Gutzkow, Ludolf W. Hauff (1802-1827) and, most gifted of all, E. Mörike (1804-Wienbarg, Theodor Mundt and Heinrich Laube. Of these men, 1875) was that these writers preserved the Romantic traditions Heine (1797-1856) was by far the most famous. He had made from the disintegrating influences to which their north German his reputation in 1826 and 1827 with Die Harzreise and Das contemporaries were exposed. They introduced few new notes Buch der Lidder, both of which books show how deeply he was into lyric poetry, but they maintained the best traditions intact, immersed in the Romantic traditions. But Heine felt perhaps and when, a generation later, the anti-Romantic movement more acutely than any other man of his time how the ground of " Young Germany" had run its course, it was to Württemberg was slipping away from beneath his feet; he repudiated the Germany looked for a revival of the old Romantic ideas. Romantic movement and hailed the July revolution as the first
Meanwhile, in the background of all these phases of Romantic stage in the “liberation of humanity"; while ultimately he evolution, through which Germany passed between 1798 and sought in France the freedom and intellectual stimulus which 1832, stands the majestic and imposing figure of Goethe. Germany withheld from him. Heine suffered from having been Personally he had in the early stages of the movement been born in an age of transition; he was unable to realize in a whole. opposed to that reversion to subjectivity and lawlessness which hearted way all that was good in the new movement, which he the first Romantic school seemed to him to represent; to the end had embraced so warmly; his optimism was counteracted by of his life he regarded himself as a “classic," not a “romantic" I doubts as to whether, after all, lise had not been better in that
old Romantic Germany of his childhood for which, to the last, drama," but soon won an independent place for himself; more he retained so warm an affection. Personal disappointments successfully than any other dramatist of the century, he carried and unhappiness added to the bitterness of Heine's nature, out that task which Kleist bad first seriously faced, the reconciliaand the supremely giited lyric poet and the hardly less gifted tion of the classicism of Goethe and Schiller with the Romantic satirist were overshadowed by the cynic from whose biting wit and modern spirit of the 19th century. It is from this point of nothing was sale.
view that works like Das goldene Vliess (1820), König Ollokars Heine's contemporary and although he was not mentioned Glück und Ende (1825), Der Traum, cin Leben (1834) and Des in the decree against the school--fellow-fighter, Ludwig Börne Meeres und der Liebe Wellen (1831) must be regarded. As far (1786-1837), was a more characteristic representative of the as the poetic drama was concerned, Grillparzer stood alone, " Young German ” point of view; for he was free from Romantic for E. F. J. von Münch-Bellinghausen (1806-1871), his most prejudices. Börne gave vent to his enthusiasm for France in promising contemporary, once so popular under the pseudonym eloquent Briefe aus Paris (1830-1833), which form a landmark of Friedrich Halm, soon fell back into the trivial sentimentality of importance in the development of German prose style. With of the later Romanticists. In other forms of dramatic literature Karl Gutzkow (1811-1878), who was considerably younger Austria could point to many distinguished writers, notably the than either Heine or Börne, the more positive aspects of the comedy-writer, E. von Bauernfeld (1802–1890), while a host “ Young German " movement begin to be apparent. He, too, of playwrights, chief of whom were F. Raimund (1790-1836) had become a man of letters under the influence of the July and J. Nestroy (1801-1862), cultivated the popular Viennese revolution, and with an early novel, Wally, die Zweiflerin (1835), farce and fairy-play. Thus, in spite of Metternich's censorship which was then regarded as atheistic and immoral, he fought in of the drama, the Viennese theatre was, in the first half of the the battle for the new ideas. His best literary work, however, 19th century, in closer touch with literature than that of any was the comedies with which he enriched the German stage of other German centre. the forties, and novels like Die Riller vom Geiste (1850-1851). The transitional character of the age is best illustrated by two and Der Zauberer von Rom (1858–1861), which have to be con- eminent writers whom outward circumstances rather than any sidered in connexion with the later development of German similarity of character and aim have classed together. These fiction. Heinrich Laube (1806-1884), who, as the author of were K. L. Immermann, who has been already mentioned, and lengi hy social novels, and Reisenovellen in the style of Heine's A. von Platen-Hallermund (1796-1835). Immermann's dramas Reisebilder, was one of the leaders of the new movement, is were of little practical value to the theatre, but one at least, now only remembered as Germany's greatest theatre-director. Merlin (1832), is a dramatic poem of great beauty. In his novels, Laube's connexion (1850-1867) with the Burgtheater of Vienna however, Die Epigonen (1836) and Münchhausen (1838-1839), forms one of the most brilliant periods in the history of the Immermann was the spokesman of his time. He looked backmodern stage. Heine and Börne, Gutzkow and Laube-lhese wards rather than forwards; he saw himself as the belated were the leading spirits of “ Young Germany"; in their train follower of a great literary age rather than as the pioneer of a followed a host of lesser men, who to the present generation are new one. The bankruptcy of Romanticism and the poctically hardly even names. In the domain of scholarship and learning arid era of "Young Germany" left him little confidence in the the “ Young German " movement was associated with the future. Platen, on the other hand, went his own way; he, too, supremacy of Hegelianism, the leading spirits being D. F. Strauss was the antagonist both of Romanticism and“ Young Germany," (1808–1874), author of the Leben Jesu (1835), the historians and with Immermann himself he came into sharp consict. G. G. Gervinus (1805-1871) and W. Menzel (1798-1873), and the But in his poetry he showed himself indifferent to the strife of philosopher L. A. Feuerbach (1804-1872), who, although a contending literary schools. He began as an imitator of the disciple of Hegel, ultimately helped to destroy the latter's German oriental poets--the only Romanticists with whom he influence.
had any personal sympathy—and with his matchless Sonette Outside the immediate circle of “Young Germany," other aus Venedig (1825) he stands out as a master in the art of verse. tentative efforts were made to provide a substitute for the writing and as the least subjective of all German lyrio poets. discredited literature of Romanticism. The historical novel, for In the imitation of Romance metres he sought a refuge from the instance, which Romanticists like Arnim had cultivated, fell at extravagances and excesses of the Romantic decadence. an early date under the influence of Sir Walter Scott; Wilhelm Meanwhile the political side of the “ Young German " moveHauff, Heinrich Zschokke (1771-1848) and K. Spindler (1796- ment, which the German Bund aimed at stamping out, gained 1855) were the most prominent amidst the many imitators of rapidly in importance under the influence of the unsettled the Scottish novelist. The drama, again, which since Kleist political conditions between the revolutions of 1830 and 1848. and Werner had been without definite principles, was, partly The early 'sorties were in German literature marked by an under Austrian influence, finding its way back to a condition of extraordinary outburst of political poetry, which may be aptly stability. In Germany proper, the men into whose hands it compared with the national and patriotic lyric evoked by the fell were, on the one hand, undisciplined geniuses such as C. D. year 1813. The principles which triumphed in France at the Grabbe (1801-1836), or, on the other, poets with too little revolution of 1848 were, to a great extent, fought out by the theatrical blood in their veins like K.L.Immermann (1796-1840), German singers of 1841 and 1842. Begun by mediocre talents or with 100 much, like E. von Raupach (1784-1852), K. von like N. Becker (1809-1845) and R. E. Prutz (1816-1872), the Holtei (1798-1880) and Adolf Müllner (1774-1829)--the last movement found a vigorous champion in Georg Herwegh (1817named being the chief representative of the so-called Schicksals- 1875), who in his turn succeeded in winning Ferdinand Freiligrath Tragödie. In those years the Germans were more seriously (1810-1876) for the revolutionary cause. Others joined in the interested in their opera, which, under C. M. Weber, H. A. cry for freedom--F. Dingelstedt (1814-1881), A. H. Hoffmann Marschner, A. Lortzing and O. Nicolai, remained faithful to the von Fallersleben (1798-1874), and a number of Austrians, who Romantic spirit. In Austria, however, the drama followed had even more reason for rebellion and discontent than the lines of its own; here, at the very beginning of the century, north Germans. But the best Austrian political poetry, the H. J. von Collin (1771-1811) attempted in Regulus and other Spaziergänge eines Wiener Poelen, 1831, by “ Anastasius Grün" works to substitute for the lifeless pseudo-classic tragedy of (Graf A. A. von Auersperg, 1806-1876), belonged to a decade Ayrenhoff the classic style of Schiller. His attempt is the more earlier. The political lyric culminated in and ended with the interesting, as the long development that had taken place in year 1848; the revolutionists of the 'forties were, if not appeased, Germany between Gottsched and Schiller was virtually un. at least silenced by the revolution which in their eyes had represented in Austrian literature. M. von Collin (1979-1824), effected so little. If Freiligrath be excepted, the chief lyric a younger brother of H. J. von Collin, did a similar service for poets of this epoch stood aside from the revolutionary movement;' the Romantic drama. Franz Grillparzer (1791-1872), Austria's even E. Geibel (1815-1884), the representative poet of the greatest poet, begao in the school of Müllner with a "fate I succeeding age, was only temporarily interested in ihe political
movement, and his best work is of a purely lyric character. Of greater importance was the fiction which owed its inspira. M. von Strachwitz's(1822-1847) promising talent did not flourish lion to the Romantic traditions that survived the “ Young in the political atmosphere; Annette von Droste-Hülshoff German " age. To this group belongs the novel of peasant and (1797-1848), and the Austrian, Nikolaus Lenau (1802-1850), provincial life, of which Immermann had given an excellent both stand far removed from the world of politics; they are example in Der Oberhof, a story included in the arabesque of imbued with that pessimistic resignation which is, more or Münchhausen. A Swiss pastor, Albrecht Bitzius, better known less, characteristic of all German literature between 1850 and by his pseudonym “Jeremias Gotthelf” (1797-1854), was, 1870.
however, the real founder of this class of romance; and his (b) Mid-Century Literature.-When once the revolution of simple, unvarnished and naively didactic stories of the Swiss 1848 was over, a spirit of tranquillity came over German letters; peasant were followed not long afterwards by the more famous but it was due rather to the absence of confidence in the future Schwarzwälder Dorfgeschichten (1843-1854) of Berthold Auerthan to any hopefulness or real content. The literature of the bach (1812–1882). Auerbach is not by any means.so naive middle of the century was not wanting in achievement, but and realistic as Gotthelf, nor is his work free from tendencies there was nothing buoyant or youthful about it; most significant and ideas which recall “ Young German" rationalism rather of all, the generation between 1848 and 1880 was either oblivious than the unsophisticated life of the Black Forest; but the or indifferent to the good work and to the new and germinating Schwarzwälder Dorfgeschichten exerted a decisive influence; ideas which it produced. Hegel, who held the earlier half of the they were the forerunners of a large body of peasant literature 19th century in his ban, was still all-powerful in the universities, which described with affectionate sympathy and with a liberal but his power was on the wane in literature and public life. admixture of dialect, south German village life. With this The so-called “ Hegelian Left" had advanced so far as to have group of writers may also be associated the German Bohemian, become incompatible with the original Hegelianism; the new A. Stifter (1805-1868), who has called up unforgettable pictures social and economic theories did not fit into the scheme of and impressions of the life and scenery of his home. Hegelian collectivism; the interest in natural science-fostered Meanwhile, the Low German peoples also benefited by the by the popular books of J. Moleschott (1822-1893), Karl Vogt revival of an interest in dialect and peasant life; it is to the (1817-1895) and Ludwig Büchner (1824-1899)-created a credit of Fritz Reuter (1810-1874) that he brought honour healthy antidote to the Hegelian metaphysics. In literature and to the Plattdeutsch of the north, the dialects of which had art, on which Hegel, as we have seen, had exerted so blight- played a fitful, but by no means negligible rôle in the earlier ing an influence, his place was taken by the chief exponent history of German letters. His Mecklenburg novels, especially of philosophic pessimism, Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860). Ui de Franzosentid (1860), UI mine Festungstid (1863) and Ut Schopenhauer's antagonism to Hegelianism was of old standing, mine Stromlid (1862-1864), are a faithful reflection of Mecklenfor his chief work, Dic Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, had burg life and temperament, and hold their place beside the best appeared as far back as 1819; but the century was more than German fiction of the period. What Reuter did for Plattdeutsch half over before the movement of ideas had, as it were, caught prose, his contemporary, Klaus Groth (1819-1899), the author up with him, before pessimism became a dominant force in of Quickborn (1852), did for its verse. Weowe, however, the best intellectual life.
German prose fiction of these years to two writers, whose affinity The literature produced between 1850 and 1870 was pre- with the older Romanticists was closer. The north German, eminently one of prose fiction. The beginnings which the Theodor Storm (1817-1888) is the author of a series of short “ Young German "school had made to a type of novel dealing stories of delicate, lyric inspiration, steeped in that elegiac with social problems--the best example is Gutzkow's Ritter Romanticism which harmonized so well with mid-century som Geisle--developed rapidly in this succeeding epoch. pessimism in Germany. Gottfried Keller (1819-1890), on the Friedrich Spielhagen (born 1829) followed immediately in other hand, a native of Zürich, was a modern Romanticist of Gutzkow's footsteps, and in a series of romances from Problema. a robuster type; his magnificent autobiographical novel, Der tische Naturen (1860) to Sturmflut (1876), discussed in a militant grüne Heinrich (1854-1855), might be described as the last in spirit that recalls Laube and Gutzkow the social problems the great line of Romantic fiction that had begun with Wilhelm which agitated German life in these decades. Gustav Freytag Meister, and the short stories, Die Leute von Seldwyla (1856(1816-1895), although an older man, freed himself more success- 1874) and Züricher Noodlen (1878) are masterpieces of the fully from the “ Young German” tradition; his romance of first rank. German commercialism, Soll und Haben (1855), is the master In the dramatic literature of these decades, at least as it was piece of mid-century fiction of this class. Less successful was reflected in the repertories of the German theatres, there was Freytag's subsequent attempt to transfer his method to the little promise. French influence was, in general, predominant; milieu of German academic life in Die verlorene Handschrift French translations formed the mainstay of the theatre-directors, (1864). As was perhaps only natural in an age of social and while successful German playwrights, such as R. Benedix (1811political interests, the historical novel occupies a subordinate 1873) and Charlotte Birch-Pfeiffer (1800-1868), have little claim place. The influence of Scott, which in the earlier period had to considerution in a literary survey. Gustav Freytag's been strong, produced only one writer, Wilhelm Häring ("Willi- admirable comedy, Dic Journalisten (1852), was one of the bald Alexis," 1798-1871), who was more than a mere imitator rare exceptions. But the German drama of this cpoch is not of the Scottish master. . In the series of six novels, from Der to be judged solely by the theatres. At the middle of the century Roland von Berlin lo Dorothe, which Alexis published between Germany could point to two writers who, each in his way, con. 1840 and 1856, he gave Germany, and more particularly Prussia, tributed very materially to the development of the modern a historical fiction which might not unworthily be compared drama. These were Friedrich Hebbel (1813–1863) and Ollo with the Waverley Novels. But Alexis had no successor, and the Ludwig (1813–1865). Both of these men, as a later generation historical novel soon made way for a type of fiction in which discovered, were the pioneers of that dramatic literature which the accurate reproduction of remote conditions was held of at the close of the century accepted the canons of realism and more account than poetic inspiration or artistic power. Such aimed at superseding out ward effects by psychological conflicts are the “antiquarian " novels of ancient Egyptian life by and problems of social life. Hebbel, especially, must be regarded Georg Ebers (1837–1898), and those from primitive German as the most' original and revolutionary German dramatist of history by Felix Dahn (born 1834). The vogue of historical the 19th century. Unlike his contemporary Grillparzer, whose fiction was also transferred to some extent, as in English literature, aim had been to reconcile the "classic" and the “ romantic" to novels of American life and adventure, of which the chief drama with the help of Spanish models, Hebbel laid the founda. German cultivators were K. A. Postl, who wrote under the tions of a psychological and social drama, of which the most pseudonym of Charles Sealsfield (1793-1864) and Friedrich modern interpreter has been Henrik Ibsen. Hebbel's first Gerstäcker (1816-1872).
tragedy, Judilk, appeared in 1840, his masterpieces, Herodes
und Marianne, Agnes Bernauer, Gyges und sein Ring, and the with his Chroniknovellen, and Paul Heyse were the acknowledged trilogy of Die Nibelungen between 1850 and 1862.
masters. It was not until at least a decade later that the genius In this period of somewhat confused literary striving, there of Gottfried Keller was generally recognized. The historical is, however, one body of writers who might be grouped together novel seemed, in those days, beyond hope of revival. Gustav as a school, although the designation must be regarded rather Freytag, it is true, had made the attempt in Die Aknen (1842as an outward accident of union than as implying conformity 1881), a number of independent historical romances linked of aims. This is the group which Maximilian II. of Bavaria together to form an ambitious prose epic; but there was more of gathered round him in Munich between 1892 and 1860, A the spirit of Ebers and Dahn in Freytag's work than of the leading spirit of the group was Emanuel Geibel, who, as we have spacious art of Scott, or of Scott's disciple, Willibald Alexis. seen, sel a model to the German lyric in this age; F. von Boden The drama of the 'seventies was in an even less hopeful condition stedt (1819-1892), the popular author of Mirza Schafsy; and than during the preceding period. The classical iambic tragedy J. V. von Scheffel (1826–1886), who, in his verse-romance, Der was cultivated by the Munich school, by A. Wilbrandt (b. 1837), Trompeler von Säckingen (1854), broke a lance for a type of A, Lindner (1831-1888), H. Kruse (1815-1902), by the Austrian literature which had been cultivated somewhat earlier, but F. Nissel (1831-1893), and A. Fitger (b. 1840); but it was with no very conspicuous success, by men like 0. von Redwitz characteristic of the time that Halm was popular, while Hebbel (1823-1891) and G. Kinkel (1815-1882). The romance was, and Grillparzer were neglected, it might even be said ignored. in fact, one of the favourite vehicles of poetic expression of the The most gifted German dramatist belonging exclusively to Munich school, its most successful exponents being J. Wolff the decade between 1870 and 1880 was an Austrian, Ludwig (b. 1834) and R. Baumbach (1840-1905); while others, Anzengruber (1839-1889), whose Pfarrer von Kirchfeld (1870) such as H. Lingg (1820-1905) and R. Hamerling (1830-1889) recalled the controversies of the Kulturkampf. This was Anzendevoted themselves to the more ambitious epic. The general gruber's first drama, and it was followed by a series of power. tone of the literary movement was pessimistic, the hopelessness ful plays dealing with the life of the Austrian peasant; Anzen. of the spiritual outlook being most deeply engrained in the gruber was, indeed, one of the ablest exponents of that village verse of H. Lorm (pseudonym for Heinrich Landesmann, 1821- life, which had attracted so many gifted writers since the days 1902) and H. Leuthold (1827-1879). On the whole, the most of Gottheli and Auerbach. But the really popular dramatists important member of the Munich group is Paul Heyse (b. 1830), of this epoch were either writers who, like Benedix in the older who, as a writer of “ Novellen " or short stories, may be classed generation, cultivated the bourgeoise comedy-A. L'Arronge with Storm and Keller. An essentially Latin genius, Heyse (b. 1838), G. von Moser (1825-1903), F. von Schönthan (b. 1849) excels in stories of Italian life, where his lightness of touch and O. Blumenthal (b. 1852)-or playwrights, of whom P. and sense of form are shown to best advantage; but he has also Lindau (b. 1839) may be regarded as representative, who written several long novels. Of these, Kinder der Welt (1873) imitated French models. The only sign of progress in the and, in a lesser degree, Im Paradiese (1875), sum up the spirit dramatic history of this period was the marked improvement and tendency of their time, just as, in earlier decades, Die Riller of the German stage, an improvement due, on the one hand, to vom Geiste, Problematische Naturen and Soll und Hoben were the artistic reforms introduced by the duke of Meiningen in the characteristic of the periods which produced them.
Court theatre at Meiningen, and, on the other hand, to the ideals (c) German Literature after 1870.-In the years immediately of a national theatre realized at Bayreuth by Richard Wagner following the Franco-German War, the prevailing conditions (1813–1883). The greatest composer of the later 19th century were unfavourable to literary production in Germany, and the is also one of Germany's leading dramatists; and the first re-establishment of the empire left comparatively little trace performance of the trilogy Der Ring der Nibelungen at Bayreuth on the national literature. All minds were for a time engrossed in the summer of 1876 may be said to have inaugurated the by the Kulturkamps, by the financial difficulties--the so-called latest epoch in the history of the German drama. Gründertum-due to unscrupulous speculation, and, finally, The last fifteen of twenty years of the 19th century were by the rapid rise of social democracy as a political force. The distinguished in Germany by a remarkable literary activity. intellectual basis of the latter movement was laid by Ferdinand Among the younger generation, which was growing up as citizens Lassalle (1825-1864) and Karl Marx (1818–1883), author of of the united German empire, a more hopeful and optimistic Das Kapital (vol. I, 1867). But even had such disturbing elements spirit prevailed. The influence of Schopenhauer was on the wane, been wanting, the general tone of German intellectual life at and at the universities Hegelianism had lost its former hold. that time was not buoyant enough to inspire a vigorous literary The sponsor of the new philosophic movement was Kant, the revival. The influence of Hegel was still strong, and the "his master of 18th-century "enlightenment,” and under the intorical" method, as enunciated in Der alle und der neue Glaube fluence of the "neo-Kantian movement, not merely German (1872) by the Hegelian D. F. Strauss, was generally accepted school philosophy, but theology also, was imbued with a healthier at the German universities. To many the compromise which spirit. L. von Ranke (1795-1886) was still the dominant force H. Lotze (1817-1881) had attempted to establish between in German historical science, and between 1881 and 1888 nine science and metaphysics, came as a relief from the Hegelian volumes appeared of his last great work, Weltgeschichte. Other tradition, but in literature and art the dominant force was still, historians of the period were H. von Sybel (1817-1895) and H. as before the war, the philosophy of Schopenhauer. In his von Treitschke (1834-1896), the latter a vigorous and inspiring Philosophie des Unbewussten (1869), E. von Hartmann (1842-spokesman of the new political conditions; while J. Burckhardt 1906) endeavoured to bring pessimism into harmony with ideal. (1818–1897), author of the masterly Kultur der Renaissance in ism. In lyric poetry, the dull monotony was broken by the Italien (1860) and the friend of Nietzsche, exerted an influence excitement of the war, and the singers of the revolution of 1848 on German thought which was not confined to academic circles. were among the first to welcome the triumph and unification Literary criticism perhaps benefited most of all by the dethrone of Germany. At the same time, men of the older generation, ment of Hegel and the more objective attitude towards Schopenlike Herwegh, Freiligrath and Geibel could ill conceal a certain hauer; it seemed as if in this epoch the Germans first formed disappointment with the new régime; the united Germany, definite ideas and ideas which were acceptable and accepted of 1871 was not what they had dreamed of in their youth, whepqutside Germany—as to the rank and merits of their great poets. all hopes were set on the Frankfort parliament.
A marked change came over the nation's attitude towards Goethe, The novel continued to be what it was before 1870, the most a poet to whom, as we have seen, neither the era of Hegel nor vigorous form of German literature, but the novelists who were that of Schopenhauer had been favourable; Schiller was regarded popular in the early 'seventies were all older men. Laube, with less national prejudice, and most important of all-amends Gutzkow and Auerbach were still writing; Fritz Reuter was were made by the new generation for the earlier neglect of a universal favourite; while among the writers of short stories, Kleist, Grillparzer, Hebbel and Keller. Storm, who, between 1877 and 1888, put the crown to his work The thinker and poet who most completely embodies the spirit