The German Novel: Studies

The German Novel: Studies

The German Novel: Studies

The German Novel: Studies

Excerpt

This book is not a history of the German novel, for I wished to discuss at some length the novels I hold to be of the highest worth, with the object of finding out, as far as I might, what it is that makes them good novels; and a history would unavoidably include a host of works which have little claim to literary merit. Even so, many works of distinction have been passed over. I decided to limit myself to a fairly coherent historical period, and for this reason have not included the first great German novel, Grimmelshausen's Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus (1668-9). Goethe's Werther and The Elective Affinities have been omitted, mainly because his Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship called for very full treatment and I did not wish to give so much more space to Goethe. Readers well acquainted with German literature will notice the omission of novels that are an essential part of German literary studies -- for example Hölderlin's Hyperion, Novalis' Heinrich von Ofterdingen, the novels of Jean-Paul Richter, those of Immermann and 'Jungdeutschland', of Freytag and Spielhagen and the Naturalist school, of the Low-German writer Fritz Reuter, etc. All these have importance in the history of German culture; but the poetic qualities that some of them possess do not belong primarily to the form of the novel.

No attempt has been made to survey the modern novel. There is a considerable number of modern German novelists who have a distinct artistic personality and deserve attention -Heinrich Mann, Jakob Wassermann, Alfred Döblin, Hans Fallada, Anna Seghers, Hermann Hesse, Robert Musil, Hans Carossa, Franz Werfel, Hermann Broch, Ernst Jünger, and no doubt others. I have simply limited myself to the work of the two writers who are widely accepted as the most significant of the moderns, Thomas Mann and Franz Kafka.

The book falls into two halves. In the latter part I have discussed in more or less chronological order the work of five novelists, and my method calls for no particular explanation. The first part, however, is devoted to a peculiar . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.