of it has something of the preaching quality of the peasant moralities, which are, in sober truth, Mell's province by right of conquest. As a lyric poet he sings the revolving seasons of Styria in Das bekränzte Jahr ( 1911) and joy in earth in Gedichte ( 1919). Gedichte ( 1928) is a selection.
RICHARD BILLINGER ( 1893) was to have been a priest, but blossomed out into a poet -- the prolific poet and dramatist of Upper Bavaria. In Asche des Fegefeuers ( 1931) he tells the story of his upbringing as a village Heitigenbüblein. There is a strong religious element as well as pulsing melodrama in his peasant plays; Knecht ( 1924), Das Perchtenspiel ( 1928), Rauhnacht ( 1931), Rosse ( 1931), Der Gigant ( 1937) give the general note; the motive force is raw heathen passion under a thin crust of Christian discipline, and this holds good, too, of his peasant tales: Das Schutzengelhaus ( 1934), Lehen ans Gottes Hand ( 1935), Das verschenkte Leben ( 1937). Billinger deserts the peasant play in his comedies Stille Gäste ( 1933), Lob des Landes ( 1933), Melusine ( 1948), Der Galgenvogel ( 1948), and in his dramas Gabriele Dambrone ( 1948), Die Fuchsfalle ( 1914), Das Haus ( 1948). His lyric poetry ( Lob Gottes, 1923; Über die Äcker, 1923; Gedichte, 1929; Nachtwache, 1935; and Holder Morgen, 1942) is collected in Sichel am Himmel ( 1949). The pith of this lyric outpouring is symbolization of Catholic ritual flanked by vignettes of farming life and age-old village custom, but there is here and there a flash of communistic revolt, as in Gebet der Knechte und Mägde, and there is the crude criminal passion of the peasant plays in such a poem as Knechtsballade.
Two other Austrian novelists now well to the fore are FRANZ NABL ( 1883-; Ödhof, 1911; Die Galgenfrist, 1921; Ein Mann von gestern, 1935; Die Ortliebschen Frauen, 1936) and HEIMITO VON DODERER ( 1896-; Ein Mord, den jeder begeht, 1938; Die erleuchteten Fenster, 1950; Die Strudelhofestiege, 1951). There is a tendency to class von Doderer as the direct successor of Robert Musil.
Bach, Adolf. Geschichte der deutschen Sprache. Heidelberg, 4th ed., 1949
Behaghel, Otto. Geschichte der deutschen Sprache. Vol. 3 of Paul's Grundriss der deutschen Sprache. Strassburg, 5th ed., 1928
Bchaghel, Otto. Die deutsche Sprache. Vienna and Leipzig, 1904. 8th ed., 1930
Behaghel, Otto. Deutsche Syntax. Heidelberg, 1923 ff
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Collinson, W. E. The German Language Today; its Patterns and Historical Background. London, 1953