Spring 1946 • Vol. VIII No. 2 Book Reviews |

Brief Notices: Modern German Literature 1870-1940

Modern German Literature 1870-1940 by Victor Lange. Cornell University Press. $2.50. Mr. Lange has undertaken the formidable task of discussing German literature from 1870 to the present in 135 pages. He attacks the problem with enthusiasm, an admirable gift for organization, and impressive scholarship (the long appended bibliography is extremely useful). Unfortunately, he has not limited himself to writers of the first and second rank. In his later chapters, the sheer bulk of the material is almost overwhelming: minor authors pass before our eyes like soldiers before a reviewing stand, are decorated with a phrase or an adjective or two, and disappear. Generally the adjectives are well chosen, but the method is not a happy one. In the earlier chapters, Lange has of course the advantage of perspective. Here he confines himself to fewer writers, and gives brief but rounded estimates of important figures. The treatment of Fontane is first-rate, and Lange well emphasizes the paramount i

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