Page:Above the battle.djvu/157

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War Literature

which I shall not attempt to elucidate, much of the literary youth of the nation has remained at home, and continues to publish books. Even those who are at the front contrive to send articles and poems to the Reviews (for the passion for writing dies hard in Germany).

It seems to me to be of importance to ascertain what spiritual currents are influencing the young intellectuals of Germany.[1]

It has been pointed out that in all countries the extremest views have been expressed by writers who have already passed el mezzo del cammino. We shall attempt to find the reason for this at some later date. At present we are content again to verify this fact in the case of German writers. Almost all the celebrated and acknowledged poets, all those who were rich in years and in honour, were swept off their feet at the beginning of the war. And this fact is all the more curious because some of them had been up to that time the apostles of peace, of pity, and of humanitarianism. Dehmel, the enemy of war, the friend of all men, who said that he did not

  1. The literary appreciation of the work cited is here treated as of secondary importance, in order that evidence may be discovered with regard to the thought of Germany.