Page:Above the battle.djvu/63

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The Lesser of Two Evils

of since the death of Nietzsche, whose magnificent madness has left its traces upon you though we are unscathed by it? Where have we sought our spiritual food for the last forty years, when our own fertile soil no longer yielded sufficient for our needs? Who but the Russian writers have been our guides? What German writer can you set up against Tolstoï and Dostoievsky, those giants of poetic genius and moral grandeur? These are the men who have moulded my soul, and in defending the nation from which they sprang, I am but paying a debt which I owe to that nation as well as to themselves. Even if the contempt for Prussian Imperialism were not innate to me as a Latin, I should have learned it from them. Twenty years ago Tolstoï expressed his contempt for your Kaiser. In music, Germany, so proud of its ancient glory, has only the successors of Wagner, neurotic jugglers with orchestral effects, like Richard Strauss, but not a single sober and virile work of the quality of Boris Godunov. No German musician has opened up new roads. A single page of Moussorgsky or Strawinsky shows more originality, more potential greatness than the complete scores of Mahler and Reger. In our Universities, in our hospitals and Pasteur Insti-