The method of socialist realism demanded of the writer was to depict reality in its historical development, seen from a socialist perspective. This meant presenting reality as a process progressing towards socialism or communism, a demand that necessarily restricted the range of possible topics. The development of the hero was to trigger a cathartic effect, a transformation of the reader's conscience.
Garp und wie er die Welt sah
To support this purpose, books were often provided with extensive afterwords that, at least in the first two decades of the republic, tended to explain the "gist" of the text to the reader so that he would not miss the point. Mere descriptions of reality, of people's everyday problems and failures, of despair and hopelessness were disapproved of for a long time and were criticized as "defeatist" and of little use for socialist society. From this perspective the naturalist method of presenting an exact true-to-life image of reality without expressing a claim to change it or showing a way towards improvement was obviously inadequate.
This explains the critic's evaluation of Crane's way of describing "irrelevant details". A further demand on the GDR writer concerned style. As socialist realism was considered the original literary method of socialism, it excluded the use of literary devices that originated in the Western societies. All modernist forms of literature were condemned as "decadent" expressions of the decay of capitalism and therefore incompatible with socialist realism. Here all innovative tendencies in 20th century literature that did not continue the realistic tradition of the 19th century were subsumed under the verdict of "formalism".
Kurt Hager, secretary of cultural affairs in the Central Committee, pointed out the detrimental influence of formalism, that due to him meant. Correspondingly, the critic does not praise Crane for his innovative style but for his true-to-life presentation of reality, and he also reduces Crane's role to being merely a forerunner of modernism. The emphasis on Crane's committment to the ordinary soldier points to another key-concept of realism as officially proclaimed in the GDR: the hero was to show his closeness to the working classes, to the weak and oppressed of a particular society.
This first critical judgement was supplemented by a more influential one: the first German dissertation on Crane was written in Greifswald in Its author, Hans Petersen, was at the same time working as a proof reader in the publishing house Volk und Welt Bastein and in edited Crane's works which included this translation. Petersen's postscript to the volume repeats the judgements expressed in the dissertation.
Petersen adheres strictly to the concept of realism as the only valid method of literary production. According to this principle, he approaches Crane in a paradigmatic way, his measuring scale being whether the author takes the side of the suppressed class, whether he recognizes the changeability of reality and whether he calls for solidarity among the exploited Bastein The scholar characterizes Crane's development as that of a naturalist in the beginning who then achieved the level of realistic writing, but later declined to naturalism again.
Petersen obviously claims Crane's novel for the canon of realistic literature. He admits that there are still remnants of naturalist writing in it but argues that the realistic elements are strong enough to call the novel a work of realism Henry Fleming's individual development is described within the historical context of the Civil War.
Henry's inner conflict is seen as an eminently social conflict because its essence is, for Petersen, his trial in a community unified by a common aim.
Even a superficial reading gives the impression that the translators obviously had difficulties in interpreting the function of important formal devices of the text. Much of the intensity of the language in The Red Badge of Courage goes back to the fragmented listing of individual impressions.
By presenting things from an unconventional perspective and isolating them from their usual context, Crane heightens the reader's attention for details, thus letting him "experience" the events rather than read about them. Crane makes the reader perceive impressions as they actually strike the senses, almost in a childlike way. For this purpose, he noticeably avoided long complex sentences with clear transitions in order not to "place a screen between the reader and the occasion of interest" Bergon It is exactly the fragmented character of the text that seems to have puzzled the translators.
Tanz durch die Welt, Werd nicht gescheiter. Man kommt viel weiter Mit Ignoranz. Was ist wichtig? Zu leben, und zwar richtig. Tanz durch die Welt. Will man dich fassen, Weich ganz gelassen aus.
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Tanz durch die Welt Sorglos und ziellos. Was ist denn der angehippteste Schuppen hier in der Gegend? Wenn wir heut in die Ozkothek gehn, Vergiss den Verstand, Sei mal richtig entspannt und Ich werde den ganzen Abend warten!
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Sie hat es sehr schwer. Ich find es nicht fair, Wir gehn aus und sind froh Sie ist so - Oh! Drum mag ich dich begleiten Auf dem wilden, weiten! Ich bleib nicht allein heut. Endlich lud mich jemand ein heut. Das vergesse ich ihr nie. Weil sie da war, Hab ich erkannt, Dass wir uns verdienen Und Galinda half, weil sie sah, Dass wir uns verdienen. Ich und Moq Und ich von dir!
Schwarz ist "in". Ihr seid, ganz klar, Zwei, die sich verdienen.
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Der Hut und du Ihr seid der Clou, Zwei, die sich verdienen. Und du warst einfach zu gut, Mich leiden zu sehn. Nein, nein! Sondern weil O Moq, ich hab sofort gesehn, Dass wir zwei uns verdienen. Sag mir, du verstehst mich ganz, Weil wir uns verdienen. Sag's mir, Moq! I don't think a lot of schools.
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