And so they deliberately wentabout creating literature, essays, novels, philosophy, poetry, and other writingthat were clearly different from anything from England, France, Germany, or anyother European nation.
That is from , by Mrs. Marlitt. Andthat sentence is constructed upon the most approved German model. You observehow far that verb is from the reader's base of operations; well, in a Germannewspaper they put their verb away over on the next page; and I have heardthat sometimes after stringing along the exciting preliminaries andparentheses for a column or two, they get in a hurry and have to go to presswithout getting to the verb at all. Of course, then, the reader is left in avery exhausted and ignorant state.
and the works of the preacher of the musical gospel, Sebastian Bach," another reviewer of the same concert writes in the that "while it shows the hand of a skilled musician, its vagueness and fragmentary themes do not offer much satisfaction."
As we have seen, critical attitudes in Germany slowly consolidated themselves during the latter years of the 19th century: where at first there had been sharp divisions in judgment, a consensus was reached by 1900 which acclaimed the for its technical as well as aesthetic appeal in combining older traditions such as counterpoint with new or "modern" tonal and harmonic structures.
This essay, not originally published in German, coincided with a dramatic increase in the number of Brahms' performances in the post-war period, among which the was well represented.
(The historical moment of the conception, shortly before German unity in 1871, surely played a role in this view as well.) Wagner's contempt for the piece extended to sarcastic comments in letters and essays; in one, he scornfully remarks that when the present generation (his own) dies, "we will want no to be played to our ashes." The importance of Wagner's stance toward Brahms cannot be overemphasized: many critics echoed Wagner's sentiments, and while some devoted serious attention to an analysis of what they considered to be the work's particular flaws, others continued with vague polemicisms and attacks against the composer, his beliefs and religion, and above all his `academic' attitude toward music.
There are ten parts of speech, and they are all troublesome. An averagesentence, in a German newspaper, is a sublime and impressive curiosity; itoccupies a quarter of a column; it contains all the ten parts of speech -- notin regular order, but mixed; it is built mainly of compound words constructedby the writer on the spot, and not to be found in any dictionary -- six orseven words compacted into one, without joint or seam -- that is, withouthyphens; it treats of fourteen or fifteen different subjects, each inclosed ina parenthesis of its own, with here and there extra parentheses whichreinclose three or four of the minor parentheses, making pens within pens:finally, all the parentheses and reparentheses are massed together between acouple of king-parentheses, one of which is placed in the first line of themajestic sentence and the other in the middle of the last line of it --after which comes the VERB, and you find out for the first time whatthe man has been talking about; and after the verb -- merely by way ofornament, as far as I can make out -- the writer shovels in "haben sindgewesen gehabt haben geworden sein," or words to that effect, and themonument is finished. I suppose that this closing hurrah is in the nature ofthe flourish to a man's signature -- not necessary, but pretty. German booksare easy enough to read when you hold them before the looking-glass or standon your head -- so as to reverse the construction -- but I think that to learnto read and understand a German newspaper is a thing which must always remainan impossibility to a foreigner.
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During the First World War, Thomas Mann put aside writing “The Magic Mountain” and began composing a strange, passionate series of essays about Germany and the war.