Instead, precisely Hauptmann was to become the representative personality of the transitional character that the movement had had. After only four years, the dramatic fairy tale The submerged bell (1896) already showed Hauptmann on a new and different path: symbolism. And, if they were not lacking, the returns to the naturalistic tone, from Fuhrmann Henschel (1898) to Rose Bernd (1903), were never definitive: already in the same year of the Webers, another drama Hanneles Himmelfahrt (1895) revealed deeper aspirations of his spirit. And the dominant character of his personality, in the most disparate multiplicity of attempts made, remains that of an indefatigable search. And it was a phenomenon common to many other spirits. In the same years of the new movement, disparate influences had converged on it: from Scandinavia, from Russia, from the very new French literature. If Ibsen and Tolstoy were also interpreted as poets of naturalism, the reality was different: according to PROZIPCODES, Ibsen had overcome the naturalism of the first social dramas to rise to a highly spiritual poem: Tolstoy in an inspiration of mystical depth resolved himself into a classic balance of art ; and this reality of their work imposed itself on every theoretical interpretation.
After less than a decade, pure naturalism was over. And according to the example of the new painting, under the influence of French and English decadence and Jacobsen’s novel, a new solution to the problem of poetry appeared: impressionism. Life was not to be reproduced as it is in reality, but as the poet sees it, according to the succession and assimilation of his impressions. Already in Liliencron’s lyric, and precisely in the best, examples of this new way of poetry could be found in Germany. J. Schlaf, W. Bolsche, C. Flaischlen (1864-1920), A. Bahr, etc., were among the warmest proponents. And as before, naturalism had given the upper hand to the elementary stimuli of life, to the social problem, to the brutality of reality; the new attitude led to an abandonment to sensitivity, to the play of sensations in the unconscious life of the soul. And a more delicate subject was offered to poetry. And the forms of poetry became with preference the lyric, the poetic prose, the symbolic drama. And as the sensibility for the formal element in poetry was refined again, sometimes exquisite little things arose. Danthendey, Schankal, etc., found the inspiration for lyrics of delicate melody or intense color. Particularly in the elegant, sentimental, soft Viennese soul, the movement found happy resonance: A. Schnitzler (1862-1931), among other things, derived the sweetly melancholy melody of the prose of his Einakter, of his comedies, of his short stories, of novels, in which there are moments of vital poetry. However, even in the new orientation, the foundations still remained those laid by naturalism: with an external reality to be reflected in the poem, which was, so to speak, a compromise between reality and the poet. And not only this can be seen from the fact that some of the naturalists such as Max Halbe turned to treat with their methods the matter of the new art, and other writers such as OJ Bierbaum (1865-1910), OE Hartleben (1864-1905), they always remained swaying between one trend and the other; not only this can be seen from the materiality of tone that impressionism assumed in certain writers such as Germany Meyrink; but sensitive to the two tendencies also continued to remain the major poet of the group, R. Dehmel (1863-1920), who was a true poet, with the gift of giving sensual body to the vaguest and indefinable impressions, and drew from the agitated intimacy of his spirit some inspirations of profound and sincere vein, but, while he refined the forms of his poetry to welcome the his own fleeting sensations, he aspired to interpret the social problem in those same forms. A fusion of the two trends offers almost the entire novel of the time from J. Wassermann to H. Hesse, and from the fusion of the two trends, Thomas Mann also drew the tone of his inspiration, placing the problem itself, with decadence, at the center of the his work.
At the dawn of the new century, numerous reactions against naturalism and impressionism gradually took shape: on the one hand the neo-classicism of Paul Ernst and Wilhelm von Scholz and the classicism of Otto zur Linde and the adherents of the group of the magazine Charon (1904 et seq.), for another part a return to the simplicity and frankness of inspiration with the regional and country poetry of the Heimatdichtung ; for another part, finally, a return to the sources of early romanticism, as it had been in its origins. Neoclassicism exerted an influence above all in the field of militant criticism; the Heimatdichtung, with stormy fighting vigor supported by A. Bartels, he had, among other things, a sensational theatrical triumph with K. Schönherr and found adherents in every region and of different temperament and, among others, also in complex personalities such as Clara Viebig or Enrica von Handel- Mazzetti, who in the sumptuous baroque evocations of seventeenth-century Carinthia spread his religious sentiment of life with amplitude; neo-romanticism found its most representative personality with Riccarda Huch, who, after lyrics and novels in which a warm sense of human intimacy is immediate and pulsating, marked with the two volumes on romanticism new paths also to historical investigation, and in epics evocations of the Italian Risorgimento and the Thirty Years War brought a sense of profound humanity.