This chapter considers the extent in which the German preoccupation with the child is embedded in the deeper artistic and moral concerns of post-war German literature. The interest in the childlike can be explained by the association between the artist and the child, for the child is symbolic of the artistic tenor of the post-war era just as it is of the Romantic period. The childlike element in modern German literature is important in a very broad sense, for if the reassertion of the positive myth of childhood reaffirms the German belief in the artist, then the dominance of the childlike in literature reasserts the belief in culture as a means of preserving human values. At a time of rapid social and political change the child is a perfect vehicle for suggesting openness to change while also representing certain constants of human existence and indeed of cultural and literary values.
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