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The Song of Songs

by Hermann Sudermann

This imposing creation treats of the career of a young woman who wanted to be better than her nature allowed her to be. She was concurrently endowed with extreme feminine softness and ardent amatory passions, which, taken advantage of by calculating and unrelenting male pursuers, led to her frequent downfalls. Lilly Czepanek struggled and strove against her fatal weakness, for she had yearnings toward a high though perhaps vague ideal. But under lasting temptation the very goodness and sweetness of this lovable girl would turn into flabby laxity and temptation seemed foreordained by those characteristics whose born victim she was. Although "The Song of Songs" might dismay through its stark, unclad candor, even to the degree of evoking denunciation thereby, it must none the less be ranked among the very prime achievements in fiction thus far in the twentieth century.

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