The dancing god
Hocke wrote this book, which is set in the 6th century BC, in Germany, Sicily and Rome between 1938 and 1943. It derives its great importance—from the literary aspect as well—from the fact that it is a monument to a German author’s inner emigration, but also, and above all, from the multiple meanings that characterize it. Der tanzende Gott is not only a historical novel in which Hocke succeeds in enlightening and entertaining his readers with an exciting story; above all, it conveys an extremely critical picture of National Socialism. In recounting the story of Alcmaeon, a young physician who becomes embroiled with a tyrant in the city of Sybaris, Hocke employs allegorical camouflage to point out the deplorable state of affairs in fascist Germany.