By Peter N. Skrine

This examine seems to be on the paintings of 3 German language dramatists, Gerhart Hauptmann, Arthur Schnitzler and Frank Wedekind. those 3 figures are considered as an important German-language dramatists among Ibsen and Brecht. jointly, their paintings offers a consultant photo of drama in Germany/Austria within the interval 1889-1914, while Vienna and Berlin loved a heyday of literary and cultural job. those dramatists handled the an important social questions of the interval, and during this examine Peter Skrine appears at their remedy of youngster, intercourse, marriage, verbal exchange, urban lifestyles, technological switch and the ethical, social and private offerings dealing with the considering individual within the overdue nineteenth and early twentieth century.

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Extra resources for Hauptmann, Wedekind and Schnitzler

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Anna does not catch her train. She lingers, allowing herself to be persuaded by Johannes to stay on in Berlin. But it is already autumn, and time is running out. Although he is unable to face the prospect of being separated from the only person he thinks can understand hirn and truly value his scientific research, Johannes complies with his parents' insistence that she should leave. In doing so, he places duty to his wife and family above his much-vaunted duty to hirnself, but the outcome is not the happyend with which most Victorian playwrights would have rewarded hirn.

In her delirium Hannele imagines she can see and hear her stepfather bullying her; the hallucination evaporates as a nurse returns to soothe her to sleep; then 'a dim light fills the desolate room, and on the edge ofthe bed, bendingforward and supporting herself on her thin, bare arms, sits a pale, ghostly woman '. From this point on, the play oscillates increasingly between the down-to-earth 'real' world represented by the poorhouse, in which one of society's child victims is ill and dying, and the imagined world in which she thinks she is and which is more real to her, a world which is of course really just a projection of her delirium.

This is widely regarded as one of the finest achievements of the silent cinema (the director was F. Zelnik), yet it seems antiquated alongside Hauptmann's blueprint for the treatment of this type of subject matter, not least because it lacks the vital aural dimension which was so important to hirn. interesting is the part wh ich Hauptmann' s dramatic depiction of a social situation at crisis point was later to have in the emergence of socialist realism in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. Lenin had been quick to realise that The Weavers was accessible to the broad mass of people and that it was a work of art to which workers could easily and naturally relate; his personal interest in the first Russian translation and its eirculation helped the play to beeome a cIassic of committed working-cIass art and ensured a respected place for Hauptmann in the new post-Revolutionary literary canon, as weIl as the protection of the Red Army when Silesia was taken in 1945.

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