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r  1     he Viennese poet RICHARD BEER-HOFMANN (1866-1945)

I     stands with Hofmannsthal as the exponent of the decadent

JL   neo-romantic verse drama. He has the same soft lyric flow,

and the same conception of drama as a registering of impressions

on the passive sensitiveness of a bewildered dreamer. Schnitzler

in his burlesque marionette play Zum grossen WurstJn&dt game of

such dramas (including his own):

So viel mil ich von mir verraten:
Zu Stimmungen neig' ich^ nicht %u Tafen^
Und sage staff mitern langen Berichts:
Ich bin der Held des S fucks,, sonst nichts.

Moreover Beer-Hofmann, like Hofmannsthal, uncovers the springs
of what action there is behind the richly figured language in primi-
tive erotic urges, and he too has the naive Maeterlinckian ques-
tioning of the nature and purpose of life. He won fame with Der
Graf von Charolais (1904), adapted and lyricised from Massinger
and Ford's The Fatal Dowry. [The Elizabethan imitations begin
with Maeterlinck's Annabella (1895), an adaptation of Ford's T/>
Pity She's a Whore^ Graf von Charolais insists on going to prison
to redeem the body of his father, which has been seized for debt
(one of the creditors, the Jew Itag, is a creditable imitation of
Shylock); but the judge whose task it is to send him to prison
saves him by giving him his own daughter with a rich dowry,
Beer-Hofmann radically changes the character of this daughter:
la the English play she is a lustful creature who inevitably drifts
to adultery; ia the Viennese play she is a decent and dainty little
lady who is overcome, momentarily but fatally, by a sudden stir