(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

THE  DRAMA  OF  EXPRESSIONISM                   405

Future. The Present does not exist except as an integral of Time.
What Fluss obne Ufer describes is the inversion of Time.

The dramatic work of FERDINAND BRUCKNER (1891-1958) - like
Wildgans and Arnolt Bronnen, Viennese by birth - marks
the beginning of the new movement known as die Neue Sach-
lichkeit (p. 422)1; the term denotes an intention to get back to
things as they are and to pathology that a physician might recog-
nize as at least problematically possible. The writers of this cNew
Factuality' or 'New Functionalism' do indeed aim at atomistic
exactitude, but the reality which their psychic probing seeks may
be trammelled in the inmost depths of consciousness. Sexual crises
and perversions form the staple of Bruckner's Krankheit der Jugend
(1926); in Die Verbrecher (1928) he lights up the misery of a block
of flats which symbolize God's house of many chambers. His ex-
perimenting interested London audiences when his Elisabeth von
England (1930) was produced at the Cambridge Theatre in 1931;
the love element is weak (the Essex-Elizabeth motif discussed by
Lessing still baffles all who attempt it), and the documentation is
no doubt that of Strachey, but the doubling of the action - one
side of a cathedral in London and the other in Spain, with the
action alternating or synchronizing, Protestants and Catholics
praying to one (? ironic) God - had at least the effect of novelty.
Of Bruckner's later plays Timon (1932) is gloomed by the pessi-
mism of Shakespeare's Timon of Athens; Die Marquise von O. drama-
tizes Kleist's Novelle; in Napoleon I (i93 6) the Emperor philanders
with women who are intellectually his superiors; in Heroische
Komodie (1938) Madame de Stael fights for freedom in love and
elsewhere. His Pyrrhus und Andromache (1952) weds the matter of
Euripides to the form of Racine; Fruchte des Nichts (produced
1952), which shows forth the hopelessness of youth at the end of
the Second World War, completes a series united in the volume
Jugend %weier Kriege (1947); here Krankheit der Jugend and Die
Verbrecher are followed by Die Rassen (1933), the theme of which
is the mental conflict of a student who loves a Jewish girL In Der
KampfmitdemEhgel(1942) and Der Todeiner Puppe (1956) a chorus
is introduced and there is some approach to T. S. Eliot's verse
technique.

1 The term was first used by Carl Sternheim as the sub-title of his comedy
Die Schuk von U^nach oder Neue Sachlicbkeit, but whether in the sense of approval
or satire is not clear.