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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

4IZ                  MODERN  GERMAN  LITERATURE

democracy resulting from the murder of Caesar by Brutus. Pkikk-
tet (1947), modelled on the drama of Sophocles, calls for truth
even in politics. The very titles of some of von Heiseler's plays
indicate that thematically he has recourse to Renaissance and neo-
romantic material, which he may bring into relation with prob-
lems of today. A great effort is his Hobenstaufentrilogie (1948); the
prelude is Die Stunde vor Konstan^ (1939), and the centre piece
Kaiser Friedrich II. (staged in 1951 as Botschaft an den Kaiser] is
completed by Der Gefangene, with the death of Enzio. Semiramis
(1943) harks back to the draft of a play by Calderon. In Das Ne#>
beurerKrippenspiel (1945), produced in aid of the restoration of the
Frauenkirche at Munich, religions which differ in doctrine col-
laborate for a good cause. Das Haw der Angst (1950) satirizes
existentialism: the princess imprisoned in Bluebeard's castle under-
goes all the stages from Daseinsangst onward of this doctrine of
today. Von Heiseler's unquestioning Christianity, which gives
tone and substance to the pith of his plays, emerges too in his
lyric poetry: Wanderndes Hoffen (1935) and Spiegel im dunklen Wort
(i 949; a selection). He has written biographies: Stefan George (1936),
k/<?úr/(i939); and in Ahnungund Aussage (1939) he interprets Kleist,
Hebbel, Morike, and poets of today. In fiction he has to his credit
the short stories Die Unverstandigen (1936) and Er^ahlungen (1943)
and a novel of Tyrolese peasant life, Die gute Welt (1938).

It is a commonplace of present-day criticism to class FRITZ
HOCHWALDER (1911- ) as the successor of Georg Kaiser and to
group him with Ferdinand Bruckner, Zuckmayer and Csokor as a
dramatist who breaks new ground. His plays have been success-
fully produced all over the world. Born in Vienna, he was, after
an elementary school education, a decorator's apprentice. In 1938
he fled to Zurich, where he still lives. Friends who knew his first
attempts at play-writing lent him a wooden hut, and here at
Ascona on the shores of Lake Maggiore, in utter isolation and
living on soup-cubes, he completed Das heilige Experiment (1942),
a play which adheres to the classical principle of the unities of
place, time, and action. A striking feature is that there is no female
character. The scene is in the office of the Provincial in the South
American headquarters of the Society of Jesus in Buenos Aires.
We have here a subject which in recent years has been used by
writers in revolt against tyrants and the whole concept of dictator-
ship (pp. 488,496), most notably in Reinhold Schneider's Las Casas