Documentation of 50 years' critical response to major work by Austria's greatest 20th-century playwright.This anthology of theatre reviews documents the reception of Hugo von Hofmannsthal's comedy Der Schwierige by theatre critics between 1921 (the premiere of the play) and 1974 (the poet's centennial year). The study draws on theatre reviews and other material to analyse the shifts in critical attitudes during the period.
The main body of the study consists of 115 reviews selected from around 670, covering some forty productions of this famous play. Professor Joyce's critical introduction defines Hofmannsthal's precarious relations with music and drama critics between 1910 and 1921 much of the material published here for the first time and illuminates the complex relations between the critical temper and cultural-political attitudes of a period, shedding light on the role of such seminal figures as Max Reinhardt, Gustav Waldau, Helene Thirnig, Leopold Rudolf, Raoul Auernheimer, Monty Jacobs, Rolf Seeliger, Marcel Brion, Emil Staiger, and Karl Heinz Ruppel.
Literary Criticism in Perspective
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"This is a valuable anthology, both as documentation of critical fashions and for the many stimulating points that are raised, even in unfashionable provincial papers." MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW