This is the first cultural exploration of playwriting, directing, acting, and theater architecture in fin-de-siècle Munich. Peter Jelavich examines the commercial, political, and cultural tensions that fostered modernism’s artistic revolt against the classical and realistic modes of nineteenth-century drama.
[This] excellent book deals with many manifestations of theatrical modernism in the pre-war Bavarian capital, including the ‘carnivalesque’ works of Frank Wedekind and Oskar Panizza, the political cabaret of groups like the Elf Scharfrichter, and the efforts to fuse Catholicism and modernism in the erotic drama of Heinrich Lautensack… A thoughtful as well as a richly detailed cultural history.
[An] absorbing interdisciplinary study… Jelavich’s account of those two and a half decades is filled with descriptive details and extensively researched findings… The book is fascinating reading and provides an excellent example of interdisciplinary writing.
An excellent book… Jelavich’s work is filled with shrewd insights… Particularly interesting are his account of Georg Fuchs’s experiments in theatrical form and his concluding observations about the connections between prewar theatrical modernism, which was so often frustrated by the operation of the censorship in Munich, and Dadaism, the Expressionist theater, and the drama of Bertolt Brecht.
Speaks lucidly, informatively, and interestingly of an important place at an exciting time in theatrical and cultural history.
- 424 pages
- Harvard University Press
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