Translated by Edmund Gosse and William Archer.
his new book to a man like Tesman, whom he despises. But though Tesman is a ninny, he is, as Hedda says, a "specialist"--he is a competent, plodding student of his subject. Lovborg may quite naturally wish to see how his new method, or his excursion into a new field, strikes the average scholar of the Tesman type. He is, in fact, "trying it on the dog"--neither an unreasonable nor an unusual proceeding. There is, no doubt, a certain improbability in the way in which Lovborg is represented as carrying his manuscript around, and especially in Mrs. Elvsted's production of his rough draft from her pocket; but these are mechanical trifles, on which only a niggling criticism would dream of laying stress.
Of all Ibsen's works, Hedda Gabler is the most detached, the most objective--a character-study pure and simple. It is impossible--or so it seems to me--to extract any sort of general idea from it. One cannot even call it a satire, unless one is prepared to apply that term to the record of a "case" i