The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann

The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann
Volume I: Social Dramas

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The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann by Gerhart Hauptmann

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1912

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The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann
Volume I: Social Dramas

By

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The present edition of Hauptmann's works contains all of his plays with the exception of a few inconsiderable fragments and the historical drama Florian Geyer. The latter has been excluded by reason of its great length, its divergence from the characteristic moods of Hauptmann's art, and that failure of high success which the author himself has implicitly acknowledged.

Book Excerpt

em>. The opinion of Flaubert that any subject suffices, if the treatment be excellent, was modified into: there must be neither intentional choice of theme nor stylistic treatment. For style supposes rearrangement, personal vision, unjust selection of detail, and literature must be an exact rendition of the actual.

Stated so baldly the doctrine of consistent naturalism verges on the absurd. Eliminate selection of detail and personal vision, and art becomes not only coextensive with life, but shares its confusion and its apparent purposelessness. It loses all interpretative power and ceases to be art. Practically, however, the doctrine led to a very definite form--the naturalistic drama. For, if all indirect treatment of life be discarded, nothing is left but the recording of speech and, if possible, of speech actually overheard. The juxtaposition of such blocks of scrupulously rendered conversation constitutes, in fact, the earliest experiments of Arno Holz. Under the creative energy of Hauptmann, howe

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