A History of Austrian Literature 1918-2000 (Studies in by Katrin Kohl, Ritchie Robertson

By Katrin Kohl, Ritchie Robertson

20th-century Austrian literature boasts many amazing writers: Schnitzler, Musil, Rilke, Kraus, Celan, Canetti, Bernhard, Jelinek. those and others function in broader debts of German literature, however it is fascinating to work out how the Austrian literary scene -- and Austrian society itself -- formed their writing. This quantity hence surveys Austrian writers of drama, prose fiction, and lyric poetry; relates them to the particular historical past of recent Austria, a democratic republic that used to be overtaken by means of civil battle and authoritarian rule, absorbed into Nazi Germany, and re-established as a impartial kingdom; and examines their reaction to debatable occasions equivalent to the collusion with Nazism, the Waldheim affair, and the increase of Haider and the intense correct. as well as confronting controversy within the relatives among literature, historical past, and politics, the quantity examines pop culture according to present developments. members: Judith Beniston, Janet Stewart, Andrew Barker, Murray corridor, Anthony Bushell, Dagmar Lorenz, Juliane Vogel, Jonathan lengthy, Joseph McVeigh, Allyson Fiddler. Katrin Kohl is Lecturer in German and a Fellow of Jesus collage, and Ritchie Robertson is Taylor Professor of German Language and Literature and a Fellow of The Queen's collage, either on the college of Oxford.

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INTRODUCTION 17 context of literature before and after the war. Murray Hall identifies the traditional importance of German publishing houses for Austrian literature, tracing this to a highly restrictive approach to literature in the Habsburg Monarchy: a multitude of regulations, the prevalence of censorship, and lack of copyright protection in Austria meant that throughout the nineteenth century, Austrian writers often preferred to publish with German publishers. Hall depicts the interwar years as a period of rapid change, with more favorable conditions encouraging the emergence of new publishing houses in Austria — though many were short-lived, and Germany remained the dominant market.

The best of these, which was widely staged throughout the German-speaking world, is Das Apostelspiel. Here, as in Der Judas von Tirol, psychological transformation results from theatrical role-play. In a more flattering portrayal of the Alpine peasantry, two returning soldiers, converted to Communism as a result of their experiences on the Eastern Front, arrive with murderous intent at an isolated croft that is home to fifteen-year-old Magdalen and her grandfather but desist as a result of playing along with Magdalen’s naïve belief that they are two of Christ’s apostles.

Propaganda posters provide a frequent topic of conversation for the Grumbler (“Der Nörgler”) and the Optimist (“Der Optimist”), whose commentaries punctuate the play in a manner that anticipates Brechtian techniques, while cinematic projections are called for at several points. Although individual scenes are intensely theatrical — in both auditory and visual terms — Die letzten Tage has rarely been staged and Kraus himself deemed it fit only for a Martian theater (“Marstheater”). The sole exception to this lack of production, during his lifetime, was the Epilogue, “Die letzte Nacht” (The Final Night), which was performed in Vienna as a charity event in 1923.

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