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By Katrin Kohl, Ritchie Robertson

20th-century Austrian literature boasts many notable writers: Schnitzler, Musil, Rilke, Kraus, Celan, Canetti, Bernhard, Jelinek. those and others characteristic in broader bills of German literature, however it is fascinating to work out how the Austrian literary scene -- and Austrian society itself -- formed their writing. This quantity therefore surveys Austrian writers of drama, prose fiction, and lyric poetry; relates them to the designated historical past of recent Austria, a democratic republic that used to be overtaken via civil warfare and authoritarian rule, absorbed into Nazi Germany, and re-established as a impartial nation; and examines their reaction to debatable occasions resembling the collusion with Nazism, the Waldheim affair, and the increase of Haider and the extraordinary correct. as well as confronting controversy within the kin among literature, heritage, and politics, the amount examines pop culture based on present tendencies. 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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Extra resources for A History of Austrian Literature 1918-2000 (Studies in German Literature, Linguistics, and Culture)

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2 In this respect, Vienna was more conservative than Berlin, where the politically leftist and artistically innovative circles around Bertolt Brecht and Erwin Piscator included not only Marieluise Fleisser and Elisabeth Hauptmann but also Anna Gmeyner DRAMA IN AUSTRIA, 1918–45 23 (1902–91), an Austrian who worked as Piscator’s Dramaturgin for several years, and Galician-born Communist Berta Lask (1878–1967), both of whom will be discussed below. War and Its Aftermath During the First World War it had been observed repeatedly that Viennese audiences remained shamefully escapist in their predilection for comedy and operetta; but recent events did find a variety of responses in the work of Austrian writers, with the appearance of several powerful anti-war dramas.

However, despite or because of this gaucheness he becomes the heart of the play in every sense and the repository of its civilized values. Historically, Neuhoff may be in the ascendant, but in this Molièresque comic allegory, it is the Austrian who triumphs, not in politics but in love. What is more, beneath the sparkling surface of the dialogue lies a philosophical questioning of language itself that makes Der Schwierige unmistakably a product of Wittgenstein’s Vienna. Its companion piece, Der Unbestechliche (The Incorruptible One, 1923), is even more programmatically backward-looking, rehearsing in miniature the “conservative revolution” that was to be the great cultural DRAMA IN AUSTRIA, 1918–45 27 hope of Hofmannsthal’s last years (as set out in the speech “Das Schrifttum als geistiger Raum der Nation” [Literature as the Nation’s Spiritual Space, 1927]).

Much larger in scope than the Apostelspiel, it nevertheless reprises several of the key themes, combining a graphic depiction of the breakdown and restoration of traditional order in the aftermath of hostilities (this time the Turkish wars) with an illustration of the redeeming power of lived Christianity. The play’s strength as theater is that its outcome, like that of the Apostelspiel, can be explained in terms of the Catholic doctrine of mystical substitution (Stellvertretung) but is also psychologically plausible: as the central character asserts, “Ich bin ein Mensch, kann nur wie ein Mensch erlösen” (I am a man, I can only redeem as a man).

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