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The German Molière Revival and the Comedies of Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Carl Sternheim

Foreword by D.A. Joyce


Dugald Sturges

Although they have yet to be treated together in a comparative study, Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Carl Sternheim had a number of points of convergence in their respective searches for a modern form for the serious comedy. This study documents the collegial relationship between the two authors - in part with previously unpublished archival material -, analyses their respective treatments of Molière's comedies and places this in the context of Molière's reception in the German-speaking countries since the 17th century. What emerges is a new view of the comedies of Hofmannsthal and Sternheim, which sees both dramatists applying the same technique of countermodelling Molière's constellations of comedic figures - a modern critical re-appraisal of the traditional comedic type character.
Contents: Hofmannsthal and Sternheim: Fragmentary Chronology of a Collegial Relationship - Molière's Reception in the German-speaking Countries before 1900 - Hofmannsthal and Molière - Sternheim and Molière - From Model to Counter-Model.