Sternheim's critics have always been divided: the central problem which his work poses - the question of whether it represents satire or affirmation of the «bürgerlicher Held» - has preoccupied criticism for the last seventy years. It is in the interests of isolating and analysing these conflicting aspects of Sternheim's work that this study has been undertaken. It examines, largely chronologically, all Sternheim's creative work, dramatic and narrative, tracing the significant shifts in Sternheim's theoretical position and explo- ring their implications for his works and their interpretations.
Content: Imitation and Experiment: Sternheim's work before 1919 - «Die Hose» and the Breakthrough to Comedy. Comedy and Satire:
The Major Plays (1910-1915). The Plays of Radical Individualism (1915-1923). Translations and Adaptations and the Late Plays
(1924-1932). Criticism and Affirmation: The Short Stories - Between aestheticism and political commitment: Debates on art
in Europa and Gauguin und van Gogh. - Sternheim and the Tradition.