This examination of the German
Volksstück from its literary beginning through the present offers close readings of representative plays by Raimund, Nestroy, Anzengruber, Thoma, Fleißer, Horváth, Brecht, and Kroetz. The theoretical approach, developed in the introduction, employs the thought of Theodor Adorno and Ernst Bloch to analyze the varying formal means attempted by authors in different historical situations to express a negation of the status quo while at the same time imaging a utopian solution for the
Volk. This study's detailed discussion of individual plays should be of use to Germanists, but its method and its overview of the genre should make it of interest to the non-specialist as well.