Throughout his career the Austrian dramatist Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929) turned repeatedly to Greek myth for his material. This book sets out to uncover his reasons for doing so. The results provide not only new insights into his work but a case-study in the reception of the Classics in fin-de-siècle Vienna. Ranging widely over Hofmannsthal’s achievements in drama, opera and the dance, this study is the first to provide a solid context for his ‘Greek’ works, both in the intellectual debates of his time – on such issues as psychoanalysis, feminism and the ‘crisis of language’ – and in contemporary performance practice.
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt/M., New York, Wien, 2002. 295 pp.
Contents: Myth, Hofmannsthal and the Greeks – ‘Tragedy’ in 1900: translation, rewriting and performance – Ödipus und die
Sphinx and the mythologisation of the psyche – Elektra and the representation of women’s behaviour through myth
– Greek myth, ‘pantomime’ and non-verbal expression – The Orient and Greek myth – ‘Mythological opera’ as expression and performance.