Title The Motif of the Theatre Play in the 19th Century Austrian Fiction
Author(s) A. A. Strelnikova
Information about the author(s) Alla A. Strelnikova, PhD in Philology, Associate Professor, Senior Researcher, A. M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, Moscow 121069, Russia. E-mail: a-strelnikova@ mail.ru
Received October 16, 2016
Published 25 Dec 2016
Issue № 3-4
Department World Literature
Pages 162-173
DOI DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2016-1-3-4-162-173
UDK 821.112.2
BBK 83.3 (4 Авс)
Abstract The article discusses the evolution of the stage play motif in the Austrian fiction during the 19th Century. Occupying a special place in the Austrian culture, theater becomes a peculiar form of conceptualizing the most important issues of being and social life. Theater forms important part of the fictional world of such Austrian writers as A. Stifter, F. von Zaar, P. Rosegger, and M. G. Saphir. The essay analyzes the stage play motif in the context of literary Biedermeier and its didactic, humorous, and ironic views of the theatrical culture in Vienna. The motifs of the mask, the stage, and the curtain become permanent attributes in the works by Austrian authors. Theater plays are educational and instructive (as in the novels by Stifter) or carnivalesque (by Saphir), but in any case they remain а positively charged dominant in the fictional world of these authors. However, a truly magnificent performance, according to the most thoughtful Austrian writers such as A. Stifter, among its landscapes and changing seasons, as opposed to the theatrical and hypocritical salon life of the capital. This world view is prevalent, for example, in Stifter’s “Indian Summer.” In the second half of the 19th Century, the joyful apprehension of stage play abandons literature for Viennese operetta. At the end of the 19th Century, the playfulness of the Austrian fiction gives way to disturbing motifs and tragic vision. We encounter an understanding of life as at once a tragic and farcical theatrical performance in the novels by M. Ebner-Eschenbach and A. Schnitzler which marked a transition to the philosophical and existential view of the theater, typical for the literature of Austrian
Keywords Austria, Biedermeier literature, theater, stage play, Stifter, Rosegger, Saphir.
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