German Expressionist Theatre: The Actor and the Stage by David F. Kuhns

By David F. Kuhns

German Expressionist Theatre considers the powerfully stylized, antirealistic types of symbolic performing on the German Expressionist degree from 1916 to 1921. It relates this remarkable departure from the dominant eu performing culture of realism to the categorical cultural crises that enveloped the German country through the process its involvement in global struggle I. The exam of parts of formerly untranslated Expressionist scripts and actor memoirs makes it possible for an extraordinary specialise in description and research of the appearing itself.

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German Expressionist Theatre: The Actor and the Stage

German Expressionist Theatre considers the powerfully stylized, antirealistic types of symbolic performing on the German Expressionist degree from 1916 to 1921. It relates this amazing departure from the dominant eu performing culture of realism to the categorical cultural crises that enveloped the German country through the process its involvement in international conflict I.

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At the outset, it is important to realize that "abstraction" - as Worringer and the Expressionist artists he influenced understood the term — did not refer simply to an aesthetic of non-representational formalism such as that developed by Kandinsky in painting around 1910. Rather, it signified a general rejection of mimesis which was expressed in a variety of styles ranging from cool geometrism to highly emotional primitivism. This rejection occurred, argued Worringer, because the particular "will to form" in both primitive times and the age of Modernity stands opposed to empirical reality and its materialist differentiations.

Two existential images, isolation and wandering, particularly Abstraction and empathy 41 dominated Expressionist drama. In complementary relation, they became the twin predicates of the great Expressionist themes of rebellion and regeneration. Their convergence gave rise to the central motif of Expressionist drama: the journey of the soul, a journey which often ended either in a triumphant sense of messianic vocation (Toller's Die Wandlung) or in vitalistic self-annihilation (Kaiser's Von morgens bis mitternachts, Kornfeld's Die Verfiihrung).

55 The "New Man55 was to possess the superior wisdom and vision of Zarathustra and also the daring leadership and joyful self-sacrifice of Dionysus. 5524 What we learn from the Greeks, he had argued, is the power of art to conquer the pessimism that life inevitably inspires in us. By making their suffering the subject of their drama the Greeks discovered that it is "only as an esthetic phenomenon . . 5525 The knowledge born of "tragic optimism55 is a knowledge of suffering which all men share; and, most importantly, because it is an instinctual awareness they are bonded by it.

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