The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann - Vol. 1

The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann - Vol. 1

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The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann - Vol. 1

The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann - Vol. 1

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Excerpt

The present edition of Hauptmann's works contains all of his plays with the exception of a few inconsiderable fragments and the historical drama Florian Geyer. The latter has been excluded by reason of its great length, its divergence from the characteristic moods of Hauptmann's art, and that failure of high success which the author himself has implicitly acknowledged. The arrangement of the volumes follows, with such modifications as the increase of material has made necessary, the method used by Hauptmann in the first and hitherto the only collected edition of his dramas. Five plays are presented here which that edition did not include, and hence the present collection gives the completest view now attainable of Hauptmann's activity as a dramatist.

The translation of the plays, seven of which are written entirely in dialect, offered a problem of unusual difficulty. The easiest solution, that namely, of rendering the speech of the Silesian peasants or the Berlin populace into some existing dialect of English, I was forced to reject at once. A very definite set of associative values would thus have been gained for the language of Hauptmann's characters, but of values radically different from those suggested in the original. I found it necessary, therefore, to invent a dialect near enough to the English of the common people to . . .

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