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German Nachspiel in 18 Century

German Nachspiel in 18 Century

Copyright Date: 1991
Pages: 411
  • Book Info
    German Nachspiel in 18 Century
    Book Description:

    By surveying theatrical writings of both eighteenth- and twentieth-century authors, he determines the prevailing understanding of the Nachspiel and many of the contradictions associated with it.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7530-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
    (pp. xi-2)
    David G. John
    (pp. 3-8)

    Why a book on the Nachspiel? Anyone familiar with theatre activity in the German eighteenth century recognizes the term Nachspiel, but few understand fully what it means and the extent to which this form permeated the dramatic scene. The Nachspiel was one of the most frequent theatrical phenomena on German stages throughout the eighteenth century, yet it has never received a detailed study. To my knowledge there exists no scholarly article on the Nachspiel, no dissertation, no book, not even a chapter; information on it can be acquired only through brief accounts in literary lexica (at times mutually contradictory), through...

  5. 1 Towards a Definition of the Nachspiel
    (pp. 9-22)

    Most lexica of German literature and theatre provide definitions and descriptions of the Nachspiel. These are of unequal value, the chronological order in which they appeared revealing in most cases a sequence of heavy dependence on predecessors. Grimm’s definition provides a starting point in a brief entry which separates the purely lexical meaning of ‘nachspielen’ (imitation) from the more formal and theatrically functional ‘nachgespieltes stück, besonders ein dem hauptspiel folgendes spiel,’ or the practice ‘ein kleineres stück hinter dem hauptspiele folgen [zu] lassen oder dieses [zu] wiederholen’ (Deutsches Wörterbuch, VII [1889], 130). Beyond this and some quotations from contemporary usage,...

  6. 2 Repertoires and Performances of Itinerant Troupes and Standing Theatres in the Eighteenth Century
    (pp. 23-76)

    The entries below comprise a broad and representative selection of German theatre repertoires (the stock of works) and performances (their actual occurrence on stage) in the eighteenth century. Readers should also consult the list of documented performances at the end of this volume. Of necessity the entries below cover much of the geographical extent of German-speaking territory, for what was typical in northern parts may have been quite different in other regions and so on. They take into account the entire century, for theatrical taste and convention certainly changed with time, even from decade to decade and year to year....

  7. 3 Three Unpublished Nachspiele
    (pp. 77-139)

    The three Nachspiele following appear here for the first time in published form. Although the Bibliography at the end of this volume includes eight Nachspiele published before 1746, none of those reflects the wealth of comic elements revealed by these manuscripts. The fact that they were not published in their day testifies to the primacy of performance over text before 1750. The first,Der falsche Verdacht, is unique since it is not a document with specific written dialogue but rather a scenario of the action, and hence in performance was necessarily completely improvised.Das lustige Elendconsists of a partially...

  8. 4 The Extant Nachspiel: Text and Performance
    (pp. 140-153)

    The Bibliography at the end of this volume contains 136 titles, a large proportion of the extant eighteenth-century Nachspiele (manuscripts and published texts), yet a fraction of the Nachspiele actually performed in these years. Of all titles listed, 114 have been located and analysed for this study. This primary corpus stands as the literary residue of an extemporized genre which was one of the most popular in the first seven decades of the century and held considerable interest thereafter. By date of their appearance as texts, the located titles fall into these groups:

    The slim representation for the first three...

  9. 5 The Nachspiel as Text before 1770
    (pp. 154-178)

    This play and its Nachspiel by the mysterious Jodocus of Thüringen (whose name does not appear in Jöcher, Jördens, Meusel, theADB, or theDeutscher Biographischer Index) is among the rarest in the Bibliography with only the single extant copy in Weimar known. But it is not simply this quality that calls for attention, it is the publication’s importance as a theoretical tract and a singular example of contemporary theatre as well. On the surface, the theme of marriage connects the two works beneath the titleIsaacand itsNach-spiel, but the comic Nachspiel is more of a tonal contrast...

  10. 6 The Nachspiel as Text after 1770
    (pp. 179-213)

    As it is bound in a volume containing an unrelated selection of works with the title-page ‘Deutsche Schaubühne, 124. Theil’ and no other information, this work is difficult to date precisely. Meyer’sBibliographialists the publication date of the collection from 1770 through the end of the century. The play’s content provides no specific hints for dating, although its language suggests strongly that it is Viennese. We know further from analysis of the Viennese repertoires that Krispin became the leading comic figure in the Theater in der Leopoldstadt by the eighties, appearing on stage in almost every program.

    The plot...

  11. 7 Acting: Talent and Rules
    (pp. 214-234)

    The foregoing analyses have attempted in part to find out something about the nature of performances; concurrent developments in the acting profession must be kept in mind. A relatively sudden change in the venue of theatre from the temporary stages of itinerant troupes to the dominant position of standing theatres had major consequences for performance style. The change resulted in large measure from the shift from performance based mainly on fragmentary scenarios to increasing dependence on a fixed text base. Working from scenarios, actors had to improvise almost everything except the basic idea and plot line. With a full, and...

  12. 8 The Socio-Critical Nachspiel: Text and Performance
    (pp. 235-268)

    As Appendix 1 shows, published Nachspiele were much more likely to contain serious thematics as the century advanced. Of the forty-one Nachspiele listed before 1770, nineteen show serious thematics (46 per cent) while fifty of the seventy-one published later have strong socio-critical themes (70 per cent). This makes it clear that the genre was undergoing a change in function to become principally a vehicle for social commentary, criticism, and education. The change requires careful analysis, however: first because the range of serious thematics after 1769 was very broad; second because it is difficult to estimate the extent of social criticism...

  13. 9 Between Text and Performance: Censorship
    (pp. 269-287)

    The question of theatre censorship in the eighteenth century must have a double focus, the church and the state, for the two worked hand in hand to control both performance and dissemination of dramatic works. A long-standing antagonism between church and stage lay at the foundation of theatre censorship, which in the decades before the widespread publication of plays naturally focused on performance, but also affected the daily lives of actors and actresses in itinerant troupes. One must almost write ‘actors’ alone here, for the church generally condemned the profession for women outright. On the surface, ecclesiastical objections to actors...

    (pp. 288-290)

    In light of this investigation it is time to reassess the lexical definitions of the Nachspiel summarized at the outset. The German Nachspiel was a principally comic form only in the first two-thirds of the century, thereafter changing its general tone to become a predominantly serious dramatic work. It was most frequently performed in conjunction with a preceding longer play, but often with more than one shorter piece. There is little evidence to show that the Nachspiel was linked regularly with tragedy; in fact, it appeared most often alongside comedy, bearing little or no relationship to the other work(s) on...

    (pp. 293-298)
    (pp. 299-306)
    (pp. 307-388)
    (pp. 389-400)
    (pp. 401-405)
    (pp. 406-411)