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Hofmannsthal: Three Essays

Hofmannsthal: Three Essays

Michael Hamburger
Copyright Date: 1972
Pages: 164
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  • Book Info
    Hofmannsthal: Three Essays
    Book Description:

    Contents: Poems and Verse Plays; Plays and Libretti; Hofmannsthal's Debt to the English-speaking World

    Originally published in 1973.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6949-7
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[vi])
    (pp. 1-56)

    Hugo von Hofmannsthal published his first poem in June 1890, when he was a schoolboy of just over sixteen, his first playlet or “lyrical drama” in the following year. Though not unprecedented, this early emergence of a poet was extraordinary enough; and it was made more extraordinary by the emergence at the same time of the critic and man of letters—under the pseudonyms of Loris, Loris Melikow, Theophil Morren, or, in one case only, Archibald O’Hagan, B.A. From the autumn of 1890 onwards, this schoolboy poet and man of letters was also to be seen at the literary meetingplaces...

    (pp. 57-130)

    Though not quite twenty-six years old at the turn of the century, Hofmannsthal had not only come to the end of one distinct phase, the lyrical, but laid the foundations for the dramatic works of his maturity. His early (1893) adaptation of theAlcestisof Euripides can be regarded as the first of his strictly dramatic works, and it anticipated his rather different concern with ancient Greek myths during the early years of the new century. The extant sketches, of the same year, for a great mystical and apocalyptic drama based on the life of Alexander the Great touch on...

    (pp. 131-155)

    This subject demands a few words of explanation, because it may seem far-fetched, tenuous, and marginal; but I think that a student of Hofmannsthal does well to ponder the words which Goethe addressed to the Physicist. Like Nature in Goethe’s poem, Hofmannsthal had “neither core nor outer rind, being all things at once.” And the corollary, too, applies to the Hofmannsthal scholar:

    It’s yourself you should scrutinize to see

    Whether you’re centre or periphery.

    With Hofmannsthal, as with Goethe’s Nature, “at every place we’re at the centre,” if only we beware of the temptation to lose sight of the centre...

  6. Back Matter
    (pp. 156-158)