But as I unfortunately do not, I must give up the idea altogether.
Besides, I am engaged in preparing for a big new work, and I do not wish to put off the writing of it longer than necessary. It might so easily happen that a roof-tile fell on my head before I had 'found time to make the last verse. The irresponsible gossip of the time made out that Bjornson discerned in the play some personal allusions to himself; but this Bjornson emphatically denied.
I am not aware that any attempt has been made to identify the original of the various characters. It need scarcely be pointed out that in the sisters Gunhild and Ella we have the pair of women, one strong and masterful, the other tender and devoted, who run through so many of Ibsen's plays, from The Feast at Solhoug onwards--nay, even from Catalina.
In my Introduction to The Lady from the Sea p. The character there appears as: "The old married clerk.
Subscriber sign in. For the rest, we feel definitely in John Gabriel Borkman what we already felt vaguely in Little Eyolf --that the poet's technical staying-power is beginning to fail him. Act Second. Upcoming Jump to content Jump to navigation. You may opt-out at any time.
Has written a play in his youth which was only once acted. Is for ever touching it up, and lives in the illusion that it will be published and will make a great success.
Takes no steps, however, to bring this about. Nevertheless accounts himself one of the 'literary' class.
engravebydave.com/wp-content/197/1373.php His wife and children believe blindly in the play. There was scarcely a theatre in Scandinavia or Finland at which John Gabriel Borkman was not acted in the course of January Helsingors led the way with performances both at the Swedish and the Finnish Theatres on January Christiania and Stockholm followed on January 25, Copenhagen on January 31; and meanwhile the piece had been presented at many provincial theatres as well. In the course of it spread all over Germany, beginning with Frankfort on Main, where, oddly enough, it was somewhat maltreated by the Censorship. Martin Harvey as Erhart, Mr.
James Welch as Foldal, and Mrs. Beerbohm Tree as Mrs. Henley playing Borkman, Mr. For some reason, which I can only conjecture to be the weakness of the the third act, the play seems nowhere to have taken a very firm hold on the stage. Brahm has drawn attention to the great similarity between the theme of John Gabriel Borkman and that of Pillars of Society. It may seem, on a superficial view, that in John Gabriel Borkman Ibsen has returned to prose and the common earth after his excursion into poetry and the possibly supernatural, if I may so call it, in The Master Builder and Little Eyolf.
But this is a very superficial view indeed. We have only to compare the whole invention of John Gabriel Borkman with the invention of Pillars of Society , to realise the difference between the poetry and the prose of drama. The quality of imagination which conceived the story of the House of Bernick is utterly unlike that which conceived the tragedy of the House of Borkman. The technical feat which Ibsen here achieves of carrying through without a single break the whole action of a four-act play has been much commented on and admired.
The imaginary time of the drama is actually shorter than the real time of representation, since the poet does not even leave intervals for the changing of the scenes. This feat, however, is more curious than important.
Nothing particular is gained by such a literal observance of the unity of time. For the rest, we feel definitely in John Gabriel Borkman what we already felt vaguely in Little Eyolf --that the poet's technical staying-power is beginning to fail him. We feel that the initial design was larger and more detailed than the finished work. If the last acts of The Wild Duck and Hedda Gabler be compared with the last acts of Little Eyolf and Borkman , it will be seen that in the earlier plays it relaxes towards the close, to make room for pure imagination and lyric beauty.
The actual drama is over long before the curtain falls on either play, and in the one case we have Rita and Allmers, in the other Ella and Borkman, looking back over their shattered lives and playing chorus to their own tragedy. For my part, I set the highest value on these choral odes, these mournful antiphones, in which the poet definitely triumphs over the mere playwright.
They seem to me noble and beautiful in themselves, and as truly artistic, if not as theatrical, as any abrupter catastrophe could be. But I am not quite sure that they are exactly the conclusions the poet originally projected, and still less am I satisfied that they are reached by precisely the paths which he at first designed to pursue.
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