In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Reviews 95 commenting on O’Casey as actor in his own drama, of which the plays are an artistic ideological extension, regardless of the period mode (expressionistic, naturalistic) in which they are cast. What results is a warm picture of an earnest, cantankerous, socialist self-made dramatist. Reilly also presents Giraudoux as of a piece. But he personally finds Giraudoux tedious as a person and frivolous as a dramatist. Reilly is somewhat puzzled by Giraudoux’ stature during the late twenties and thirties and makes it quite clear that this reputation is in eclipse. Reilly is especially intent upon linking the thematic or substantive inadequacies of Giraudoux’ work with his unattractive personal character. Reilly is particularly anxious that a reader know that Giraudoux was a dilettante in the diplomatic corps and the public information service. These facts make it easier for the reader to accept Giraudoux’ willful dreamers as products of a well-bred, advantaged but dissatisfied member of the Establishment. Yet although my comments may sound critical, Reilly’s monograph is no less useful to beginning students of drama than Scrimgeour’s. Neither book will date—demonstrating once (twice) again the soundness of the Twayne strategy. MARILYN GADDIS ROSE STJN Y-B ingham ton G o eth e’s P lays. Trans. Charles E. Passage. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1980. Pp. x + 636. $19.95. The subtitle of this very substantial book is: “With complete Plays and an account of more than forty other Plays, Fragments, and Ideas for Plays.” This promise is literally achieved by the editor. He proceeds chronologically: The first Part contains the works to 1775, with the complete texts of T h e L o ver’s W him (D ie L aunen des V erliebten), F ellow C u lprits (D ie M itschuldigen), G o tz von Berlichingen, U rfaust, E gm on t, and an account of “Other Dramas and Dramatic Projects to 1775” (pp. 377-405). The Second Part has the full texts of Iphigenia in Tauris and E g m o n t and an account of “Dramas and Dramatic Projects of the Weimar Period” (pp. 593-626). The complete translations correspond to the three main phases of Goethe’s writing: The Rococo, Preromantic (or Storm and Stress), and the Classical styles, each presented by two major plays. G o tz, Iphigenia, and Tasso, as well as F aust I and II, were published at a much earlier date and are here (except F au st) incorporated for the sake of completeness. As the author’s short introductions to each fully translated play and the two longish reports on the rest of the plays indicate, the idea was to present Goethe’s dramatic production as fully as possible, without, however, leading the reader’s attention astray by full translations of Goethe’s minor or fragmentary productions. It is a wise procedure. Mr. Passage has devoted his life to translations of German classical 96 Comparative Drama and romantic, mostly dramatic works. This has given him a technique of translation unique among English translators. While his translations come as close to the originals as possible and are as reliably literal as anyone can wish, they are never clumsy or make for bad English. The poetry inherent in Goethe’s language is rendered in an equally poetic style without any intrusion of Mr. Passage’s own poetic words, as is so often the case in translations. This translator subordinates himself com­ pletely to the words of the original. The translations are also extremely good and fluent reading. The reader never feels a foreign or strange element beyond that which any work of the past and a foreign country naturally presents. It is particularly remarkable that Mr. Passage was able to preserve Goethe’s rhyme-schemes and variety of meters, without doing damage to the English language. I have been using his translations for years and find them eminently readable and very beautiful. The same conciseness of mind applies to his prefaces and accounts. They neatly and briefly report on each biographical situation, but add to this information an excellent critical evaluation of each play discussed. His knowledge of and love for Goethe are great...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 95-96
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.