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Zola, Ibsen and the Development of the Naturalist Movement in Germany

JOHN OSBORNE It has long been accepted that the 'social dramas* of Ibsen, from Pillars of Society onwards, and the writings--both theoretical and creative--of Zola constitute the principal foreign influences upon the work of the German Naturalists; but, with few exceptions, literary historians have not been at all precise either in delineating the areas over which the influence of these two rather different writers extends, or in showing how it was that the German Naturalists came to be followers of both of them. And yet an examination of the early years of the German Naturalist movement, when the influence of Zola and Ibsen was first being feit, and more especially of the reception of these two writers by some important figures associated with Naturalism in Germany, can provide a useful clarification of one significant and insufficiently heeded development within a movement now recognised äs confused and transitional; for it is in the first, preparatory, decade, in which leadership Swings from Berlin to Munich and back, in which the interest of the young writers Switches decisively from novel to drama, in which political commitment, Socialist altruism and Utopianism, begin to give way to Nietzschean individualism and an overriding concern http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Arcadia - Internationale Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft / International Journal for Literary Studies de Gruyter

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