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A Dramatist for All Seasons: Bernard Shaw in Vienna, 1933-1945

A Dramatist for All Seasons: Bernard Shaw in Vienna, 1933-1945 A DRAMATIST FOR ALL SEASONS: In Astoria, a 1937 play by the Austrian playwright and social democrat Jura Soyfer that satirizes fascist dictatorship, Bernard Shaw enters the scene in the following manner: BUTLER: George Bernard Shaw, one of our most popular cynics. SHAW: Europe has another twenty-four hours to live. We will be superseded by the Hottentots. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. GUESTS: Oh how cunning and how stunning! Oh how drastic and sarcastic!1 Soyfer's trivialized characterization of Shaw vividly demonstrates how the Irish playwright, critic, and Fabian Socialist was perceived in Austria in the late thirties, during the final days of the country prior to its annexation to Hitler's Germany. In the interwar years, when Austria faced economic problems and political change, Shaw's plays were by no means universally admired, even though the Irishman was one of the most frequently performed foreign writers on the Vienna stages. Nonetheless, Austrian theatergoers and critics were significantly affected by the dramatist's reputation as philosopher and political commentator. Through the firsthand descriptions of Shaw's translator and devoted propagator Siegfried Trebitsch, himself a member of the Viennese literary establishment, the Viennese public became http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png SHAW The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies Penn State University Press

A Dramatist for All Seasons: Bernard Shaw in Vienna, 1933-1945

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 The Pennsylvania State University. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1529-1480
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Abstract

A DRAMATIST FOR ALL SEASONS: In Astoria, a 1937 play by the Austrian playwright and social democrat Jura Soyfer that satirizes fascist dictatorship, Bernard Shaw enters the scene in the following manner: BUTLER: George Bernard Shaw, one of our most popular cynics. SHAW: Europe has another twenty-four hours to live. We will be superseded by the Hottentots. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. GUESTS: Oh how cunning and how stunning! Oh how drastic and sarcastic!1 Soyfer's trivialized characterization of Shaw vividly demonstrates how the Irish playwright, critic, and Fabian Socialist was perceived in Austria in the late thirties, during the final days of the country prior to its annexation to Hitler's Germany. In the interwar years, when Austria faced economic problems and political change, Shaw's plays were by no means universally admired, even though the Irishman was one of the most frequently performed foreign writers on the Vienna stages. Nonetheless, Austrian theatergoers and critics were significantly affected by the dramatist's reputation as philosopher and political commentator. Through the firsthand descriptions of Shaw's translator and devoted propagator Siegfried Trebitsch, himself a member of the Viennese literary establishment, the Viennese public became

Journal

SHAW The Annual of Bernard Shaw StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Oct 22, 2007

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