Reference : Le théâtre allemand dans les limbes de la reconnaissance. La chronique du Journal enc...
Scientific journals : Article
Arts & humanities : Literature
Le théâtre allemand dans les limbes de la reconnaissance. La chronique du Journal encyclopédique, du Hanswurst à Klopstock (1756-1762)
[en] The German theater in limbo of recognition. The chronicle of the Journal encyclopédique, from the Hanswurst to Klopstock (1756-1762)
Droixhe, Daniel mailto [Université de Liège > Département de langues et littératures romanes > Département de langues et littératures romanes >]
Études Germaniques
Yes (verified by ORBi)
[en] German ; theater ; Aufklärung
[en] The study follows the various stages through which the Journal encyclopédique
records the claims and reforms having allowed the XVIIIth century German theatre
to shake off the « great barbary » weighing on the traditional style of Haupt- und
Staatsaktion and popular theatre. The first reviews bring out a brilliant Vienna stage
mainly devoted to opera and danse, with an attempt by F.W. Weiskern to upgrade
them. The care for a « Germanizing » of the repertoire highlights the Swedish model.
A Lettre sur le théâtre allemand describes in 1756 the great poverty of the German
theatre, due to its practical organization as well as to a pervasive presence of the
pantaloon Hanswurst. The sanitation brought by Gottsched and Karoline Neuber,
primarily under the influence of the French theater, is emphasized. But the Journal
encyclopédique, two years later, does not appear insensible to the burlesque charms
of J. Kurz’s « Bernardoniade » (1758). It does not give room to Gellert’s theatre, for
reasons probably linked with his dramatic style and his criticism of French fashion :
the author is chiefly praised as a fabulist. The Journal thus extolls Haller’s and Gesner’s
Swiss genre, which introduces a « schism » in the literary German world, between
Zurich and Leipzig. But it draws a shattering picture of the production of the Helvetian
Bodmer, for the benefit of the supporters of the other town. The good reception granted
to Klopstock and his Adam’s Death marks the accession of the German theatre to the
circle of European literatures and Vienna’s final deletion as a candidate to the status
of German « literary capital ». However, the « encyclopedic Journal », related to the
national spirit of Diderot’s and d’Alembert’s enterprise, cannot accept that Klopstock’s
drama would be put to the rank of the French classical tragedies.
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