How was Ibsen's modern drama possible?
One of the major renewals in the history of drama is Henrik Ibsen’s “modern tragedy” of the 1880s and 1890s. Since Ibsen’s own time, this renewal has been seen as an achievement accomplished in spite, rather than because, of Ibsen’s Norwegian and Scandinavian contexts of origin. His origins have consistently been associated with provinciality, backwardness and restrictions to be overcome, and his European “exile” has been seen as the great liberating turning point of his career. We will, on the contrary, argue that throughout his career Ibsen belonged to Scandinavian literature and that his trajectory was fundamentally conditioned and shaped by what happened in the intersection between literature, culture and politics in Scandinavia. In particular, we highlight the continued association and closeness between literature and theatre, the contested language issue in Norway, the superimposition of literary and political cleavages and dynamics as well as the transitory stage of copyright.
CitationFulsås, N. & Rem, T. (2016). How was Ibsen's modern drama possible? Journal of World Literature, 1(4), 449-465. https://doi.org/10.1163/24056480-00104003
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