"Die Scheidestunde ist da": Max Halbe’s Mutter Erde (1897) and the Politics of Marriage and Divorce in German Naturalist Drama

Leydecker, Karl (2013) "Die Scheidestunde ist da": Max Halbe’s Mutter Erde (1897) and the Politics of Marriage and Divorce in German Naturalist Drama. Forum for Modern Language Studies . ISSN 0015-8518. (In press) (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/fmls/cqs064

Abstract

This article reads Max Halbe's late Naturalist play Mutter Erde (1897), a key work in his œuvre, in relation to German Naturalist drama and the political context in which it was written and set, namely the passage of the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch für das Deutsche Reich through the Reichstag in 1896. Recovering the specific literary, political and legal context allows the ideological fault lines of the play to be laid bare and provides a corrective to the recent tendency to view Halbe's works in general, and Mutter Erde in particular, as straightforwardly pre-fascist. Detailed examination of the unpublished manuscript material relating to the play, including a revised ending from 1941, shows how Halbe changed his original plans, and the difficulties that he had with the characterization of the three central characters and the ending of the play. Ultimately Mutter Erde rejects both poles which are such a feature of Naturalist drama, being equally pessimistic about tradition and modernity, ‘Heimat’ and the city

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Halbe, Max Mutter Erde German drama Naturalism marriage divorce politics Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literature
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > German
Depositing User: Fiona Godfrey
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2012 10:00
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2014 08:29
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/30283 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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