The Burgtheater and Austrian Identity
Theatre and Cultural Politics in Vienna, 1918-38

Robert Pyrah

Legenda (General Series)

Legenda

5 July 2007  •  274pp

ISBN: 978-1-904350-67-5 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-351196-11-6 (Taylor & Francis ebook)

ModernGermanDrama


The collapse of the Habsburg monarchy in 1918 galvanized discussion about national identity in the new Republic of Austria. As Robert Pyrah shows in this thoroughly documented study, the complex identity politics of interwar Austria were played out in the theatres of Vienna, which enjoyed a cultural prominence rarely matched in other countries. By 1934, productions across the city were being co-opted to serve the newly patriotic cause of the Dollfuss and Schuschnigg regimes, and the Burgtheater, once known as the 'first German stage', had been transformed into a 'national theatre for Austria'. Using case studies of key productions and a wealth of previously unseen archival material, Pyrah sheds new light on artistic and ideological developments throughout the period, including the neglected earlier years. He documents previously unexplored overlaps in the cultural programmes of Left and Right, and unearths evidence that key institutions were subverted by the Right well before the suspension of parliamentary rule in 1933.

Robert Pyrah is a Junior Research Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford, specialising in Central European Studies.

Reviews:

  • ‘This excellent volume provides an invaluable extra dimension to previous publications on Austrian theatre between the wars through the rigorous use of archival material, reinforcing and enhancingwork based mainly on texts, reports, and reviews in the Viennese press and journals. This is a work which will be important not only to literary historians, particularly of the theatre, but also to political historians, demonstrating as it does how the history of that troubled period in Austria directly affected the theatre.’ — John Warren, Modern Language Review 103.4, October 2008, 1164-65 (full text online)
  • ‘A significant and welcome contribution to the slowly expanding body of work examining the interface of culture and politics in the First Austrian Republic... Original and well-researched.’Forum for Modern Language Studies 231)

Bibliography entry:

Pyrah, Robert, The Burgtheater and Austrian Identity: Theatre and Cultural Politics in Vienna, 1918-38 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2007)

First footnote reference: 35 Robert Pyrah, The Burgtheater and Austrian Identity: Theatre and Cultural Politics in Vienna, 1918-38 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2007), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Pyrah, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Pyrah, Robert. 2007. The Burgtheater and Austrian Identity: Theatre and Cultural Politics in Vienna, 1918-38 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Pyrah 2007: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Pyrah 2007: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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