Theater Symptoms constitutes not only the first volume in English of Musil’s finished plays and a selection of play fragments but a large body of previously untranslated work, including manifestos of his utopian theatrical vision.
His theoretical essays and reviews elucidate the symptoms of and possible cures for the dangerous decline, not only of theater and art, but also, in Musil’s view, of social relations: a fall from an ethical-aesthetic and “motivated” conduct of life to that of an uncritical, ethically lazy, aesthetically insensitive, and consumer-driven society.
Musil’s reviews of Stanislavski’s Moscow Troupe, cabaret performances of Yvette Guilbert, the Yiddish theater, Expressionist stage innovations, productions of Shakespeare, Shaw, Schnitzler, Chekhov, and others, reveal Musil as a perceptive and visionary analyst of what theater was and what it could be.
This is the third volume of Musil’s writings translated and introduced by Genese Grill and published by Contra Mundum Press.
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