By Professor Mark B. Sandberg
Henrik Ibsen's performs got here at a pivotal second in overdue nineteenth-century ecu modernity. They engaged his public via a strategic use of metaphors of apartment and residential, which resonated with reports of displacement, philosophical homelessness, and exile. the main recognized of those metaphors - embodied via the titles of his performs A Doll's residence, Pillars of Society, and The grasp Builder - have entered into mainstream Western notion in ways in which masks the whole strength of the reversals Ibsen played on notions of architectural house. interpreting literary and performance-related reception fabrics from Ibsen's lifetime, Mark B. Sandberg concentrates at the inside dramas of the playwright's prose-play cycle, drawing additionally on his chosen poems. Sandberg's shut readings of texts and cultural statement current the instant context of the performs, supply new views on them for overseas readers, and display how Ibsen grew to become a grasp of the fashionable uncanny.
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Additional resources for Ibsen's Houses: Architectural Metaphor and the Modern Uncanny
Moreover, the collision of expectations was strongest with the earliest of Ibsen’s prose plays, through the 38 Ibsen’s uncanny mid-1880s, before the public had become accustomed to the regularity of tone and timing in Ibsen’s onslaught. Only gradually did the sometimes hostile reading public accustom itself to expect Ibsen’s inappropriate Christmas presents, perhaps growing to regard them like the real-life holiday gifts of a tactless, impossible relative. 54 Here Ibsen’s usual playwriting strategy is equated with the forces of natural gloom (Mørketid ) pressing in on the home around Christmastime in the Northern climate, against which the festive, light-saturated holiday normally functions as the cultural defense.
44 The main point of this memoir by the respected Norwegian author Peter Egge is to make amusing observations about the cultural diﬀerences between Scandinavia and Europe that he encountered in his various travels in the south, but most interesting in the present context is the fact that his encounter with this Italian production clashes with expectations already established for Ghosts through performances in the Nordic region: that the Alving home should initially appear hyggelig, not oppressive and gloomy.
His argument proceeds etymologically from the fact that in German, the word heimlich has two strands of meaning, indicating on the one hand something that is secret and on the other something that is familiar. Although one can conceive of a way in which the two meanings might have overlapped at some point (something secret is kept private, “within the family,” so “familiar” in that sense), in modern usage a tension exists between resonances pointing simultaneously toward “strange” secrets and “habitual” familiarity.