Page 113 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 18

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R
a b in o w ic z
— H
e r z l
t h e
P
l a y w r ig h t
101
II
Play-writing was, no doubt, a most important phase in the de-
velopment of Herzl’s intellectual make-up. The dream of his
youth to devote himself to dramatics companioned him through-
out his life, even long after he had given up his career as a play-
wright. His creative period as a dramatist encompassed fifteen
years from 1880 to 1895, spanning his age from twenty to thirty-
five in a life which lasted only forty-four years. He wrote some
thirty plays and sketches of plays, though it would be very dif-
ficult to date them even within his period of play-writing. For he
often conceived an idea for a play without writing it down. At
times he would write a few scenes, stick the manuscript away in
a drawer and take it out months or years later in order to re-
write or conclude it. These plays seem, therefore, a barometer of
his spiritual development over the whole period of this significant
phase of his life.
Following are the titles of his plays in approximate chronolog-
ical order:
Kompagn iearbeit
(“Work in Partnership”) ;
Causa Hirschkorn;
Club der Idealisten
(“Club of Idealists”);
D ie Enttaeuschten
(“The Disappointed”);
D ie Jungen
(“The Young”);
Tabarin;
Muttersoehnchen
(“Mother’s Sonny”);
Seine H ohe it
(“His Maj-
esty”);
Der Fluechtling
(“The Refugee”) ;
W ildd iebe
(“Poach-
ers”) in collaboration with Hugo Wittmann;
D ie Dame in
Schwarz
(“The Lady in Black”) with Hugo Wittmann;
Des
Teufels Weib
(“The Devil’s Wife”), music by Adolf Mueller,
Jr.;
Was w ird man sagen?
(“What Will They Say?”);
Ravachol;
Prinzen aus Genieland
(“Princes from the Land of Genius”) ,
originally
D ie H e itere Kunst
(“Happy Art”) ;
Firnis
(“Vernis-
sage”);
Panama; D asN eue Ghetto
(“The New Ghetto”);
D ie Glosse
(“The Gloss”);
D ie Patronessen
(“The Patronesses”), a farcical
comedy;
Unser Kaethchen
(“Our Katy”); Gretel (“Greta”);
I
Love You
(original English title);
Im Speisewagen
(“In the Din-
ing Car”), an elegiacal farce;
Solon in Lyd ien
(“Solon in Lydia”);
Jung Gefreit
(“Young Married”), a comedy scene;
Der Neue
Vitalis
(“The New Vitalis”) , sketch only;
Schwanenhals
(“Swan’s
Neck”), originally
Ach tbare Leu te
(“Honorable People”);
Ko-
moedie der Undankbarkeit
(“Comedy of Ingratitude”), sketch
only;
Das Centrum
(“Centrum”), sketch only;
D ie Zielbewussten
(“The Consciousness of Their Aim”) , sketch only;
D ie Freiheits-
pfaffen
(“Freedom-Parsons”), sketch only.
Some of his plays were a great disappointment to him, par-
ticularly in the early period, though others were great successes
at the foremost German theaters in Vienna, Berlin, Prague and
other cities. “Until this day,” he wrote in 1898, “1 fail to under-
stand why some of my pieces were received with applause while