Anarchism in the Dramas of Ernst Toller

By Michael Ossar

Hardcover : 9780873953931, 194 pages, June 1980

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Table of contents


1. I was a German

2. Toller and his Critics

3. Anarchism: The Historical Tradition

4. German Heirs to European Anarchism
5. Die Wandlung: Anarchism and the New Man

6. Masse Mensch: Anarchism and Communism

7. Die MaschinestrĂ¼mer: Anarchism and Social Darwinism

8. Hinkemann: Anarchism and Psychology

9. Hoppla, wir leben! Anarchism and Revisionism 10. Conclusion



This study shows how politics and art intermingled in the life and works of one of the most renowned playwrights of German Expressionism, a man who was in many senses paradigmatic of the non-communist Left in the Weimar Republic. Toller sought to preserve the sanctity of the individual against collectivist assaults from the Right and from the Left, but at the same time to meet the needs of a complex society. Ossar demonstrates that the playwright arrived at solutions that were anarchist in nature, deriving from a long European tradition.

This is the first in-depth book-length study of Toller and his plays published in English.

Michael Ossar is Associate Professor of German at Kansas State University and is editor of Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature.