Johann Nepomuk Nestroy

Nestroy, Johann Nepomuk

 

Born Dec. 7, 1801, in Vienna; died May 25, 1862, in Graz. Austrian playwright, actor, and theatrical figure. Studied law. Active in the Austrian revolution of 1848–49.

In 1822, Nestroy made his stage debut at the Vienna court theater as an opera singer. From 1831 to 1854 he acted in dramatic roles. Both a comic actor and an exceptional character actor, Nestroy had an inclination for the grotesque and for improvisation. He was especially successful in his own plays, the first of which was written in 1827. He was the author of satirical comedies of pointed sociopolitical content, which expressed the opposition sentiments of the liberal Austrian bourgeoisie on the eve of the revolution of 1848. Nestroy’s comedies included The Evil Spirit Lumpazivagabundus or the Dissipated Threesome (1833), On the First and Second Floor (1835), A Man Full of Nothing (1846), and Freedom Comes to Krähwinkel (1848). They were original works, closely akin to the folk traditions of farce, and influenced L. Anzengruber and other Austrian dramatists.

WORKS

Sämstliche Werke, vols. 1–15. Edited by O. Rommel and F. Brukner. Vienna, 1924–30.
In Russian translation:
Tuda i siuda, ili Kur’eznyi zaklad. St. Petersburg, 1880.

REFERENCES

Forst-Battaglia, O. Johann Nestroy. Munich, 1962.
Preisner, Rio. Johann Nepomuk Nestroy: Tvŭrce tragické fraŝky. Prague, 1968.
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As heir to a long line of linguistically critical Austrian writers--from Johann Nepomuk Nestroy to Ingeborg Bachmann and Thomas Bernhard--she also knows the importance of deflating the pathos of disaster.