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Die deutsche Bühne sucht einen Autor: François Ponsards ‚Lucrèce‘ (1843) im Vormärz

Christophe Bertiau

Pages 173 - 187

The present article highlights the significance that François Ponsard’s first tragedy, ‚Lucrèce‘ (1843), displayed for the German stage during the ‚Vormärz‘. In France, ‚Lucrèce‘ represented a sensational challenge to Romanticism. The German Confederation, with intellectuals often complaining about a ‚decline‘ of the stage, was instead fascinated by the unexpected triumph of a young unknown author, who travelled to Paris from the provinces to have his first theatre play staged. Some critics longed for a “German Ponsard”, who could suddenly give a new impulse to the national theatre. This role was rapidly assigned to two playwrights, Vincenz Weber and Karl Hugo. Later, Ponsard was involved in two quarrels concerning the Prussian ‚Schillerpreis‘. Beyond his Parisian success, it thus appears that Ponsard – and with him the French theatre in general – also played an important role in the German literary debates of his time. As such, he might deserve more attention from literary scholars.


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