Franz Theodor Csokor Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Franz Theodor Csokor is best known for his plays, but he published some well-received volumes of poetry, notably Der Dolch und die Wunde (1917; the dagger and the wound) and Immer ist Anfang (1952; there is always a new beginning). In addition to a few collections of short fiction, he also wrote a novel about the Anabaptist movement, Der Schlüssel zum Abgrund (1955; the key to the abyss). His most widely read prose works are his autobiographical narratives, combined in Auf fremden Strassen (1955; on foreign roads), which deal with his continual flight from the Nazis before and during World War II.


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Franz Theodor Csokor first attracted public attention in 1933 when he vehemently opposed the beginning persecution of German Jewish writers at the PEN International Congress in Ragusa. This courageous stance led to his eventually being forced into exile. After his return to Austria after World War II, he became the president of the Austrian PEN club in 1947 and received numerous prizes and awards, among them the Literature Prize of Vienna in 1927 and 1953, the Grillparzer Prize in 1937, and the Austrian National Literature Prize in 1955, the highest honor the Austrian government gives to a writer. Csokor and Fritz Hochwälder are considered the two most influential Austrian dramatists of the post-World War II era. Csokor was also nominated for the Nobel Prize.


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Brandys, Brygida. “Das dramatische Werk von Franz Theodor Csokor.” Kwartalnik Neofilologiczny 28 (1981): 407-427. A comprehensive survey of Csokor’s dramatic opus, with detailed analyses of the major plays. Less idolatrous and more scholarly than Wimmer. In German.

Lichliter, Katherine McHugh, ed. A Critical Edition and Translation of Franz Theodor Csokor’s “European Trilogy.” New York: Peter Lang, 1995. Contains November 3, 1918, Occupied Territory, and The Prodigal Son. Apart from modernized, readable translation of the plays, there is ample historical and critical material in the introduction to each play, as well as a good general cultural-biographical essay.

Wimmer, Paul. Der Dramatiker Franz Theodor Csokor. Innsbruck: Wagner, 1981. The only comprehensive study of Csokor’s complete dramatic works, by a friend and admirer. Good plot synopses and analyses of all plays, even some unpublished ones. In German.