Friedrich Wolf Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Friedrich Wolf is best known as a playwright and film writer, but he produced a considerable amount of long and short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction as well.


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Friedrich Wolf was a remarkably prolific writer. After initial attempts in expressionism, he achieved extraordinary success and fame as a socialist playwright, an effective anti-Nazi agitprop writer, and an author of film exposés. Together with Bertolt Brecht, Wolf belongs to the pioneers of new directions in the development of dramatic art and stagecraft. When, between 1960 and 1968, Else Wolf and Walther Pollatschek prepared the collected works of the author, the large body of his literary corpus, much of which had been previously published in various forms, resulted in sixteen volumes of about four hundred pages each.

Many of Wolf’s plays were translated into a number of foreign languages and performed in theaters in many countries, particularly in the Soviet Union. In the 1970’s, his dramas remained in the repertoire of theaters in the German Democratic Republic, especially in Leipzig, Weimar, and Dresden. Works such as the anti-Fascist drama Professor Mamlock or the provocative tragedy Cyankali, Paragraph 218 (cyanide, the abortion law) are still significantin the modern world.


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Burns, Rob, ed. German Cultural Studies: An Introduction. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1995. This general work on German culture in the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century covers Wolf in its discussion of socially critical art. Provides understanding of the world around Wolf.

Fetz, Gerald A. “From Der arme Konrad (1923) to Thomas Münzer (1953): Friedrich Wolf and the Development of the Socialist History Play in Germany.” German Studies Review 10 (May, 1987): 255-272. A look at the development of the socialist history play in Germany through the works of Wolf.

Heizer, Donna K. Jewish-German Identity in the Orientalist Literature of Else Lasker-Schüler, Friedrich Wolf, and Franz Werfel. Columbia, S.C.: Camden House, 1996. Heizer compares and contrasts the works of Jewish writer Wolf with those of Else Lasker-Schüler and Franz Werfel. Bibliography and index.