Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Georg Kaiser published film scripts, essays, and two novels: Es ist genug (1932; it is enough), an autobiographical work whose plot unfolds in an imaginary setting, and Villa Aurea (1940; Vera, 1939), which is—like many of Kaiser’s plays—based on an abstract thought or thesis: Humankind is afraid of nothingness; it knows that nothingness is the only truth, but it does not want to acknowledge it.

During his exile in Switzerland, Kaiser wrote several short stories. Many of them draw their inspiration from political events, such as the occupation of Czechoslovakia by German troops (“Lieutenant Welzeck”) or the rise of Adolf Hitler and his hypnotic power over the German masses (“Nach einem verlorenen Krieg”). Like many (former) expressionists (such as Ernst Barlach, Reinhard J. Sorge, and Alfred Döblin), Kaiser used the fairy-tale genre to express his philosophical and theological views (humanity as the devil’s creation in “Die Ausgeburt”; love as a purifying force in “Das Märchen des Konigs”). Kaiser’s poetry, especially the poems written during his exile, shows the strong influence of Rainer Maria Rilke. The film scripts, essays, novels, stories, and poems have been collected in the fourth volume of the 1971 edition of Kaiser’s collected works, edited by Walther Huder.