Sternheim, Carl

(1682 words)
  • Rhys W. Williams (University of Wales, Swansea)

Carl Sternheim is best known for his series of comedies, subsequently grouped together under the generic title “Aus dem bürgerlichen Heldenleben” [“From the heroic life of the bourgeoisie”]. Sternheim's unique brand of comedy, which achieved notable success in the years immediately before World War I, raised in the audience the expectation that the central character was to be ridiculed. In the event, however, that the central comic figure triumphs, the audience's cultural and social expectations are confounded. The author's literary strategy, and the stylised language in which he wrote, made considerable demands on his audience. Sternheim's texts have been interpreted in mutually contradictory ways: some …

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Williams, Rhys W.. "Sternheim, Carl". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 September 2006
[, accessed 28 November 2015.]