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Thread: You'd recommend ..? :)

  1. #1
    weer mijn koekjestrommel Schokokeks's Avatar
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    You'd recommend ..? :)

    Hi there
    I've recently been reading a bit of Shaw and Joyce, and since those two were admirers of Ibsen, I would like to give him a try, too. But as I'm not familiar with any of his works, I wanted to ask you which play you'd recommend me, which one you've read yourself and liked / disliked, and / or your general opinion on Ibsen.

    Thanks in advance !
    "Where mind meets matter, both should woo!"
    Currently reading:
    * Paradise Lost by John Milton

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Schoky

    I like Ibsen, but I'm afraid I haven't read anything since college, and that probably was undergrad. That's over twenty something years. However, I did have a class where we read several. A Doll's House is one everybody has read, and I only find that OK. I don't get overwhelmed with literature that is overly didactic. However, while my memory is foggy, I did like Ghosts, The Wild Duck, and I can't remember whether it was Hedda Gabler or The Masterbuilder. Actually all his later plays are supposed to be very good.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

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    X (or) Y=X and Y=-X Jean-Baptiste's Avatar
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    I started reading Ibsen at the behest of Joyce as well. I've read a number of his plays, and liked them very much. I would recommend starting off with A Doll's House. No particular reason, actually; I think you would do well beginning anywhere. What I like most about Ibsen is the fact that he can present a great story that pulls me along, but there are always underlying, somewhat psychological implications in the characters' actions, reactions, and emotions. Nothing seems empty, or included merely to fill a gap. Anyway, I thing he's great! Have fun with the reading Schok!
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    weer mijn koekjestrommel Schokokeks's Avatar
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    Thank you very much, gentlemen, for your views .

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    I don't get overwhelmed with literature that is overly didactic.
    That's exactly the reason why I would like to read one or two of his pieces. Apart from works by Bertold Brecht, I've never read anything explicitly didactic so far, and I'd like to see what kind of impact it has on me, since up to now I also favour the view that literature should be devoid of purpose...
    Last edited by Schokokeks; 02-20-2007 at 10:16 AM. Reason: my grammar...but I'm getting there ;-)
    "Where mind meets matter, both should woo!"
    Currently reading:
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    Ataraxia bazarov's Avatar
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    I've read only A Doll's House, and it's very nice play.
    At thunder and tempest, At the world's coldheartedness,
    During times of heavy loss And when you're sad
    The greatest art on earth Is to seem uncomplicatedly gay.

    To get things clear, they have to firstly be very unclear. But if you get them too quickly, you probably got them wrong.
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    You'd probably start with some of his most famous works, as everyone has said, like A Dolls House, but the ones I enjoyed the most was Brand and When We Dead Awaken. I especially liked When We Dead Awaken, but I should tell you that it's quite... "odd", if you compare it to the rest of Ibsens works, but it's marvellous.

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    Explore, Learn, and Lead.
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    I just finished reading "A Doll's House". I think it is an amazing story...(playwright drama). Start with this, and find out what is it that you wanted to learn from him (Henrik) then search for other stories which depicts his life experiences.
    Alms...13

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    Registered User Saladin's Avatar
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    I see "A Doll`s House" Is mentioned already but i am actually surprised none have mentioned "Peer Gynt" so far. I recommend you to check out these five plays:

    1) Peer Gynt
    2) "A Doll`s House"/ "Et Dukkehjem"
    3) "The Wild Duck"/"Vildanden" this play is inspired by a poem from the norwegian poet Welhaven
    4) "Hedda Gabler"
    5 " Ghosts"/ "Gengangere"

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    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    The Wild Duck is to me the best play of his I have read. Hedda Gabler is excellent too.

    The problem with Ibsen is his plays have suffered from seeming political when really they aren't. He just happened to say similar things to the feminists who came 60 years later.

  10. #10
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
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    I've read several in the last month and "The Wild Duck" is magic. "When We Dead Awake" is the most confronting.

  11. #11
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
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    Having now read more than a dozen plays, I particularly liked "The Master Builder", with its happy ending.

    I last read "Brand", the monumental poem, with another happy ending. But like "Hedda Gabbler", "Brand" has taken weeks for pennies to drop. And I still don't get "Ghosts".

  12. #12
    Registered User Saladin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladys View Post
    Having now read more than a dozen plays, I particularly liked "The Master Builder", with its happy ending.

    I last read "Brand", the monumental poem, with another happy ending. But like "Hedda Gabbler", "Brand" has taken weeks for pennies to drop. And I still don't get "Ghosts".
    Have you read Ghosts? That is my favourite after Peer Gynt. Especially the end of Ghosts is fantastic.

    Norwegian:

    Fru Alving
    (dirrende af rædsel).
    Hvad er dette! (skriger højt.) Osvald! Hvorledes
    har du det! (kaster sig på knæ ned ved ham og rusker i ham.)
    Osvald! Osvald! Se på mig! Kender du mig ikke?

    Osvald
    (toneløst som før).
    Solen. – Solen.

    Fru Alving
    (springer fortvivlet op, river med begge hænder i sit hår og skriger) :
    Dette bæres ikke! (hvisker ligesom stivnet.) Dette
    bæres ikke! Aldrig! (pludseligt.) Hvor har han dem
    henne? (famler pilsnart over hans bryst.) Her! (viger et par
    skridt tilbage og skriger Nej; nej; nej! – Jo! – Nej; nej!
    (hun står et par skridt fra ham, med hænderne indfiltret i håret, og
    stirrer på ham i målløs rædsel.)

    Osvald
    (sidder ubevægelig som før og siger):
    Solen. – Solen.

    English:

    MRS. ALVING. [Quivering with terror.] What is this? [Shrieks.] Oswald! what is the matter with you? [Falls on her knees beside him and shakes him.] Oswald! Oswald! look at me! Don't you know me?

    OSWALD. [Tonelessly as before.] The sun.--The sun.

    MRS. ALVING. [Springs up in despair, entwines her hands in her hair and shrieks.] I cannot bear it! [Whispers, as though petrified]; I cannot bear it! Never! [Suddenly.] Where has he got them? [Fumbles hastily in his breast.] Here! [Shrinks back a few steps and screams:] No. no; no!--Yes!--No; no!

    [She stands a few steps away from him with her hands twisted in her hair, and stares at him in speechless horror.]

    OSWALD. [Sits motionless as before and says.] The sun.--The sun.

    Sometimes the characters in Ibsens plays are portraying different political or religious ideologies.

    In Rosmersholm you find Ibsen the anarchist and his thoughts
    In Hedda Gabler you find Ibsen the feminist and feminism
    In Enemy of the People you find Ibsen the individualist.
    In Brand you find Ibsen the spiritiual and christian.

    and so on...
    Last edited by Saladin; 12-26-2008 at 10:01 AM.

  13. #13
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
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    Ghosts

    Quote Originally Posted by Saladin View Post
    Especially the end of Ghosts is fantastic.
    I don't doubt, and dramatic too.

    But what on earth does the end signify?

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