Modern Ibsen scholarship has been enriched by a range of new perspectives and theories during the past decade, and a common denominator for these new contributions is their interdisciplinarity. Ibsen’s most well-known plays remain the preferred objects for study, but an appetite for new readings of an already thoroughly interpreted corpus of texts has clearly been stimulated by new theoretical agendas. In comparison to the larger field of Literary Studies, a discipline such as Theatre Studies is typically concerned with particular texts and interpretations as they confront the theatre, but even from such a perspective, each and every new reading of Ibsen’s plays will always have something to contribute to Theatre Studies.
Have new and interdisciplinary approaches in Ibsen scholarship opened up for new and more theatre-oriented,treatments of Ibsen? It is a question that seems to offer tempting possibilities, and a desire to answer it is one of the reasons why Nordic Theatre Studies decided to compile a special Ibsen issue at this point in time.
But to pose this question is to raise another, supplementary question: to what extent has the theatre itself taken an interest in these new approaches within Ibsen Studies, and how can an interaction and mutual enrichment between professional theatre life and Ibsen Studies best be established?
The new tendencies of the nineties can be observed first of all in the renewed interest in Ibsen as a modernist, and in the urge to read his life and work in the light of European modernity with its multitude of artistic and social practices. Such readings have been abundant in publications within Ibsen Studies during the last decade, and they have set their stamp on many conferences. From our own Nordic perspective it is natural for us to mention the 7th International Ibsen Conference in Grimstad in August 1993 as a turning point. The theme of the conference was precisely that of “Ibsen and Modernity”, and the very many papers delivered on this occasion provided the basis for both Vol. 8 (1994) and Vol. 9 (1997) of Contemporary Approaches to Ibsen – the series that has been the main outlet for Ibsen Studies since 1965. (Continue reading the preface by Svein Gladsø in NTS vol 10…)
HEDDA AND NORA – FROM A DISTANCE
Charles R. Lyons
Word and Visual Image in Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler
A Doll’s House: Ibsen’s Italian Masquerade
Ibsen and Melodrama
A CLOSE LOOK AT IBSEN
Symbolic and Allegoric Approaches to Ibsen
Ibsen’s Double Audience
THREE IBSEN TALES
Ibsen and the Drama of Modernity
Mimetic Desire and Poetic Vocation in Ibsen’s Poems
The Dramatic Text – Henrik Ibsen’s Rosemersholm
The Perils of Playing and Provinces
Reading the Image