Crommelynck's Farcical and Mythmaking Expressionism


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Crommelynck's brand of expressionism as dramatized in The Magnificent Cuckold (1920), Golden Tripe (1925), and Hot and Cold (1934) is innovative.1 He, enhanced expressionism, defined traditionally as a subjective presentation of a bitter vision of humanity, by introducing farce into the stage happenings, thereby enabling him to point up and then cut down social convention, organized religion, and political organizations. To the lyrical language, so important a factor. in expressionist plays, Crommelynck added other means of articulating feeling: onomastically, semiotically, and onomotopeically, The farce, then, dismembered the stilling, narrow, and rigid society under scrutiny, while language exteriorized the hostility implicit in the play's themes. To this combination of elements Crommelynck included a mythmaking device. By interweaving a structured view of humanity onto the plot, he rebuilt and solidified what the farce had destroyed during the course of the play. But this fresh view of the collective as depicted in the myth (no better than the earlier situation) became in Crommelynck's hands an added weapon to deride and caricaturize a society for which he felt contempt.

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