Herman Heijermans and His Dramas
During the last two decades of the nineteenth century the Dutch drama, which had lapsed into astate of somnolence since the glorious days of VondeI, suddenly awoke to vigorous life. Not only did gifted dramatists appear, but talented directors, actors, and actresses brought new splendor to the theatre. Yet this brilliant flame did not burst forth in a vacuum, and to appre ciate the quality of its light, it must be viewed against the back ground of its origins in the European drama. After the middle of the century the emphasis in literary creation had shifted from a subjective, emotional point of view to a more objective and rationalistic attitude. If this seems only a roundabout way of saying that Romanticism yielded its dominance to Realism and Naturalism, the conc1usion is justified, but we should not yield too readily to the pseudo-scientific mania which urges us to force literature into a genus and species type of c1assification. It is customary to say that in the eighties and nineties, Nat uralism won a decisive victory over Romanticism and drove the partisans of the older movement from the field. At first glance this does, indeed, appear to be true. Hugo yields to Zola, Pushkin to Tolstoi, Tieck to Hauptmann. It is all quite simple.