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  • Published: 2 October 2014
  • ISBN: 9780141964188
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 300

The Master Builder and Other Plays




Ibsen's greatest late plays in superb modern translations, part of the new Penguin Ibsen series

Ibsen's greatest late plays in superb modern translations, part of the new Penguin Ibsen series.

This volume includes The Master Builder, Little Eyolf, John Gabriel Borkman and When We Dead Awaken - Ibsen's last four plays, written in his old age in Oslo. In The Master Builder, a married, middle-aged architect becomes bewitched by a strange young woman who claims to have known him for years. A sudden death in Little Eyolf is the catalyst that drives a couple into a greater understanding of themselves. In John Gabriel Borkman, a banker recently released from prison must choose between his wife and her sister, while a sculptor on holiday is reunited with the woman who inspired his greatest art in When We Dead Awaken.

The new Penguin series of Ibsen's major plays offer the best available editions in English, under the general editorship of Tore Rem. All the plays have been freshly translated by leading translators and are based on the definitive Norwegian edition of Ibsen's works. This volume includes an introduction by Toril Moi on the themes of death and human limitation in the plays, and additional editorial apparatus by Tore Rem.

Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) is often called 'the Father of Modern Drama'. Born in the small Norwegian town of Skien, he left Norway in 1864 for a twenty-one-year long voluntary exile in Italy and Germany. After successes with the verse dramas Brand and Peer Gynt, he turned to prose, writing his great twelve-play cycle of society dramas between 1877 and 1899. This included The Pillars of Society, A Doll's House, Ghosts, An Enemy of the People, The Wild Duck, Rosmersholm, The Lady from the Sea, Hedda Gabler, The Master Builder, Little Eyolf, John Gabriel Borkman, and, finally, When We Dead Awaken. Ibsen returned to Norway in 1891 and died there at the age of seventy-eight.

Barbara J. Haveland and Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife are both freelance literary translators.

Toril Moi is Professor of English, Theater Studies and Philosophy at Duke University. Her books include Henrik Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism (2006).

Tore Rem is Professor of British literature at the University of Oslo and author of Henry Gibson/Henrik Ibsen (2006).
%%%Ibsen's greatest late plays in superb modern translations, part of the new Penguin Ibsen series.
This volume includes The Master Builder, Little Eyolf, John Gabriel Borkman and When We Dead Awaken - Ibsen's last four plays, written in his old age in Oslo. In The Master Builder, a married, middle-aged architect becomes bewitched by a strange young woman who claims to have known him for years. A sudden death in Little Eyolf is the catalyst that drives a couple into a greater understanding of themselves. In John Gabriel Borkman, a banker recently released from prison must choose between his wife and her sister, while a sculptor on holiday is reunited with the woman who inspired his greatest art in When We Dead Awaken.
The new Penguin series of Ibsen's major plays offer the best available editions in English, under the general editorship of Tore Rem. All the plays have been freshly translated by leading translators and are based on the definitive Norwegian edition of Ibsen's works. This volume includes an introduction by Toril Moi on the themes of death and human limitation in the plays, and additional editorial apparatus by Tore Rem.
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) is often called 'the Father of Modern Drama'. Born in the small Norwegian town of Skien, he left Norway in 1864 for a twenty-one-year long voluntary exile in Italy and Germany. After successes with the verse dramas Brand and Peer Gynt, he tu

  • Published: 2 October 2014
  • ISBN: 9780141964188
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 300

About the author

Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Ibsen was born of well-to-do parents at Skien, a small Norwegian coastal town, on March 20, 1828. In 1836 his father went bankrupt, and the family was reduced to near poverty. At the age of fifteen, he was apprenticed to an apothecary in Grimstad. In 1850 Ibsen ventured to Christiania—present-day Oslo—as a student, with the hope of becoming a doctor. On the strength of his first two plays he was appointed 'theater-poet' to the new Bergen National Theater, where he wrote five conventional romantic and historical dramas and absorbed the elements of his craft.

In 1857 he was called to the directorship of the financially unsound Christiania Norwegian Theater, which failed in 1862. In 1864, exhausted and enraged by the frustration of his efforts toward a national drama and theater, he quit Norway for what became twenty-seven years of voluntary exile abroad. In Italy he wrote the volcanic Brand (1866), which made his reputation and secured him a poet's stipend from the government. Its companion piece, the phantasmagoric Peer Gynt, followed in 1867, then the immense double play, Emperor and Galilean (1873), expressing his philosophy of civilization.

Meanwhile, having moved to Germany, Ibsen had been searching for a new style. With The Pillars of Society he found it; this became the first of twelve plays, appearing at two-year intervals, that confirmed his international standing as the foremost dramatist of his age. In 1900 Ibsen suffered the first of several strokes that incapacitated him. He died in Oslo on May 23, 1906.

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