The Theater: Inhuman Lear



Knut Hamsun was a hero to his fellow Norwegians and a novelist who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1920. But in the '30s, he espoused Nazism, and when the Germans invaded Norway in 1940, he collaborated with them, later even wrote a glowing obituary of Hitler. After the war, he scarcely deigned to offer any explanation, nor would he acknowledge the slightest regret.

It is on the postwar years of this grim eccentric that Tankred Dorst, a West German playwright who was a P.O.W. in the U.S., has based his play. He asks an enormous imaginative...

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