Monday, October 8, 2012

Letters from Alvina Krause: Spring 1974

Notes posted on my bulletin board about realism and characterization, specifically Hedda Gabler.

Krause's Comments
Remember the place of men in this man's world. Lead straight to the curtain:
Tesman: Fancy that!
Brack: Good God, people don't do such things.
To avoid stereotype men, show them in relation to their world. They are both three-dimensional characters -- products of their society.
And Thea -- more courage than Hedda. Why didn't she fear scandal? "So that little fool has had her fingers in a man's destiny".
And the artist Lovborg. What is Ibsen saying through him? Note that Hedda is always surrounded by men -- an artist, a scholar, a judge. What has society done to them?
Your lecture on Hedda is excellent -- I make suggestions only to balance your drama. Too often it is played as a one-person vehicle for someone.
"Woman's place is in the home" -- and here is a home -- a new home with all the old furnishings. Be sure to emphasize the fact that Ibsen's drama takes place within four walls -- a living room. He goes right to the core of drama. Make your people identify with the objects in that living room -- piano, sofa, bric a brac -- rug, walls -- curtains. Surely there is someone in class who would enjoy improvising the servant, serve tea to Hedda and Judge, etc. -- a sturdy Norwegian with straight spine, never "servile", human, dependable, clear-sighted. Assemble props, have a cupboard somewhere to keep them for the quarter. Encourage students to bring in an essential prop when they play, wear long skirts, suggest that men put on bow ties, wear suit coats --- -- and be human.


In my journal she wrote this:
She [Thea -- DD] is all that we call "feminine" -- compassionate, tender, understanding.
"That little fool has had her fingers in a man's destiny" is Hedda's summation -- Ironic!
All that Hedda rejects Thea is. Thea, feminine, dares do what Hedda fears to do. Scandal has no power on Thea's warm, concerned heart

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