By Matthew Yde (auth.)
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Additional info for Bernard Shaw and Totalitarianism: Longing for Utopia
But in 1891 this is his vision of the utopian future, not Ibsen’s, who had actually moved away from his middle phase of social plays to examine the darker side of the human will: just the side that Shaw neglected to consider in The 44 Bernard Shaw and Totalitarianism Quintessence and actually continued to neglect throughout the extent of his long career. Ibsen, who believed that “our whole being . . is nothing but a ﬁght against the dark forces within ourselves,”32 seemed to have a sense of the darker side of the human will that would deﬁne the next phase of human history.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes from Shaw’s plays and prefaces will be from the edition, Bernard Shaw: Complete Plays and Prefaces, six volumes (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1963) and also cited within the body of the essay. Shaw’s spelling and use of apostrophes is often idiosyncratic. 25 26 Bernard Shaw and Totalitarianism Since then the essay has usually been understood as a good indicator of Shaw’s own thinking, rather than a reliable guide to understanding Ibsen’s dramaturgical strategy and philosophy of life: the quintessence of Shavianism rather than the quintessence of Ibsenism.
1 Previsions of the Superman in the Coming Age of Will: The Quintessence of Ibsenism∗ He who had to all appearance mocked at the faiths in the forgotten past discovered a new god in the unimaginable future. He who had laid all the blame on ideals set up the most impossible of all ideals, the ideal of a new creature. K. Chesterton1 I In the preface to The Quintessence of Ibsenism Shaw remarks that during the spring of 1890 he and his fellow Fabians were at a loss for a topic to which to devote a series of lectures for that coming summer.
Bernard Shaw and Totalitarianism: Longing for Utopia by Matthew Yde (auth.)