Gerhart Hauptmann: Gabriel Schilling's Flight; Island of the Great Mother or The Miracle of Ile Des Dames; Before Sunset

Gerhart Hauptmann,
Gabriel Schilling's Flight, 1912;
Island of the Great Mother or The Miracle of Ile Des Dames, 1924;
Before Sunset, 1935
(German versions, all: S. Fischer Verlag)

Gerhart Hauptmann's drama 'Gabriel Schilling's Flight' is set on Hiddensee; its naturalist style eulogises the island. The strongly autobiographical piece posits the idea of the writer's burial on Hiddensee for the first time: Well, there's no better place to be laid to rest. […]. No motorised omnibuses, no tramcars, just the endlessly drifting little grains of sand, jumping hither and thither! Fresh, healthy, wet storms! The sea's best greeting for a burial mound. In 1924, Hauptmann dissects the collapse of contemporary civilisation and the rise of a matriarchal system in 'Island of the Great Mother'.

Later on, he commented to his biographer that he would never have written the novel had he not seen the many beautiful, often naked bodies of women and observed the goings-on for so many years on Hiddensee. Hauptmann is referring to the custom of swimming naked, which was always tolerated there. The play 'Before Sunset' was Gerhart Hauptmann's last great success on an international stage; he penned the piece 1935 in his summer house on Hiddensee.


Text: F. P.

The exhibit refers to:

Western Pomerania until 1945

Look here for the original exhibit:

Gerhart-Hauptmann-Haus / Gerhart-Hauptmann-Stiftung

Gerhart-Hauptmann-Haus / Gerhart-Hauptmann-Stiftung

Kirchweg 13
18565 Kloster auf Hiddensee