The Sternheim Trilogy
This collection includes three full-length plays: THE UNDERPANTS, THE SNOB, and 1913. In THE UNDERPANTS, she is waiting in the crowd — Berlin, circa 1910 — craning her neck forward to see the Kaiser pass by. Her panties fall down. It is possible that the Kaiser might see them at her feet. What crisis could be bigger than that? Carl Sternheim poses this question at the outset of THE STERNHEIM TRILOGY. By the end, the lady is pregnant, pregnant, one might say, with the future of the booboisie in the person of THE SNOB, Christian Maske, who rises, in the second part, from the lower booboisie to the higher. In the third part, 1913, Christian rises higher all the way to the top of bourgeois society in twentieth-century mode. The whole crisis of 1914–1918 looms. 1933–1945 is not far away.
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