Finding aid for the Fritz Kortner "Ein Traum, kein Leben" annotated script 6280

Bo Doub -- with collection-level notes adapted from the seller, Mark Funke, Bookseller
USC Libraries Special Collections
2023 August
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California 90089-0189

Contributing Institution: USC Libraries Special Collections
Title: Fritz Kortner "Ein Traum, kein Leben" annotated script
Creator: Kortner, Fritz (18920512-1970)
Identifier/Call Number: 6280
Identifier/Call Number: /repositories/3/resources/3427
Physical Description: 0.06 Linear Feet 1 pamphlet binder
Date: 1946 September
Physical Description: 300 by 210mm (11.75 by 8.25 inches). Generic continuous wrapper with title and author handwritten and internal prong binding. Title page present dated Sept. 1946 (handwritten date of 14.I.49). 87 leaves, with last page numbered 87. Three scenes. Mimeograph duplication, rectos only. In German. Pages Good but brittle and browned throughout; wrapper Fair showing significant wear (4 by 3 inch of back wrapper missing); rust at binding. Pagination: [title], [characters], 1–50, [alternate 50], [unnumbered page, 1 (with notation that text continues with page 54)], 54–58, [unnumbered pages, 2], 60–87. Revisions: (carbon typescript) alternate 50, all unnumbered pages & 87 Heavily annotated in pencil (by Kortner? His editor?): [title], 2, 4–6, 8–10, 11 (recto & verso), 12–26, 28–31, 33, 35–39, 42–46, 47 (verso), 48, 50, [alternate 50], [unnumbered page, 1], 54–56, 58 (recto & verso), [unnumbered pages, 2], 60, 61 (recto & verso), 62–66, 69–70, 72–75, 76 (verso), 77–82, 83 (verso), 84–86.
Language of Material: German .
Container: 1

Biographical / Historical

Fritz Kortner (1892-1970) was one of Austria's best-known character actors and the nation's foremost performer of Expressionist work. In 1933, Kortner went on a performance tour of Scandinavia--and, being Jewish--decided not to return. After the tour, Kortner fled to the United States by way of London. By 1941, Kortner was living in Hollywood and writing scripts.
Donauwellen is a character study of a hairdresser in Vienna, following how the character adapts through multiple personalities to the changing political structures of the times. Although highly critical of the Nazis, the play is also critical of the Allied denazification process after the War.

Scope and Contents

A heavily annotated script for a work by Fritz Kortner (1892-1970), one of Austria's best-known character actors and the nation's foremost performer of Expressionist work. Kortner titled this early working draft Ein Traum, kein Leben, but he later renamed the work Donauwellen and turned it into a play that was first performed in Munich in 1949. Kortner wrote the draft titled Ein Traum, kein Leben in Los Angeles while in exile. He carried the manuscript with him back to Germany in December 1947. Donauwellen was Kortner's first release in Europe following his exile. The play was a success with the public and it was performed 30 times. Following Donauwellen's initial popularity, the United States military banned subsequent productions of the play in post-war Germany.

Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Department of Special Collections at Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

Finding aid description and metadata are licensed under an Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Mark Funke, Bookseller, July 17, 2023.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder no. or item name], Fritz Kortner "Ein Traum, kein Leben" annotated script, Collection no. 6280, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Austrians -- United States -- 20th century -- Archival resources
Exiles -- Austria -- 20th century -- Archival resources
Exiles' writings, Austrian -- United States -- 20th century -- Archival resources
Jews, Austrian -- United States -- 20th century -- Archival resources
Reconstruction (1939-1951) -- Austria -- Archival resources
Reconstruction (1939-1951) -- Germany -- Archival resources
Theater -- Germany -- 20th century -- Archival resources
World War, 1939-1945 -- Austria -- Archival resources
Kortner, Fritz (18920512-1970) -- Archives