Name: Ibsen, The Ghosts

Date:  1851 - 1899

Location:  Europe

SubjectPolitical/Economic/Social Opinion


Artist: Hendrik Ibsen

Confronting Bodies: Several including Lord Chamberlain

Date of Action: 1881

Specific Location: Norway, England, Spain and the Soviet Union

Description of Artwork:  "The Ghosts," 1890: Drama, one of the most important of the author's realistic period. Its protagonist, the widowed Mrs. Alving has used her energies to suppress the truth about her profligate husband. The play's crisis is provoked by the return from Paris of her son, Oswald, suffering not from consumption but from syphilis, derived from his father. Although the play deals with such taboo subjects as incest and euthanasia, it is chiefly about the death conventions that smother a society's vitality.

Description of Incident: 1881, Norway, the play was intended as a reform and was received with ill will. 1892, England, the application for a licence was refused by the Lord Chamberlain. Long after Ibsen's position had been recognized in modern letters, the censor still interposed his shocked and obstinate personality between the British public and the Norwegian author. 1939, Spain, Work purged by the Franco Government.

Results of Incident: 1915, England, ban removed by the Lord Chamberlain. 1958, Soviet Union, works formerly banned reported to be extremely popular.

Source: Banned Books 387 B.C. to 1978 A.D., by Anne Lyon Haight, and Chandler B. Grannis, R.R. Bowker Co, 1978.

FileRoom Search | Table of Contents | Category Homepage | NCAC