Some sixty years ago a fledgling dramatist by the name of Marieluise Fleisser was heralded as the first really creative female writer to come on the German literary scene since Else Lasker-Schuler. This claim, which appeared in the feuilleton section of a Berlin newspaper as part of an article seeking to introduce Fleisser to the public, was made on the strength of only one unpublished and unperformed play as well as a handful of short stories. But what counted was that it was made by Herbert Ihering, one of the two most influential drama critics of the Weimar Republic. It took his archrival three years longer to make a similar assertion. Alfred Kerr was understandably more cautious in the dispensation of praise since he could not tolerate Bertolt Brecht, whose favorite critic at the time happened to be Ihering and whose protege Fleisser was. This is why it counted for even more when on the strength of two (performed) plays Kerr wrote that Fleisser was the most talented woman dramatist of her generation.



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