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John Gabriel Borkman

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  337 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
General Books publication date: 2009 Original publication date: 1897 Original Publisher: William Heinemann Subjects: Drama / General Drama / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh Drama / Continental European Foreign Language Study / German Literary Criticism / European / Scandinavian Literary Criticism / Drama Notes: This is an OCR reprint. There may be typos or missing text. Th ...more
Paperback, 90 pages
Published December 21st 2009 by General Books (first published 1896)
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Mar 05, 2015 Bettie☯ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: BBC Radio Listeners

Description: Henrik Ibsen's rarely-performed but all-too-pertinent play about the dangerous pursuit of power. A new production from a version by David Eldridge.
Directed by Helen Perry
A BBC Cymru/Wales Production.

Part 1 of 2: David Threlfall stars as John Gabriel Borkman, a disgraced banker now destitute after a fraud scandal and imprisonment. Whilst trapped in his own home like a wolf in a cage, the living ghosts of his past wrestle to determine his future
Mar 05, 2015 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 - Drama:
Henrik Ibsen's rarely-performed but all-too-pertinent play about the dangerous pursuit of power. A new production from a version by David Eldridge.
Mar 20, 2015 Steven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, scandanavian
Another modern Ibsen play that explores the power of greed and family ties.
Jan 07, 2009 Rolls rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a huge haunted mansion of a play. The ghosts do not know they are dead though which undoubtedly makes their howling that much more fiendish! I loved this play. It set my soul racing the way listening to Beethoven or watching Gossip Girl does!
Jun 01, 2010 Steffi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ich habe das Stück als Vorbereitung auf einen Theaterbesuch heute abend gelesen und war ungewöhnlich fasziniert. Eigentlich lese ich Stücke nicht so gern, aber dieses war fesselnd und ungewöhnlich aktuell. Die Titelfigur spekulierte mit Geld, das ihr nicht gehörte, musste ins Gefängnis, trieb viele Anleger ins finanzielle Unglück und seine Familie ins gesellschaftliche Aus. Er und seine Frau reagieren dabei ungewöhnlich egoistisch - sehen nur das eigene Leid und nicht das durch dieses Verhalten ...more
The least interesting character is the protagonist
Aug 17, 2014 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With John Gabriel Borkman, we once again see Ibsen revisit and revise an earlier play. The plot reprises that of The Pillars of Society. Once again, we have a wealthy and idealistic businessman who sacrifices love and ethics to his dream, only to face the consequences.

There are a number of significant differences, however. Where The Pillars of Society had a rich gallery of supporting characters, John Gabriel Borkman is pared down to only the essential characters. Where Karsten Bernick is able to
John Gabriel Borkman by Henrik Ibsen
The Will to Power

I had not been so fond of Ibsen even before I have read the excellent The Intellectuals by Paul Johnson. But after reading that book, my aversion grew.
Ibsen was not a nice man, in fact he was even cruel and mean towards his own family- even what he recognized as such did not include children born out of wedlock.
For a professional, qualified assessment of Ibsen and any other writer, you should read good, scholarly criticism, for I and probably
Aug 04, 2014 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would actually give this 3.5 stars -- 4 is a bit too high and 3, too low. It is, as with many of Ibsen's plays, still very relevant today, asking important social questions about love and greed, duty to one's parents (and how this may be complicated by other factors) versus duty to one's own self and one's happiness, and of friendship and duty to one's spouse.

The character Foldal has some of the best lines in this play, and the most illuminating one for me was when he says "For I myself have
This play focuses on the effect that the man's eagerness for power has in his life and in the life of people around him. John Gabriel Borkman sacrificed love for power and money and ended up with none of them. His ego brought an emotional and psychological devastation to him and to his most beloved people. Ibsen got inspired by a court-case against a senior officer who was found guilty of fraud and committed to prison with hard labour for four years. After his years in prison he cut himself off ...more
Aug 20, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One important thing to realize about Ibsen is that he liked to rework old plots into new stories.

John Gabriel Borkman is roughly similar to Pillars of Society, but the outcomes of the characters are vastly different. While Karsten somewhat escapes his accusations, Borkman is forced to live with it in jail and in confinement in his own salon. Obviously, Borkman is in for a worse ending (although the ending is more thought through and way better than the end of Pillars of Society, believe me).

I th
Chiek Er
Dec 30, 2014 Chiek Er rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play
A dead man and two shadows

Tragic as it may be, it is another beautiful play by Ibsen. Powerful in its messages as are all Ibsens plays, the audience are forced to reflect on their own lives to see the mirror images of ourselves. Though it took about 3 hours to read the play, it felt like a lifetime as we followed the life of the coal miners son John Gabriel Borkman and the lives of people dear to him.
Jwee Chiek
Dec 30, 2014 Jwee Chiek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Society has changed dramatically over the last 150years with values becoming less conservative and women taking on a more prominent role as bread winners. Ibsens plays, however, have remained timeless and relevant because the themes of the human spirit, ambition, need for love and dignitiy are timeless. ...more
Sean Kottke
A cold, cold play, in so many ways. The story of a Master of the Universe brought down by greed and misdealings should play more relevantly in the modern age, but there's a lot that's quaint and outdated in the mores Ibsen critiques (a seven year age difference between lovers? One of whom has been previously married? Oh, the vapors!).
Feb 28, 2011 Lesleygrossberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i was devastated to miss out on this while it was at BAM, but read the play as a consolation. haunting, tragic, evocative. a quick read (free on google books)-- the pace as quick as the horse-drawn sleigh that runs over Frida's father, and a contrast to the sense of the length of Borkman's separation from his family and society (eventually self-imposed).
Aug 09, 2009 Stine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This story was to much stuck in tha past for me. To many practical things that are there because of that time. E.g the role of a bankman in the socity. Regarding the role of Erhart, the son, I don't really see how he is exiting the story adds a good point.
A fantastic dramatised version of this (BBC Radio 4) was my first introduction to Ibsen, and this second rereading as an e-book did not disappoint.
Andre Piucci
Sep 08, 2015 Andre Piucci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
- Enquanto você acreditava em mim, eu acreditei em você...
- Então estivemos todo este tempo enganando uns aos outros, e a nós mesmos.
- Mas não é exatamente esta a essência da amizade, meu amigo?
Chiek Er
Dec 30, 2014 Chiek Er rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
We fall down many times in our life time. But just like John Gabriel Borkman, one must pick oneself up to try and try again.
Jan 03, 2011 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly incisive, insightful drama or insufferably inward Ibsenian inanity? I can't to see what 3 world class actors make of this at BAM next week.
Giuseppe rated it really liked it
Nov 21, 2016
Erika S
Erika S rated it it was amazing
Apr 07, 2009
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Jul 05, 2011
Sarah rated it it was amazing
Feb 05, 2014
Ondřej Sliš
Ondřej Sliš rated it it was ok
Jan 24, 2015
Stoles rated it liked it
Sep 03, 2012
Greg Dean
Greg Dean rated it it was amazing
Aug 23, 2013
Opie890733 rated it it was amazing
Nov 22, 2015
Jonathan rated it really liked it
Aug 19, 2012
ساسان عاصی
ساسان عاصی rated it did not like it
Jun 07, 2007
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Henrik Johan Ibsen was a major Norwegian playwright largely responsible for the rise of modern realistic drama. He is often referred to as the "father of modern drama." Ibsen is held to be the greatest of Norwegian authors and one of the most important playwrights of all time, celebrated as a national symbol by Norwegians.

His plays were considered scandalous to many of his era, when Victorian valu
More about Henrik Ibsen...

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“You are a murderer! You have committed the
one mortal sin!
You have killed the love-life in me. Do
you understand what that means? The Bible speaks of a mysterious
sin for which there is no forgiveness. I have never understood
what it could be; but now I understand. The great, unpardonable
sin is to murder the love-life in a human soul.”
“Nicht Mord. Nicht Diebstahl, Raub oder nächtlicher Einbruch – auch Meineid nicht. Denn das alles sind ja Dinge, die man meist Leuten antut, die man haßt oder die einem gleichgültig sind und einen nichts angehen. […] Das Infamste von allem – das ist, wenn der Freund das Vertrauen des Freundes missbraucht.” 3 likes
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