Nestroy, Johann Nepomuk (yōˈhän nāˈpōmŏk nĕsˈtroi) [key], 1802–62, Austrian dramatist and actor. A successful performer in comedies and operettas, he later proved himself a brilliant writer of farces and satires. He wrote over 60 plays, including Lumpacivagabundus (1833), a parody of Raimund's Verschwender ; On the Ground Floor and the First Story (1835), which uses a split stage to demonstrate class differences; and Freedom in Krahwinkel (1948), a political satire. His critical wit and flouting of Viennese censure kept him in constant conflict with authorities, and he was imprisoned more than once. Although his reputation has been revived, his popularity is restricted to the German-speaking world because of his dialect and the complexity of his wordplay.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.