The complete plays

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Methuen, Mar 12, 1987 - Drama - 306 pages
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The complete collection of Büchner's plays in one volume



Büchner was acknowledged by figures as divergent as Antonin Artaud and Bertolt Brecht to be the forefather of modern theatre. On his death at the age of 23, he left behind some outstanding dramatic works: his historical drama, Danton's Death, 'the most remarkable first play in European culture' (Guardian), translated here by Howard Brenton and Jane Fry; the innovatory tragedy, Woyzeck, translated by John Mackendrick; and the absurdist comedy, Leonce and Lena, translated by Anthony Meech. He also left a powerful short story, Lenz, an important account of his research into cranial nerves, and his revolutionary pamphlet, The Hessian Courier. All these are collected in this one volume and supplemented with a selection of his remarkable letters.



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User Review  - kristykay22 - LibraryThing

Büchner died at the age of 23, and it is hard to believe he had time to produce these collected works (only one play of which was published before his death). Excellent translations and worthwhile ... Read full review

Contents

Notes on Woyzeck
216
Introduction to The Hessian Courier
227
Lenz
249
Copyright

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About the author (1987)

eorg Buchner, a German poet and dramatist, was born in Goddelau, Hesse, a former state of Germany, on October 17, 1813. He studied science and medicine at the Universities of Strasbourg and Giessen. Publication of a revolutionary pamphlet that he wrote forced Buchner to leave Giessen. He went on to study philosophy at Strasbourg and eventually became a lecturer on anatomy at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. Buchner's first play, Dantons Tod (Danton's Death), was a dramatic poem about the death of a French revolutionary hero. Leonce und Lena, a satire, and Woyzeck, the story of an army barber who kills his common-law wife, were not published until after his death. Woyzeck was published in 1879, and was the basis for Alban Berg's opera Wozzeck, first performed in 1925. Buchner left the fragments of a novel, Lenz, which is the story of a poet who has much in common with Buchner himself. Buchner was rediscovered by the German expressionists in the twentieth century, who regarded him as a forerunner of the German expressionist movement. Buchner died of typhus on February 19, 1837.

Michael Patterson is Professor of Theater at De Montfort University, Leicester. He has published six books on German theater and one on political theater.

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