Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Büchner, Georg "Woyzeck"

Büchner, Georg "Woyzeck" (German: Woyzeck) - 1879

Part of a stage play, unfinished, incomplete, published posthumously but became one of the most performed and influential plays in the German theatre repertory.

Modelled after a real life figure, Woyzeck is a man with lots of problems, a "common" man, a low grade soldier with all the disadvantages the working man had at the time. A social disaster, poverty, jealousy, murder ... this has all the elements of a great story.

He has an extremely special way of talking, not finishing sentences or putting fragments in the middle of a thought ... Büchner uses colloquial speech, Woyzeck talks the way the "common man" talks which gives the play more authenticity.

The play is on the curriculum of any German schools, most students read it a year or two before graduating. Most students hate it because it is so complex but there is something about it that attracts you to the play. Büchner is considered one of the most influential writers of his period, the so-called Vormärz (pre-March).

I read this in the original German version.

From the back cover:

"Written in 1836, Woyzeck is often considered to be the first truly 'modern' play.

The story of a soldier driven mad by inhuman military discipline and acute social deprivation is told in splintered dialogue and jagged episodes which are as shocking and telling today as they were when first performed, almost a century after the author's death, in Munich 1913.

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