Monday, April 30, 2018

Grant Guy writes


i am forced to walk in the sunlight
when i wld rather walk hand in hand with
you in the blackness of the moonlight
where no one would see our sins

woyzeck mightve said to fraulein m

but he didnt
he had to go to work
at ruta lees cafeteria
he was running late

run the dog through the garden
with sneakers on

& he didnt even like hot dogs

 Review of Woyzeck by Georg Büchner. Draw your own Horn!-style review here:

 --Kevin Thomas


  1. Inspired by the story of Johann Christian Woyzeck, a Leipzig wigmaker who became a soldier who was beheaded for the 1821 murder of a widow with whom he had been living,
    Georg Büchner began writing "Woyzeck" in the summer of 1836, but the play was still unfinished when he died of typhus the following February, at 23. He had fled Hesse to Zurich to avoid arrest for his political pamphlets. All but forgotten by his contemporaries until novelist Karl Emil Franzos republished his work in 1879, Büchner's widow, who survived him by four decades, had destroyed parts of the manuscript, and the remaining pages were difficult to decipher due to the author's "microscopically small" handwriting and the deterioration of the paper, which had to be chemically treated to bring the ink up to the surface. Even then the Franzos edition contained many errors, including the misspelling "Wozzeck" and a fragmented plot without connections between scenes. The Büchner story concerns Franz Woyzeck and Marie, the unmarried mother of his child. To earn extra money the soldier takes part in medical experiments and begins to experience apocalyptic visions. Marie has an affair with a handsome drum major, who, when confronted, beats up the cuckolded soldier. Woyzeck then stabs Marie to death. Although the play ends with the murderer disposing of the knife in the pond and washing off Marie's blood, Franzos inserted the stage direction "ertrinkt" (he drowns). The Franzos edition became a major influence on the German naturalist and expressionist movements. (Arnold Zweig called "Lenz," Büchner's only work of prose fiction, "the beginning of modern European prose.")

  2. In 1913 Max Reinhardt, the most influential early-20th century German director due to his innovative staging techniques that harmonized design, language, music, and choreography, produced the play's 1st performance, at the Residenztheater in München. In May 1914 Alban Berg attended its premier in Wien Vienna and immediately decided to base an opera on it. He selected 15 scenes and arranged them into 3 acts and adapted the libretto himself. However, World War I began in August, and Berg was not able to complete the opera until he was on leave from his regiment in 1917 and 1918, though his notebooks and correspondence reveal his obsession with it. His own wartime experiences heavily impacted its conception, though he retained the play's short scenes and abrupt, sometimes brutal, language. He finished Act 1 in the summer of 1919, Act 2 in August 1921, and the final act during the following two months, and then spent the next 6 months finalizing the orchestration. "Wozzeck," his 1st opera, premiered at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin on 14 December 1925. The 1st atonal opera, it was conducted and programmed by Erich Klieber. (Meanwhile, literary historian Georg Witkowski finally corrected the title to "Woyzeck" in 1921.) In 1979 Werner Herzog re-envisioned the play as a film. He began work on it 5 days after completing his "Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht" and used the same crew and the same star, Klaus Kinski. Although Herzog finished shooting in only 18 days and editing in 4, he was nominated for the Palme d'Or for the movie at the Cannes film festival (and Kinski's co-star Eva mattes won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Marie). In 2000 Robert Wilson staged a new "art musical" version in association with Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan.


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