Monday, April 22, 2013

Re-Read: Danton's Death by Georg Büchner

Other titles for this post include:
--> In wich she fangirls over a dead author
--> Go and read this book!

So I recently found out that my local theatre will be playing Danton's Death by Georg Büchner. I thought it would be a great idea to re-read the play before watching it.
It only remembered me how much I love this author!
Seriously, the book looks like a rainbow from all the marks and underlined quotes now.
But you may be wondering what I am talking about.

Georg Büchner is a German author who wrote his books during the literary period of Vormärz, which was a short era between Romanticism and Realism. His works have a critical and revolutionary undertone, trying to establish literature as some kind of a weapon against absolutism.
He even wrote open letters to get the people of Hesse (where I live!) to start a revolution. (That did not go so well...)

Danton's Death is about the last days of Georges Danton, one of the main leaders of the French Revolution. Danton created the office of the Revolutionary Tribunal helping the new government during the time of the first terror.
He understood that the revolution was begining to cost to many innocent lives and tried to end the Tribunal. Robespierre on the other hand worked against Danton to "keep the revolution going". And judging from the title of the play I am sure you can all figure out how the whole thing ended.
Which leads to one of my favourit quotes from the book:
"The Revolution is eating its own children"
You're into Les Miserables? Than this story may be for you. Honestly just cut the whole subplot of love from Les Mis and the books are basically about the same thing. Büchner even translated some of Victor Hugo's work.

I encountered Georg Büchner first in school were we read his two other plays Woyzeck (in which a man is driven insane by society) and Leonce and Lena (in which the cutest prince I ever encountered finds true love).
He died aged 23 in 1873 and is believed to be as significant as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. He may not have written such huge plays as Goethe's Faust but he is in my opinion one of the great authors our country ever had and I definitely fangirl over him. A lot.

Have you ever read one of the German classics?
Love and Words

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