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White, J.S. (1952). Georg Buechner or the Suffering Through the Father. Am. Imago, 9(3-4):365-427.

(1952). American Imago, 9(3-4):365-427

Georg Buechner or the Suffering Through the Father

John S. White

THE German poet, Georg Buechner, belongs among those enigmatic figures whose life, in all its brevity, presents an astounding variety of talents and activities.

As the author of the dramas “Danton's Death” and “Wozzeck” he is considered, and rightly so, as the forerunner of German Naturalism and Expressionism long before these terms were coined. His play, “Leonce and Lena” reveals him as a decadent representative of European dandyism à la Oscar Wilde, while his short story, “Lenz” is a psychological essay of almost psychoanalytical perspective. However, his gifts and attainments by no means confined him to the literary field.

Buechner was a political activist, an organizer of and participant in secret societies of communistic stamp, who holds his place, as a minor, of course, among the predecessors of Marx and Engels. His pamphlet, “Der Hessische Land-bote”, which was distributed among the peasants of his native Hessen to arouse them to rebellion, shows him as an aggressive agitator and ruthless demagogue.

And yet, neither the writer nor the politician circumscribe the personality of Georg Buechner in its totality. To the artistic and pragmatic-activistic traits comes the contemplative scientific component as an additional feature.

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